Women have been using cosmetics since the dawn of time, but how did they beautify themselves in a time before plastic surgery? Here are a few beauty tips that thankfully haven't stood the test of time.
1. The Chin Reducer
Have you ever wished you could rid yourself of that pesky double chin? Well, so did the women of the Victorian ages. Unfortunately for them, they didn't have facelifts, so they resorted to 'The Chin Reducer'.
It was invented by Professor Mack, and the premise was pretty simple, you strapped on the helmet, placed the strap beneath your chin, and pulled the cords as tight as you could. After sitting in silence for a few hours, hey presto, no more extra chins. Pretty simple really.
2. The Tapeworm Diet
In the days before liposuction and common sense, women resorted tapeworms to lose a few holiday lbs.
Most would ingest the eggs, and allow them to hatch in their stomachs; once there, the tapeworms would eat away at the food in their stomachs, both quashing the host's appetite and killing any calories they did eat.
Unfortunately, tapeworms are a parasite, and they definitely don't belong inside anyone's stomach. Those infected usually suffered with extreme abdominal pains, and had to have the worms surgically removed, or pass them naturally; both options are pretty disgusting if you ask us.
3. The Nose Helmet
Before nose jobs, people had two options, either live with what God had given them, or use 'The Nose Helmet'.
You may look like the man in the iron mask for a while, and have one heck of a migraine, but the devise promised to straighten out any unfortunate lumps and bumps that may have hampered your chance of a normal life.
The devises weren't cheap though, and were usually reserved for the upper classes; unlike today, if the average Joe was unhappy with his or her nose, they had to just get on with it, or wear a mask, whatever they felt comfortable with really.
4. The Magnetic Corset
This is one of my favourite original corsets in my collection . Probably late Victorian it is made from the finest moire silk and lined with a fine paper like silk taffeta. It is so light and delicate. Something I struggle to achieve with modern materials #wickedladycorsets #victoriancorset #historicalcorsets #corsetmaker #vintagecorset
Most people are pretty familiar with the idea of a corset, or waste trainers as they're commonly known as today.
However, the magnetic corset took it one step further. The super strength magnets would allow for the corsets to be pulled extra tight, allowing for the classic hourglass look that was made famous in the Victorian period.
Unfortunately, it also broke ribs, and squashed the internal organs into an unnatural position, leading to a whole host of health problems.
Anybody with a basic knowledge of what not to eat would know that arsenic is definitely on that list. It's a deadly poison that has often been linked to numerous murders and horrible deeds.
So naturally, the upper classes of the 19th century decided it would make a fantastic cosmetic medicine. The aim was to get the perfectly pale complexion made famous by Marie Antoinette and other members of the Royal family.
For this it was very effective, as most people ended up dead after prolonged periods of ingesting the poison. At least they got that perfect ghostly pale look though!!
So there you have it, as you can see cosmetics have come a long way since the use of deadly poisons and parasitic infections.
Today, plastic surgery is more accessible to the masses, and, as long as you go to a trained professional, it's much safer than historic beauty methods.