Before I start to tell you about my latest experiment I would like to take a moment and say that I hope you enjoy this little blog. I have had a lot of fun these last few months trying out recipes and there are so many that I want to try out! But time and budget has their say, so I will have to continue to hasten slowly. With that said I can add that I will probably branch out a little and venture into the 17th century as well. I have a big interest in that century and I feel that it's sorely underexposed. And, I have found a 17th century recipe for rouge that uses the shell of boiled crayfish as red pigment. How can I resist that.
What is your opinion, dear readers? What would you like to read about? Would you find it interesting if I wrote more about makeup history in general, not just the 18th century? What about hairstyles?Anything else? I would love to hear your what you think! Here i take the opportunity to tell you that if you are interested in the late Victorian and Edwardian, then I can point you in he direction of The Gibson Girls Guide to Glamor for beauty recipes of that era.
I have another thing to ask you as well. If you find my blog worth reading, could you please consider mentioning it on your blogs/Facebook/or similar? Partly, of course, because I love to find new readers (who doesn't?) but also because this blog is very much a learning experience for me. there is a lot of things I don't know or like to hear others opinions on. And the more I learn, the better this blog will be.
Making an excellent Cosmetic for the Face
The updated recipe
Rice powder 23 gram
Titanium dioxide 6 gram
Dolomite 6 gram
Tincture of Frankincense made out of 2 gram resin
Gum Mastic 2 gram
Gum Arabicum 2 gram
Rose water 50 ml
I did a fair amount of tinkering with this recipe. I substituted Ceruse and bone powder with Titanium dioxide and Dolomite, but I just plain omitted the Hart's horn. At first I planned to add extra of the other ingredients, but in the end I didn't. The Frankincense was a bit troublesome as well. The amount for once, the original recipe is a bit fussy and it could be either 6 gram or just 2. I decided on 2 as Frankincense was a bit costly and it made more sense to use the lesser amount. Then there was the problem of what form of frankincense used, the resin, the tincture or essence? Frankincense is not water soluble, so if the resin was used, then it must have been ground up very finely. I decided to take a chance and use a tincture made of Vodka and resin and see if that would keep the Frankincense liquid. I mixed all the dry ingredients together, poured it into a bottle with Rose water, added the tincture and shook it vigorously. I let it stand for a few days, shaking it now and then before it was time to use it.
I have to tell you, this experiment was a disaster! First; as soon as the tincture came into contact with the rose water, the Frankincense hardened again and left the paint gritty. I was able to ran the paint through a sieve, but that is just a waste of Frankincense. Then the paint was usable, but as you can see on the picture, it looked horrible. Uneven, flaky and when dry so brittle hat you could just brush away the paint. My model's other arm is painted with the much simpler Flower-de-Luce paint and you can see that it looks nice and even.
The plus side was that it smelled wonderful. The Frankincense gave a woody character to the Rose water that made the scent a bot rounded and deeper.
What I would do different
First I would use finely grounded Frankincense, or possibly essence. Ii also think that the flakiness was due to too much Gum Mastic and Arabicum in proportion with the white pigment as a result of omitting the hart's horn. So either I should have followed my first idea of adding extra of the other pigments, of I will have to decrease the amount of the gums. Gum Mastic is expensive, so perhaps just using Gum Arabicum could be a solution.
Will I do it again?
Well, the simple water+alcohol+pigment paint is so easy to use and gives such good result that I don't really feel the need to make this more complicated recipe. However, it annoys me that it didn't work, so I think I will do it again just to see if I can get it right the next time!