Homemade Blush Recipes – Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes

victorian and edwardian blush recipes

Rosy cheeks were fashionable in the Victorian and Edwardian era. However, the Edwardian lady was advised not to use too much blush: ‘The secrets of success in the use of rouge are three. Be sure to use the tint that looks most natural; use sparingly; tone down with powder.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2) I’ve compiled many recipes for homemade natural blushes from the 1830s till the 1910s: You’ll find recipes for powder blush, liquid blush and cream blush.

Related: 200+ Historical DIY Natural Beauty Products

‘Parisian taste in complexions is changing. Whereas a few years ago it was the white face, without a trace of color except in the mouth and eyes, that was the mode, today a rosy complexion is the kind that is sought. It is not that the French woman aspires to the lovely flush color of the English and Irish woman. A faint blush evenly distributed over the cheeks satisfies her. She buys her blush by the bottle, applies it with cotton wool, and when it is dry powders it lightly. It makes a very nice blush when it is done.'(Stockton Independent, 1907)

‘The most harmless rouge advised is grease paint, which comes in stick form and in small pots. This is said to be less drying than a dry rouge, and more natural than a liquid one. Three grades of red – light, dark and medium – suits it to every complexion.’ (Sacramento Union, 1909)

vintage rose powder rouge

Powder Rouge

Simple Homemade Rouge (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
  • 2 oz carmine
  • 1/2 pound levigated French chalk
Victorian Powder Rouge (The Cyclopaedia Of Practical Receipts In All The Useful Arts, 1841)
  • 1 part carmine in fine powder
  • 5 parts levigated French chalk
Rouge Palette (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 9 parts carmine
  • 50 parts french chalk
  • 12 parts almond oil
  • tragacanth mucilage

‘Add enough tragacanth mucilage to make the mass adhere and spread the whole evenly on the porcelain palette.’

Powder Blush (Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes, 1872)
  • 4 oz talcum powder
  • 2 drachms or less carmine (or rose-pink)
  • a little gum tragacanth solution
vintage powder puff tutorial
-> tutorial for my vintage powder puff

Liquid Blush

Turkish Rouge (A Perpetual Calendar: With Notes and Explanations on Chronology, Chronological Cycles and Other Useful Information, 1896)
  • 1/2 pint alcohol
  • 1 oz alkanet

‘Macerate ten days and pour off the liquid, which should be bottled. This is the simplest and one of the best’ liquid rouges.

-> tried

Victorian Liquid Turkish Rouge
Victorian Liquid Rouge
Liquid Cochineal Rouge (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)

When ‘the skin perspires profusely […], a liquid rouge is preferable, as it will not get streaky with heat.’

  • 1 oz powdered cochineal
  • 2 oz rectified spirit
  • 6 oz distilled water

‘Mix the spirit and water; heat, add the cochineal, and leave for a quarter of an hour on the stove. If too red, add distilled water and filter.’

‘Where liquid rouges and powders are used, the foundation cream is not required, because the right method of applying a liquid rouge is to apply first a basis of ” liquid powder,” then an extremely small quantity of the liquid rouge, applied on a bit of sponge wrung out of hot water. Ten parts of powdered white bismuth to one hundred and twenty of water is a typical basis for a “liquid powder.” Finally, powder carefully and wipe off any that shows.’

Natural Rouge (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)

‘A very innocent way of imparting a little colour to the cheeks is to dip the finger in the juice of a boiled beetroot, and apply just where the colour usually is. The petals of a geranium or a rose will also slightly colour the cheeks.’

Liquid Eosine Rouge (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 1 part eosine
  • 20 parts distilled water
  • 5 parts glycerine
  • 75 parts cologne water
  • 100 parts alcohol
  • optional: 10 parts almond oil and sufficient mucilage of tragacanth to make the mass adhere to the porcelain palette
Liquid Carmine Rouge (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
  • 1.5 dr powdered carmine
  • 5 dr liquid ammonia
  • 8 oz rosewater
  • 1.5 oz rectified spirit mixed with 2 dr essence of rose
  • 0.5 oz gum arabic

Mix carmine and liquid ammonia, agitate occasionally ‘until completely dissolved.’ Stir in rosewater and rectified spirit, then add gum arabic; ‘and, in a few days, decant and bottle the mixture.’

pink vintage english roses mint green pearl necklace

Almond Oil Rouge (The toilette of health, beauty, and fashion, 1832)

‘White paint is never becoming; rouge, on the contrary, almost always looks well.’ White paint and rouge with non-vegetable colors are regarded as dangerous, so only vegetable red colors should be used, such as alkanet root, safflower ‘which yields a very beautiful colour’, red sandal wood and Brazil wood.

  • 1 oz red sandal wood
  • 1/2 oz cloves
  • 5 pounds almonds
  • 2 oz white wine
  • 1,5 oz rose water

Pound red sandal wood, cloves and almonds together, stir wine and rose water into it. After 8 – 9 days strain the mixture through a cloth.

diy natural tinted lip balm recipe with alkanet root
Alkanet Cream Blush

Cream Rouge

Easy Cream Rouge (The toilette of health, beauty, and fashion, 1832)

‘Alkanet root strikes a beautiful red when mixed with oils or pomatums.’

Red Rouge (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 4 av oz cocoa butter
  • 4 av oz white wax
  • 2 fl oz olive oil
  • 8 drops rose oil
  • 3 drops bergamot oil
  • 2 drops neroli oil
  • 2 drops tincture musk
  • 90 grains carmine
  • 3 fl oz ammonia water
DIY Natural Rose Petal Blush Recipe
Natural Rose Petal Blush
‘Vegetable Rouge’ (The American Cyclopaedia, 1873)

Safflower ‘leaves, thoroughly washed, are dried, and then pulverized and digested in a weak solution of carbonate of soda. Into this is placed some finely carded cotton, and the alkaline mixture is neutralized with lemon juice or vinegar. The red coloring matter collects on the cotton, and this being washed with water to remove the yellow matter, the rouge is again dissolved, and some finely pulverized talc is introduced into the solution before it is again precipitated with the acid. Upon this the red color is received, and when separated from the liquid the two are thoroughly mixed by trituration, a little olive oil being rubbed in to add to the smoothness. Sometimes woollen threads are placed in the second solution to receive the rouge when it is precipitated, and these, called crepons, are used to rub the color upon the cheeks.’

Safflower Rouge (The Cyclopaedia of Practical Receipts in All the Useful Arts, 1841)

‘Safflowers, any quantity. Wash them until the water comes off colourless; dry, powder, and digest in a weak solution of carbonate of soda; then place some fine cotton wool at the bottom of the vessel, and precipitate the colouring matter by gradually adding lemon juice or white vinegar till it ceases to produce a precipitate. Next wash the cotton in cold water, then dissolve out the colour with a fresh solution of soda; add a quantity of finely-powdered French chalk, proportional to the intended quality of the rouge; mix well, and precipitate as before; lastly, collect the powder, dry with great care, and triturate it with a minute quantity of oil of olives, to render it smooth and adhesive. This is the only article which will brighten a lady’s complexion, without injuring the skin.’

Here you’ll find Victorian and Edwardian recipes for natural tinted lip balms which can also be used as cream rouge and for face powder and makeup. And here’s my Conversion Table for US, UK and metric system units of measurement.

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