Follow this simple and healthy 12-step morning routine from the Victorian and Edwardian era for a beautiful glowing skin!
12-Step Morning Routine – Victorian & Edwardian Beauty
Get Up Early
‘Sunrise, in January or June, and she is not up! This will never serve a candidate for beauty. […] By all means, if one must rob daylight for sleep, take the hours from ten to three’ (The Ugly-Girl Papers Or Hints For The Toilet, 1874).
Related: Victorian Nighttime Skincare Routine
Drink A Cup Of Hot Water
‘A cup of hot water taken as soon as waking up in the morning is recommended by some physicians’ (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910).
Take Olive Oil & Lemon Juice Before Breakfast
‘One-half hour before breakfast take a dessert-spoonful of pure olive oil in a little lemon juice. The olive oil feeds the system, aids digestion and stimulates the bowels.’ (The Ideal Cook Book, 1902)
Cleanse The Face
‘In the morning the eyes should be bathed with warm water […] The rest of the face should be merely wiped with a bit of the cotton soaked in the following solution: Rosewater 3 oz., Alcohol 1 oz., Glycerine 1/2 oz. The glycerine sometimes should be omitted, as it does not agree with all skins.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘To keep the face cleansed from dust keep always a bottle of olive oil and a companion bottle of witch hazel on your dressing table or toilet shelf. Before going out pass a bit of cotton or a piece of soft linen that has been moistened in the oil over the face.’ (My Secrets Of Beauty, 1914)
Brush The Teeth
Brush the teeth every morning ‘with a brush dipped in water, scrub them well inside and out, rubbing them horizontally, vertically, and in every direction […] rinse the mouth with lukewarm water, and clean the tongue.’ (The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility, 1856)
Brush The Hair
‘The hair should be given a five minutes’ brushing night and morning.’ (San Francisco Call, 1909) ‘I always spend from ten minutes to a quarter of an hour brushing my hair, so that it may look bright and keep in good condition, and I strongly advise every girl to do the same. If she cannot find time in the morning, because she likes to lie as late in bed as she can, then I recommend her to do it at night before she goes to bed.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Related: Victorian Nighttime Hair Routine
‘Girls will benefit complexions and figures if they will go through some physical exercises every morning. These need not last more than five minutes if done regularly.’ (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910)
‘Get out of doors. Exercise moderately’ (The Ideal Cook Book, 1902). ‘After rest and sleep, the third essential to a good skin, namely, fresh air, is most scrupulously ensured by the American woman.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘The first rays of the sun, the purity of early air, have as potent an effect on the complexion as the noon rays on the webs of linen in the bleaching ground […] see the fires in the east from out-of-doors, even if your head touched the pillow only two hours before. […] There is a tonic in the dew-cool air’ (The Ugly-Girl Papers Or Hints For The Toilet, 1874).
Walk In The Rain
‘The perfection of weather as a cosmetic is a damp, sunless day, with a mist that is perhaps a little short of a drizzle.’ (Los Angeles Herald, 1901) ‘Walking in the rain, for persons who are not susceptible to cold, is an excellent tonic for the complexion […]
the clothing must be warm, the skirts of a length not to drag wetness about the ankles, for nothing will give cold more quickly than the constant slopping of wet garments about the feet. […] Just ten minutes’ brisk walking in a steady downpour will make the blood circulate with vigor and put the pedestrian into a delightful glow’ (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910).
Related: Edwardian Walking Dresses
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
‘Only nourishing and easily digested foods shall be eaten, avoiding those that are rich and heavy.’ (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910) ‘Women who exercise little, of course eat little; in the end they can do nothing, because they are not sufficiently fed. There is no grossness in eating largely if one work well enough to consume the strength afforded. The best engines are best fed.’ (The Ugly-Girl Papers Or Hints For The Toilet, 1874)
‘A make-up should also be built up on a basis of a good cream or grease, as this at once protects the skin and facilitates the removal of the makeup when its use is over.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Related: Victorian Cold Cream Recipes
‘A thin coating of cold cream should be rubbed over the cheeks and chin. […] After that powder may be dusted on. Then, when leaving the house, the skin should be rubbed with an astringent lotion that will remove the dust from the pores yet will not increase the amount of grease. For this lettuce water is excellent, and can be made at home at any season.’ (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910)
‘Start the cosmetic toilette […] rub in cold cream with brisk, yet gentle massage […] The rouge is put on first, the brows and eyelids darkened next, and the powder applied last of all. A soft spun silk, linen or cotton rag is indispensable, for this must smooth down hard edges till the line between the color and natural skin is lost.
To apply the rouge, dig a right-hand finger into the red and rub it over all the points which have ever displayed a hint of natural rosiness. Some faces need a touch of rouge upon the chin and lips, a faint tinting of the eyelids, and a decided rosiness for the lobes and curl of the ear. The lid-tinting is to give the tall of the eye fullness, and the chin, lip, and ear touches make the cheek blush seem more natural.
Leave this application to sink into the skin and proceed with the dark cosmetic. Except for the fairest women, who use a blonde pencil, brun (brown) is the best color for this. Follow the natural eyebrow line with the pencil, and never make a mark, if you can help it, on the bare skin. Then rub the dark pencil across the palm of the left hand, and with a clean finger of the right gather up this soft brown, blonde, or black dust and rub it delicately over all the eye covering. A hard line made by a dark pencil under the eye is very bad […] the red and the black are only a breath – they must seem the reflection of the ball of the eye through a thin lid.
You now come to the important “make-up” rag, and with one corner of this go over the rouge, and with another over the lids till your own mother could not tell where her daughter begins and art ends. Then dust on the powder, smoothing that with still another corner of the rag.’ (Sacramento Union, 1909)
‘Protect the face further by dusting it with rice powder.’ (My Secrets Of Beauty, 1914) ‘Powder should be applied lightly and artistically in order to impart to the skin the velvety softness of the peach. […] Take up a small quantity of powder on the puff and pass it lightly over the face. Care should be taken not to powder the eyebrows, and the lips must be carefully wiped to remove any powder which may have fallen. The whole face, except the eyes, the eyebrows and the lips, should receive a touch of powder.’ (The Washington Times, 1909)
Put The Hair Up Into A Pompadour
‘The Pompadour style is one of the quickest methods of dressing the hair. A Pompadour front and sides, with a chic raised back, finished by an artistic “8” […] can be made and finished in under ten minutes.
Indeed, it could be done in five, but when attempting this style a few extra minutes must be spent on the manipulation of the Pompadour, if the ultimate result is to be at all pleasing.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Try To Be Happy
‘Breathe deeply […] think joy, not sorrow […] and never speak unkindly. […] A cheerful disposition and an optimistic view of life do much toward making the beauty suppliant, plump of outline and charming of countenance.’ (The Ideal Cook Book, 1902)
‘Try to keep happy. If you keep happy you keep well. […] I am never ill unless I get unhappy. Then I run down at once. For this reason I would entreat every woman to look on the bright side of things. It is amazing how soon one can get into the habit of doing this, or, at any rate, of shutting one’s eyes to the dark side of things. […] Another maxim of my life is never to get angry. “Anger is worse for the face than smallpox.” […] everything we do which makes for beauty of spirit and serenity of mind will help us to get beauty of poise’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
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