Thursday’s Thirteen: Ancient beauty tips

Thirteen ancient beauty tips of the old world.

1. Lovely ladies of the Middle East used to grind up lead – which causes metal poisoning – and apply it to their lashes, eyebrows and eyelids.

2. In ancient Babylonia, unwanted facial hair was sanded off with a rough pumice stone.

3. Women in Edwardian England would gladly swallow a slimy tapeworm to keep themselves slim and trim. The parasite would digest most of the food the women ate, and it also destroyed their health.

4. Eating arsenic was another way to achieve beauty discovered by Englishwomen. The deadly poison – used in the 19th century – gave the skin an interesting glow while it shortened the life span.

5.Beautiful blonde highlights in the hair were achieved by Venetian ladies who poured lion urine on their tresses before sitting out in the sun.

6. Early Japanese geishas and Kabuki actors used nightingale droppings to remove the thick make-up from their faces.

7. Roman ladies rubbed brown seaweed on their faces as rouge, which did them no harm. But the white powder made from lead they rubbed on their faces gave them a slow death by lead poisoning as surely as it delighted their admirers.

8. Italian ladies of the past used to apply deadly nightshade to enhance their eyes. The poison dilates the pupils and makes people’s peepers look enormous and glowing.

9. Arabian ladies loved sleek and shiny hair, so they used camel urine to dip their raven-black hair in.

10. In the England of Queen Elizabeth I, great beauties of the time owed the rich red color of their lips to bugs. The squashed remains of insects were rubbed on the mouth for a ruby-red luster.

11. Face painting with white lead powder was also popular in Elizabeth’s time. The beautysecret caused the premature demise of a number of 16th century lovelies.

12. Crocodile dung made into a paste with donkey’s milk kept Cleopatra’s skin looking lovely in the Egyptian heat. She used it as a face mask – when Caesar wasn’t around.

13. In the early 10th century, emperor Li Yu of the Southern Tang dynasty in China ordered one of his slave girls to bind her feet in silk ribbons and dance on a platform littered with golden lotus flowers. From that day on, foot binding was often associated with the term golden lotus. At first, foot binding was something practiced only by those within the royal court but soon women of all social classes were eager to have dainty, “beautiful” and desirable feet.

This puts an new spin on the good ol’ days doesn’t it?

Aren’t you glad we live in this century where we just starves ourselves for beauty?