Hello dreamers and schemers! With Valentine’s Day just passed, I got to thinking about how people say that “the look of love” consists of glowing skin and flushed cheeks. Then I started to wonder about how blush came to be. Thus, my new series “The History Of…” was born.
Blush. Blusher. Rouge. Whatever you may call it, it still serves the same purpose; to provide a healthy flush of color to the cheeks. Egypt is often credited with being the origin of rouge, where men and woman would apply it to their lips and cheeks.
It was originally a thick paste made of reddish fruit and vegetable juices (think strawberries, mulberries, and beets), or even finely ground ochre powder.
It rose to prominence in ancient Greece, during a time when whitened complexions and rosy cheeks was considered and fashionable and a display of wealth. However, the lead that they utilized was extremely deadly.
As Christianity become more established, so did a stricter dress. Any artificial makeup was considered too flashy and promiscuous.
Oh The Things We Do For Beauty…
However, as the Middle Ages rolled in, blush regained its popularity. A popular trend at the time was to bleed oneself, or wear egg whites, to achieve a coveted pale complexion and then to apply a water and strawberry mixture for a rosy glow. This represented that you were desirably of high class.
Makeup became an accepted norm when Queen Elizabeth embraced it. This is when women became more experimental with their formulations and would use mercury sulfide to achieve a long-lasting, pigmented rouge. This lethal ingredient led to major health issues, receding hairlines, and another trend as a result: high foreheads.
Other toxic ingredients that were utilized for pale snow white skin were cerise (lead paints mixed with vinegar), arsenic (a.k.a. poison), and mercury.
Makeup has had a colorful history of going back and forth between being seen as improper and demoralizing, to being seen as chic and du jour. And thankfully, we no longer have to rely on ingredients that can literally kill us as much anymore.
And remember, makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty, not cover it up. Be comfortable in your own skin first and foremost.
My Blush Picks
Ere Perez Beautiful Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint in Joy
I was only just recently introduced to this brand by Liz from Smells Like a Green Spirit, but I already love their beautiful selection of rosy hues.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Beloved
How could I not include this cult favorite? This gorgeous color can be worn sheer on the cheeks or built up for your blushing pilgrims.
Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Blush in Freja
This is for those who want their skin to be a bit more glowy and youthful, with a touch of subtle shimmer in this lovely blush.
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Tint in Cranberry Glow
As I can see, I really enjoy bright pops of pinkish-red hues like this. They instantly make you look more polished, pretty, and put-together.
Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi Use Blush in Courtesan
What you can also tell about me is I love lightweight, creamy blushes. This one is pigmented and flattering on many skin tones.