Think Today’s Fashion And Beauty Trends Are Weird? They Don’t Hold A Candle To These


People can say what they want about fashion and cosmetics, but there are thousands of people out there (myself included) who feel like spending an hour or two in front of a vanity every day is time well spent. After all, slaying takes work, my friends.

But everyday people and beauty gurus alike know that things are getting a little out of hand in the makeup department.

And fashion? It’s no less weird.

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While serving that contour for the gods is always encouraged, there’s absolutely no reason why we should be using spoons to carve out our cheekbones. And how about we leave Kylie Jenner’s over-lined lips (and all things Kylie, for that matter) back in 2015?

But if you feel like our approach to fashion and beauty is bizarre, just wait until you see these vintage trends. Our brows might look like they lead lives of their own, but at least we’re not doing things like this anymore.

1. Pale skin is in, honey.

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We love a good bronzer today, but back in the 18th century, pale skin was all the rage — and I’m not talking about the pasty nonsense I’m rocking this winter. Women in the 1700s covered their skin in toxic lead paint to get that snowy glow. Regular application of this paint bleached people’s skin…and, ya know, killed them in the process.

2. Arsenic on the face? Definitely not a terrible idea.

Someone finally figured out that using lead wasn’t the best approach to skin whitening, so people took the next logical step and started using arsenic instead. Well into the 1800s, cosmetics companies pumped cleansers, toners, and moisturizers full of the stuff, since it promised pale, youthful-looking skin. The downside? Well, arsenic has this fun hobby called “robbing your skin of vital blood supply,” so that’s pretty neat. Aside from death, arsenic enthusiasts experienced baldness and tooth loss. Irony wins again!

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3. Eyebrows? Nah, man.

The next time you’re doodling on your eyebrows before work, take a moment of silence for the Medieval ladies who decided to forego brows altogether. Oh, and eyelashes? They weren’t into those either.

4. Blue blood or bust.

Marie Antoinette was known for her bouffant that seemed to defy the laws of physics, but this queen of all things extra inspired a truly ridiculous trend. Since pale skin was still a sign of wealth and prosperity at that point, people began to covet the look of Marie’s veins. That’s right, folks. If you thought penciling on a mole was too much, her ladies in waiting used blue crayons to look extra veiny.

5. See you never, Colgate.

The practice of teeth blackening was once popular around the world. Known in Japan as ohaguro, young girls painted their teeth black to show potential suitors that they were ready to wed. That didn’t last long, however, since ohaguro was only used by prostitutes and married women after the Edo period came to a close.

In England, the trend was inspired by Queen Elizabeth I’s epic love of sweets. Instead of hiding her not-so-pearly whites, she did what any true diva would do and made her flaws cool. Well played, sis.

6. Eat your heart out, Gaga.

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While Queen Gaga is basically the only royal who rocks insane platforms these days, shoes called chopines remained in fashion throughout the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. They were designed to keep all of those ridiculous skirts from getting soiled while socialites did socialite things. After all, blue veins can’t properly slay if they’re competing with the embarrassment of a muddy hoop skirt. It’s science.

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7. Bombasting. Yep, that’s a word.

Designers today definitely don’t create with mutton in mind, but lamb-inspired looks were the epitome of Elizabethan slayage. Through a practice called bombasting — which had people stuffing their sleeves to make their arms look like mutton chops — ladies and germs ditched their skinny frames in favor of achieving a more well-fed look.

8. No makeup? No problem.

When it came to makeup, England’s Queen Victoria sipped on that haterade. Since wearing makeup was a no-no for Victorian ladies because of its association with prostitutes, clever beauties channeled their inner me by going to absolutely ridiculous lengths to achieve that glow. Instead of wearing blush, they pinched their cheeks to stay rosy.

9. Why have two brows when you can have one?

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Ancient Greek and Roman cuties never wasted time plucking. Instead, they opted for the classic unibrow. Those who weren’t blessed with the gloriousness of a monobrow even rocked fake ones. If this came back, I’d save approximately $36 billion a year on waxing. Let’s make it happen.

10. A trend inspired by animal husbandry? Not screwed up at all!

A designer named Paul Poiret created the 20th century’s most insane trend. Hobble skirts were inspired by that cute thing people do when they bind farm animals’ legs, and they prevented women from taking large steps (and presumably from running away from the whack jobs who were into that sort of thing). And what Poiret had to say about the advent of the hobble skirt is just as warped as the design itself: “I freed the bust, but I shackled the legs.” Everything is awful!

(via All Day)

Listen. The fashion and beauty industries are awesome. Even though runways and salons are often home to next-level weirdness, let’s give ourselves a round of applause for avoiding lead poisoning at all costs. Keep doing you, ladies!

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