Popular Beauty Trends of the Victorian Era

The Victorian era was all about keeping up appearances, in both fashion and beauty.

In previous centuries, women were fond of light skin, light hair, voluptuous figures, and red cheeks. During the Renaissance, beauty was wealth and wealth was beauty. Women used toxic cosmetics to stay gorgeous, but over time, these would cause skin problems and even hair loss! So how did beauty trends change in the Victorian era?

Beauty Trends in the Victorian Era
Some trends changed and some stayed the same. In Victorian times, propriety and conformity were the norm. Meek, demure women were the ideal. Makeup and cosmetics were frowned upon, because they made women stand out. But women still used them, if only to appear even more meek, demure, and respectable.

Here are some of the Victorian trends that were popular during the 1800s and into the 1900s:

Woman with pale skin.

Pale Skin was Popular
This trend carried over from the Renaissance. White skin was associated with wealth, since wealthy women didn’t have to work. Pale-skinned women were those who could afford to spend their time inside and avoid a hard day’s labor in the field.

Tan skin, on the other hand, suggested that women were part of the working class and was actually looked down upon at this time.

Women went to great lengths to avoid tan skin. Makeup and cosmetics were used widely, discreetly, and quietly. Many books and popular figures preached against their use, but they still found their way into many women’s homes.

Creams, lotions, ointments, pomades, herbs, and tonics were some of the most popular ways women kept their skin clear and fair.

Woman wearing a Victorian gown.

Clothes Covered, but Still Revealing
Women in the Victorian era didn’t want to come across as prostitutes, which was one reason they avoided makeup and cosmetics. Bold colors were taboo for the same reason. They also wore dresses and clothes that covered wrists to ankles, to stay as modest as possible. A far cry from today.

Though women avoided bright colors and exposed skin, they still wanted to look sexy. To Victorians, slim waists were the way to go.

Corsets kept the torso tight, and some women even broke ribs trying to constrict their waist and torso down. Other clothes, such as petticoats, hoops, and bustles accentuated the waist, bust, and bottom.

Woman with curly hair

For Hair, Straight was Out and Curly was IN
To Victorians, straight hair seemed unsophisticated, awkward, and uncouth. Young girls were allowed to wear their hair straight, but when they became women, it was fashionable and even necessary to wear the hair up in chignons, buns, rolls, and curls.

This was also when various hair curling tools hit the scene, such as the curling iron and the mustache curler. The mustache curler was popular among men, who would use it to shape the tips of their handlebar mustaches.

Women still used dye and other chemicals to make their hair vibrant and colorful, but the Victorian concoctions were a bit safer than those in previous years.

The Pussy Bow Blouse

Oh, how being PC has uprooted so many previously standard pronunciations that in today’s savvy society seem to carry a tinge or more of an inappropriate undercurrent. Among such terminology we find the planet Uranus, forever pronounced [You-ray-nus,] which began to be seen as offensive to growing numbers of people who only heard something else, every time the planet was mentioned. So now, Uranus is permanently known as [Yoo-ruh-nus,] and all is well. Another offending pronunciation has been the time-honored pronunciation of the word “harass,” becoming distasteful when sounded out conventionally, as [Her-ass.] Making the word more suitable involved rearranging the previously accepted pronunciation to [Har-rass,] and so it goes. Why all this seemingly unrelated talk of reinventing terminology to sustain its viability in modern conversational English, you might ask. The answer lies in the popular resurgence of a former fashion trend that was represented by a moniker that would be totally rejected by today’s standards.

Dress for Business Women
The Women’s Movement of the 1970s and 1980s produced a flood of women entering the corporate workforce, the likes of which had not previously been seen. This marked a new victory for women, who had no established examples of proper business attire, other than the male mode of dressing for success, which consisted of suits and ties, exclusively. It’s here that we find the  emergence of the floppy bow blouse, which was worn with a skirt suit mostly, by businesswomen, broadly. The floppy bow was the woman’s counterpart to the male’s tie–still feminine, but ready to compete in the former male-dominated world.

Tyra Banks wearing a pussy bow blouse.
Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Because We Like to Give Everything a Name
Not long after these floppy bows extending from women’s blouses became a recognizable form of work attire, they were dubbed “pussy bows.” There may have been one or two inquiring minds who tried to find the connection between the name and the trend, but societal queries were rare, during those more innocent days, and so the term just stuck. Fast forward to now, and we wouldn’t dare pick back up, wearing this returning form of fashion without scrutinizing the need for “pussy” to describe the bow. While we would like to believe the term evolved innocently, the truth is that if you allow your mind to freely connect the dots, you will most likely arrive at the right conclusion. This bow–worn exclusively by businesswomen who needed to “look the part” at the same time wanted to retain their femininity, and the “pussy bow” did it with irrefutable effectiveness. Yes, there is a connection to be made here, with “pussy” existing in this context as a euphemism for the female genitalia.

Moving Forward, With Modern Appropriate PC
Of COURSE to continue use of the original name would incur a myriad of inappropriate thoughts, gestures, innuendos, behavior– and who knows what else? So, today’s PC Fashionistas–and apparel manufacturers are presently referring to this retro blouse and bow as the “Secretary Blouse.” But you and I know the real deal. The blouses and bows to come of this returning fashion trend are stunning and you can look forward to seeing them added to complement many looks on the runways and everywhere normal people can be found in the days to come.

Makeup Trend Alert: Baking

Woman with makeup brushes.

For anyone who is secretly praying that Kim Kardashian and her seemingly unending stream of trend-setting, every time she makes a move, will soon drop from the headlines altogether, and fade away into relative obscurity, there are a few trends that may just represent real hope for the possibility to become a reality. The makeup trend that made huge waves, debuted by Ms. Kardashian of contouring is now officially “out,” with more than one method of impressive beautification waiting in the wings to replace it as the leading look. We might have to admit that contouring had its time, its day and its place, but the new effects in cosmetic application are simply put: far lovelier, more alluring and less hard-edged than the drastic demarcation lines of contouring.

You Have to Accentuate the Positive
Now, it’s all about focus on the beauty of adding light, rather than the main emphasis of contouring being to introduce rather severe dark areas to the face, in order to create the contour. You could even look at it as a trend that is wholly concentrated from a positive focus. The effect is created by highlighting the most positive facial elements. This contrasts contouring’s aim to add faux hollows on the face. Contouring could be seen more as a negative method focused on undesirable plumper facial areas with dark makeup tones applied there, to conceal them.

This Baking Does Not Involve Heat or Even an Easy Bake Oven Light Bulb
Before you begin conjuring up torturous visions of being on your knees, in front of your open oven, elbows resting on the open door, with your entire head fully integrated into the 350 degrees oven cavity, STOP. Baking has never been a term associated with the cosmetics industry, and in this context, you can rest assured that at no time does this process ever involve placing your face even close to an oven or heat source. Baking is painless, easy and actually fun to do–and you get awesome results, in the end.

How it’s Done
Baking comes with more benefits than just looking good. This method gives you a longer lasting makeup base you can depend on. You begin with an application of foundation, followed by a thick layer of powder, which is a couple shades lighter than your natural shade. In applying the lighter shade, concentrate on specific areas, including above the eyes, the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, chin and forehead. This is when the “cooking” occurs: so at this point, you simply pause the process for ten to thirty minutes–while you do something else–as the “cooking” phase takes place. The natural heat from your body is all that’s needed to “cook” the makeup, and secure it for the day.  Finally, go over your face with a light brushing, to smooth and gently blend for a seamless appearance that will give you a flawless finish. Welcome to the latest trend of the stars – stayed tuned for the next “it” fad!

Makeup Primers: Secret Tricks

One of the best things to ever happen to makeup foundation was the introduction of using a primer agent on the face at the very start, and before laying down any other elements, whether it be foundation, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner and so forth. Primer ensures an improved base for all the other makeup to rest upon, and enhances coverage evenness, the overall smoothness and way longer periods between any needed touch ups, if even needed at all. Since makeup primers have become regarded as a necessary component to a fully executed makeup session, there have been many brands, types and prices to hit the market. And not only this, but as makeup artists and home DIYers continue to explore the possibilities, we are learning some really cool tips about makeup primers that are truly helpful, and some of the more popular ones are here for you.

Woman holding primer and brush.

Makeup Primer, in a Pinch
This is just one of those things you’re gonna have to try first, before you can be expected to believe it. Just know that it has been done, and with great success, too. While there are different ingredients that go into the different brands of men’s after shave products, some will work quite nicely as a makeup primer for your face. Makeup primers are a great way to fill in your skin’s uneven places to lay a foundation that is ideal for accepting makeup. It works just as well as the products actually sold as makeup primers, but is thinner. This helps to avoid a cakey look, especially when you are finishing off with powder.

Fundamentals on Foundation
Essentially, you have three different types of foundation from which to choose. These are divided between liquid, powder and cream. By adding primer, you increase your control and best results, according to the way you add it. For instance, in going on the name “primer” alone, you would assume that it should only be used as a base layer, however women who prefer a more translucent look have been mixing their cream type foundations into their primer with excellent results. No coverage is lost, and this method produces a good blended, longer lasting wear. Women with oily faces who usually tend to stay away from cream foundations receive the same go-ahead, with the only difference being that they should apply this mix with a damp sponge.

Our Favorite Lip Colors for Fall

If you’re old enough to have worn lipstick in the 90’s, chances are that this fall season will remind you of that wonderful decade’s shades of purples, reds, and pinks. If you haven’t noticed, the 90’s have been everywhere, from revival TV shows like Girl Meets World, and a Full House show, to 90’s reunion concerts. It only makes sense that 90’s fashion is also making a comeback, even though it seems like it was just yesterday.

Woman with blood red lip color

While the fall season usually calls for burgundy and deep dark reds, this fall you won’t be out of place if you decide to show off some of those brighter shades you would normally save for the warmer months (or that 90’s themed Halloween outfit you were planning on wearing).

First up is fuchsia. That color just screams 1994 doesn’t it? Well this deep pink color is back, and it’s ready for some action. Wearable from morning to night, fuchsia is a chameleon that can looks just as good with your workout clothes as it does with your fancy dinner party attire. Add a contrasting eye shadow for a really standout look.

For a more refined look, try fuchsia’s cousin mauve. A little more buttoned up and elegant, mauve lipstick gives you an appearance of someone who lived through the 90’s and came out the other side with a more mature style sense.

Who are we kidding? You’re not looking for a buttoned-up Aunt Mauve look, right? Why not go for blood red lip gloss like Vamplify from Mac? Red is sexy, and confident, and this shiny look is sure to be an attention maker. So turn off that Sex in the City rerun, put on your Vamplify and go hit the town!

Woman with orange lips.

If blood red is a little too ghoulish for you, tone it down a notch while still keeping the fall Halloween theme alive with a blood orange lip gloss like Armani’s Ecstasy Lacquer in Tangerine.

Who could forget the brown lip trend of the 90’s? While this look doesn’t work for everyone, if you can pull it off it can look stunning. Try Tom Ford’s Warm Sable lipstick. Using ingredients like soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomile flower oil, this lipstick has a creamy look that goes on smooth.

Brick red, another 90’s favorite has been spotted on the runways recently, and is a simple, dull-in-a-good-way color. Wear it with minimal eye makeup as a standalone color to really look great.

Other 90’s colors that are sure to get you feeling nostalgic while also looking trendy are: cherry-blossom pink, burnt sienna, cocoa, plum, and beige. So put those TLC and DMB CDs on full blast and get ready to look great this fall!

Fall Makeup Trends

Stylist applying red lipstick.

Autumn is not only for trick or treaters and roasted turkeys but the subtle color changes of the leaves remind us trendsetters that fall is the time to change OUR looks too! From red hot lips to eye-catching shadows, these must-try trends are easy to apply. So pull out that make-up bag and get ready to throw out the old and bring in the new.

Woman with smoky eyes makeup.

Dark Eyes
The smoky eye, cat eye and other mysterious looking liner looks are super trendy this fall. Start with a rich charcoal liquid liner followed by either a lengthening mascara or falsies. Try out a few “new” lines (under, over, thicker, thinner, etc.) Round your smoky eye style with a darker hue of eye shadow, in deep violet, espresso or hunter green.

Metallic Colors
Silvers and golds are great but mix them up a little this season with blue or green eye shadow, making your eyes sparkle! Line your lids with these metallic shadows giving your eye color a light reflection that makes them appear larger.

Woman with flushed cheeks.

Flushed Skin
Since summer days are coming to a quick close, it’s time to give up the self-tanner and tanning beds. A dewy, flushed face is in for fall! Skip the matte powders and go for the moisturized “just ran a mile” look. Peach or rosy cheeks are the hot colors but just enough to peek through and pop.

You see them all over television. A REAL housewife would not dare leave home without them – not credit cards – but fake eyelashes. Whether you want to try out a few single lashes or go for the whole lash, there are dozens of looks and thicknesses when selecting falsies. Make sure you use a glue that is clear to avoid the white globs that can show through the lashes.

Woman wearing red lipstick.

The Red Lip
Nothing new to the fashion world, the red lip is coming back with a bang! Not an orange based red, but the literal cherry red lipstick that defines glamour. Think Marilyn Monroe. Keep in mind that an entire face full of make-up is not required. Go easy on the eyes and cheeks, while letting the lips speak for themselves.

Goth Lips
It’s a risky look, but dark lips are one of the hotter and more daring trends for fall. Revealing your inner vampire via a black lip is all over the runway right now. Reserved more for the evening look, this risqué style makes a serious statement – coffin couture!

Nail the Smokey Eye!

Smokey eyes

The smoky eye is a sultry and sophisticated look that’s perfect for a date night, a formal event, or even a dramatic look for every day wear. The smoky eye seems easy enough to pull off, but it’s easy to turn this sexy look into a smudgy mess. You won’t look like a seductress — you’ll look like you have raccoon eyes. Here are a few tips for how to get the perfect smokey eye so you can nail the look every time:

Prime the Eyelid
The best way to start is to put a little concealer on your eyelid. Not only will you create a creamy surface for smoother blending, but you’ll also create a light base to make the colors pop. You can also use a primer if you prefer, but the concealer will offer more benefits. Finish by putting a pressed powder over the entire lid to provide a base coat. Tip: go light with the eye moisturizer, this will cause creasing and make the liner and shadow damp and less smudge-proof.

Line Your Eyes
Use a black eyeliner to outline your entire eye, starting from the inner corner and tracing the upper and lower lids. You can smudge the line to get a more smokey look, or you can leave the line crisp and intact. If you choose to smudge, you can use a makeup smudge brush, a cotton swap, or even your finger. This season, runways are sporting several new types of liner looks. Cat-eye liner, blocked liner, over and under and more. Don’t be a afraid to color outside the eyes! Follow up with mascara or go for falsies if you are feeling a little daring! This extra lash volume makes eyes look bigger and more noticeable.

Woman with smokey eyes.

Apply the Shadow
Apply a light shadow to your brow bone to highlight your arch. Then apply a medium shade to the lower half of your lid, just over your crease. Blend the shadow upward and out to the corner of the eye. Finish by applying the darkest shade on the lid only, with a slight upward sweep at the outer corner.

Apply a fine line of the darkest shadow along the lower lash line. Blend all three shades with a larger, fluffy brush. Hot shadow hues for fall include purples, oranges and greens – gorgeous with any color eye!

Do yourself a favor and wait until you’re done applying the shadow to put foundation and concealer on your face. If any shadow falls on your skin, you won’t be able to clean it off without also taking off the foundation or concealer. Wait until you’re done so that you can clean away any debris first.

Now you’re done with your smokey eye! Go forth and show off your sexy side!

Secrets to Getting Falsies Right

Woman wearing falsies.

Some girls are blessed with beautiful full and long eyelashes, but most of us have to rely on mascara to really get that full look. On some occasions however, mascara isn’t enough, we have to rely on false eyelashes to get the look we want. This can be intimidating to some, but it’s really a simple thing that can be done to make your eyes pop! Let’s take a look at some tips to help you with your falsies.

- First you need to get the tools and materials to make this task as simple as possible. You’ll need: eyeliner, mascara, a lash curler, lash glue, tweezers, scissors, and of course, the eyelashes themselves. Once you’ve got all the necessary items, you’re ready to start.

- One of the biggest mistakes first timers make is thinking that the lashes can be applied to either eye. In fact, each set should come with a left and a right specific set of lashes. If they aren’t marked, just make sure that you put the shorter lashes closer to your inner eye (nose) and the longer lashes out towards your ears.

- Before you apply the glue you need to measure the lashes. Everyone’s eyes are different sizes, and you really don’t want the lashes to be wider than your real eyelashes. So measure them from the inner corner of your eye to the outer, and if they’re a little too long, trim them to size. Cutting the lashes into thirds will make it easier to apply rather than applying the whole piece at once.

Woman applying false eyelashes

- To apply the lashes, make sure you’re using tweezers instead of your fingers. Tweezers will let you be more precise with your placement and will make it easier to place the lashes on your eye line not on your eyelid.

- If you have oily skin, it might be hard to get your lashes to adhere to your eye. If this is the case, try and remove as much oil as you can. Also, apply your eye makeup before you apply the falsies, this will prevent them from becoming detached.

- Once the lashes are applied it’s time to get out your lash curler and curl those falsies! This will help them blend into your real eyelashes and remove the appearance of double lashes.

- When applying the glue, it’s easy to go overboard because you’re scared that they’ll fall off. The truth is, you just need a little dab of glue to keep them on. Make sure you use the clear glue, as white glue shows, even when dry!

- Once your lash glue has dried (about 60 seconds) use your mascara and liner, liquid liner works best, as you normally would. This helps make everything look more natural.

- Lastly, remember to be gentle with your falsies when it comes time to removing them. Don’t pull out your real lashes with the fake ones!

How to Rock Dark Lipstick

Woman wearing dark lipstick

Every girl has a dark side and here are a few tips to help you flaunt your’s!

Darker shades of lipstick will tend to show any imperfections so make sure your lips are in tip top condition. Use a lip scrub to lift away any flakes and apply a balm right after to moisten lips and help prevent flaking after you’ve applied your color. Using a lip primer when your lips aren’t at their best will also help to avoid highlighting a not-so-perfect lip texture.

Woman with dark lip color.

Find Your Color
Knowing your “season” is the first step in finding the right dark lip color. The rules for lipstick colors have been pretty loose over the past few season’s when it comes to choosing what shade is right for what skin tone. When choosing a dark bold color though, it’s still important to do some color analysis before just throwing on any ‘ol shade. If you’re going to brave a darker color, make sure it compliments your skin.

Line Those Lips
Use a lipliner that matches your darker shade or use a nude liner, but whatever you do, use a liner! Liners create beautiful definition to your lips and can even be used to reshape or thicken lips. Liners are also paramount when using a darker shade as they provide a barrier and prevent lipstick from “bleeding” into the skin surrounding the lips. Lipliner provides a flawless look that strengthens the statement made by dark lipstick.

Stylist applying makeup

When wearing a dark color it’s important that it stays put. Use a lip primer or even a bit of your foundation or concealer before applying your color. Another way to make sure that there’s color left even if your lipstick does slip away, trying using your lip liner to fill your lips instead of just lining them!

For even more precise application of any lipstick use a lip brush. Lip brushes are small and made just for the lip area to truly impart a look of professional application. Lip brushes also help give you more control of the color you choose and using one to apply your color allows a more even and saturated layer of color than smudging it on straight from the tube.

Woman wearing dark brown lip color.

If you’re rocking dark lips, you’re making a statement. Don’t distract from that statement by overdoing the rest of your makeup. Just adding a subtle blush and a great mascara will go a long a way when you’re sporting dark lips. If you want something just a bit more dramatic than that, add a neutral color to your eyelids and a soften line of eyeliner to just the outer corners of your eyes. Be careful not to wear too much eyeliner or too thick a coat of mascara if you want to avoid the goth look.

Creating the perfect pout with a dark lip color can be daunting at first, but anyone can do it. Just having the right color, tools, tips and tricks can create the perfect opportunity to show off your dark side!

Beauty Treatments to Do Overnight

You sleep for eight hours every night (or at least you should), which is a whole lot of time to be doing nothing but sleeping. Why not use that time to get the beauty treatment you need? You don’t have to spend hours in a salon chair to get the look you want. You can perform a lot of the treatments you need while you are sleeping blissfully.

Here are a few beauty treatments to try overnight:

Young girl with white teeth smiling.

Whiten Teeth
You don’t have to wear the bleach trays or feel gel on your teeth all night to get a brighter smile. You just need to brush your teeth with a little baking soda and water after you’ve brushed your teeth with toothpaste.

The reason to do this before you sleep is that you shouldn’t eat or drink for at least an hour after brushing. Limit the treatment to once a week or you could actually strip away more than stains.

Moisturize Skin
An anti-wrinkle cream is just one way to keep your skin looking young and healthy. Moisturizing is another. You can moisturize all night long by running a humidifier in the room. The humidifier puts water into the air, which also puts water on your skin.

Running a humidifier is especially important in the winter when the air is dry, but it is also helpful in the summer when you are running the air conditioner.

Woman applying cuticle oil.

Cuticle Conditioning
It may sound a bit overkill, but the best way to soften cuticles is to apply a rich cream or Vaseline to your cuticles, then wear socks and specialized cuticle gloves while you are asleep. This allows the product to work its way to the nail bed, softening the cuticle without having to trim or cut it constantly.

Thicken Lashes
We’d all love to have thicker lashes. Instead of paying for expensive extensions, you can get them with an easy overnight treatment. Just apply castor oil to your eyelashes with a cotton swap. Put a bit of the oil on your upper lash line, being careful not to get any into your eyes. Do this every night for about eight to 12 weeks, and you’ll have thick, beautiful lashes.

Woman enjoying a deep conditioning treatment in a salon.

Deep Conditioning Treatment
One way to get your hair to look like you’ve just stepped out of a salon is to allow a deep conditioner to do it’s magic overnight. Wash hair as usual, ring out the water really well then apply your deep conditioning treatment generously. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or a tight shower cap and go to bed! Rinse out in the morning and enjoy the compliments!

It’s known as beauty sleep for a reason. Not only does it give your body time to restore itself, but it also gives you time to perform other beauty treatments. Try these overnight treatments to get the results you want effortlessly.