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Brush Up On These 10 Facts About Blush

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As with most things makeup, ancient Egyptians set the trend. To offset their kohl-lined eyes, both men and women would dab on a reddish-brown pigment called ground ochre. (They also patted the powder onto their lips, perhaps creating the first two-in-one cosmetic.) Ancient Greeks followed suit, using the juice of crushed mulberries. And that was just the start of face rouge’s colorful history. Read on to discover more.  

1. GETTING THE PERFECT ROSY GLOW COULD BE DEADLY.


Wealthy Romans used lead compounds to lighten their skin, and then added a pigment called vermilion, made from a powder form of the mineral cinnabar. The look was costly: both materials were incredibly toxic.  

2. THINGS DIDN'T GET MUCH SAFER DURING THE MIDDLE AGES.

To score the coveted pale complexion—seen as sign of wealth—European women would undergo a process called bloodletting to drain out their blood. To highlight their hard-earned pallor, the ladies would dab on a cheek tint made from a mix of strawberries and water.

3. QUEEN ELIZABETH I WAS BIG ON BLUSH …

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Unfortunately her coverage of choice had some downsides (to say the least). To achieve that coveted lightened complexion (yup, still in), women would apply something called ceruse, made from mixing lead paint and vinegar. Then they added a dab of rouge, derived from mercury sulfide. The combination of toxic products would eat away at skin, forcing the wearer to apply even more coats in order to cover up the damage she'd done.

4. … BUT QUEEN VICTORIA BLASTED IT AS UNSEEMLY.

In the 19th century, Britain’s monarch declared makeup as vulgar—only to be used by actors and prostitutes. Behind closed doors, however, young women would pinch their cheeks and dab on beet juice for a more subtle flushed appearance.  

5. FOR ONE WOMAN, ROUGE WAS THE PERFECT RUSE.


In 17th century Italy, Palermo-born Giulia Tofana peddled a so-called complexion aid she dubbed Aqua Tofana. The mix of arsenic, lead, and belladonna (a deadly plant) was marketed to women trapped in unhappy marriages as a way of dispensing with their spouses. Disguised as either a powdered makeup, or hidden in a tiny vial, the flavorless poison could be mixed into any food or drink and left no trace in the bloodstream. Tofana later claimed to have helped poison roughly 600 men between the years of 1633 to 1651, though some of her clients said the deaths were accidental, insisting they really thought they were purchasing makeup. 

6. NON-DEADLY INGREDIENTS (FINALLY) CAUGHT ON IN THE 19TH CENTURY.

The 1825 British guide The Art of Beauty criticized both harsh red shades—“With very few exceptions, ladies have absolutely renounced that glaring, fiery red, with which our antiquated dames formerly masked their face,” the tome stated—and the “dangerous reds” made from lead and cinnabar. Instead, the book advised readers to make use of what they called vegetable reds: “Red sandal wood, root of orchanet, cochineal, Brazil wood, and especially the baster saffron, which yields a very beautiful colour, when it is mixed with a sufficient quantity of talc.”

7. THE FRENCH HELPED PERFECT IT.


Alexandre Napoleon Bourjois whipped up the world’s first powder blush—an alternative to the greasy stage makeup used in the theater—in 1863. By 1879, his little round pot of blush became available to the public. It’s still one of the French brand’s bestselling items today.

8. COCO CHANEL MADE BRONZE FASHIONABLE.

After bronzing herself during a Mediterranean yacht trip, the fashion icon declared in 1929, “A girl simply has to be tanned.”

9. TODAY'S BLUSH FORMULAS STILL HAVE SOME INTERESTING INGREDIENTS.

Cochineal beetle extract, often referred to as carmine, is a bright red dye made from ground-up beetles. It can be found in both blush and lipstick.

10. IN SOME COUNTRIES, BLUSH ISN'T JUST FOR CHEEKS.

Beauty addicts in Japan apply rosy blush just under their eyes. The trend—which got its start in the Harajuku community—is said to make features looks rounder, softer, and younger. 

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These Super Realistic Ski Masks Let Your Inner Animal Come Out
Beardo
Beardo

No matter how serious you are about your skiing performance, it doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor on the slopes. These convincing animal masks spotted by My Modern Met make it easy to have fun while tearing up the trails.

Each animal mask from the Canadian apparel company Beardo is printed with a photorealistic design of a different animal's face. Skiers can disguise themselves as a bear, dog, fox, orangutan, or even a grumpy-ish cat while keeping their skin warm. The only part of the face that stays exposed is around the eyes, but a pair of ski goggles allows wearers to disappear completely into their beastly persona.

The playful gear is practical as well. The stretchy polyester material is built to shield skin from wind and UV rays, while the soft fleece lining keeps faces feeling toasty.

Beardo's animal ski masks are available through their online store for $35. If you like to stay cozy in style, here are more products to keep you warm this winter.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
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For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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