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Gettin' Gorgeous the Regency Way
By Sandra Scholes
Think of all the beauty products we have at our disposal these days, those professional make-up artists use and endorse, plus new, ingenious creams for keeping the modern woman looking younger despite the rigors of modern life. Back in the Regency era, beauty products were a little more basic and sometimes even dangerous to use. Just as we consider certain looks unfashionable, those of the Regency era had similar thoughts. They deemed freckles and heavy make-up unflattering. There were plenty of products available for those who did not wish to be regarded as unfashionable by polite society, but often ladies purchased raw ingredients and mixed them themselves.
Since freckles were considered unattractive, ladies of the day used several products to temporarily bleach them. One such product was called Unction of Maintenon. It removed both light or dark colored freckles. Using Unction of Maintenon required covering the face completely with elderflower water at night and then applying unction oil. In the morning, the lady would cleanse her face with rose oil (or "oil of rose.")