Sunday, November 11, 2012

Learning by doing

A large part of this blog is that I am by no means an expert on historical beauty. Passionate about it and interested, but I am constantly learning more and sometimes I need to retract from previous statements, simply because I have learned more, or because I have misunderstood something. Like the following.

Lead white can be substituted with Titanium dioxide. The problem with this statement is that I have never actually tried comparing the two. However, Sally Pointer has and has found that the best substitute is actually Titanium dioxide, corn starch and Talc! She sells that her web shop and I have ordered it to try out.

Cuttlefish bones. Here I stumbled because English isn’t my native language and I naively thought it was the same as fish bones and have this treated it equally in recipes. Not so, which I am sure most of you already know. A cuttlefish belong to the same family tree as squids and octopuses and the “bone” is a kind of porous internal shield, basically made out of aragonite, a crystal form of calcium carbonate. So even if I haven’t been completely wrong with equaling it with calcium carbonate, the texture is different. Cuttlefish bones are easily obtained in pet stores. If you ever kept birds, then you have probably given it to your birds. It’s very easy to ground, given its porous nature, so next time I use a recipe with it as an ingredient, I will try it.

Bismuth. Additional information- I was unsure if Bismuth discolours, and have now learned that it does, it can become greyish. So the recipes from this post seem to indicate that it is Bismuth and not real pearl powder that has been used.

In addition to the Lead substitute I have ordered some bismuth. Just for testing as I am allergic to it, but I plan a post where I test all the white pigments I have to compare them. I would like to see how Bismuth really looks along the substitute I have used, Titanium dioxide with mica. In the same order I will also get some Carmine, so some rouge posts are coming up as well. As with the patch post. I found that the more I looked, the more I found when it came to beauty patches and I have had to stop my research. Not because there aren’t more to be found, but because this is “just” a blog and not an academical paper. It’s turning out both long and picture filled, so it will probably be posted in two parts and hopefully pretty soon.


  1. I did not know you could buy cuttlefish bones in pet stores! If it is prized for being easy to grind, it makes sense that it would be an easy to eat source of calcium for small birds.

    1. My sister had a budgie when we were kids, that's why I know. :) She was a very ill-tempered bird and I strongly suspect she used her cuttlefish bone to vent her feelings...

  2. Dear Isis,

    It's the very fact that you do think, experiment, and rethink that makes your blog one of the neatest to read around.

    Not sure about the idea of cuttlefish on my face, but mostly from the squeamish factor: I keep visualizing enormous ship-eating squid...

    Very best,


    1. Thank you, Natalie!

      Most recipes have been for hair powder, but if it helps I can say that cuttlefish is much smaller and cuter than ship-eating squids. ;)

  3. I find the topic of historical costume and dress tremendously interesting, and have studied it since I was a youngster, but aside from my daily mid-twentieth century outfits, haven't really ventured into wearing historical costumes much. I think that as time goes on, I will though, and would love (as a starting point of sorts) to have an period appropriate outfit from both the 1700s and 1800s. I love blogs like this which are rich in invaluable information pertaining to the past, and will be reading it from here on out, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. It's great fun making historical clothes, but rather time-consuming... My list of project is ever-growing. :)

      I hope you will enjjoy reading this blog!


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