VICTORIAN RED LIPS AND ARSENIC
The Victorian Era lasted throughout most of the 1800s. This period of time was known for its technological advancements and for its increased social mobility and with that came new beauty trends that spread from Britain to the United States by word of mouth and publications aimed at women - some beauty trends that would never happen in today’s world.
Not all of these trends were good - many of them had deadly consequences. Some deadly Victorian beauty trends included the use of what we now know are poisonous compounds (arsenic) that women placed on their eyes and skin. These deadly Victorian beauty fads did not stop at makeup, even clothing created hazardous conditions. Until the Victorian era ended and new trends took over, women subjected themselves to these dangers every day - all to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex.
The ideal upper class Victorian woman had facial skin that was unblemished and as white as possible. If their skin was imperfect, they applied lotions, face paints, and even powders. The only problem was this makeup contained things like lead and radium (Arsenic) Of course, they didn't realise lead could cause severe poisoning when leached into the skin, or that radium was radioactive.
Red lips were a hugely popular beauty trend during the Victorian Era. Before commercialised Red lipstick became common, women had to either make the lipstick compound themselves, or purchase lip paint from their local pharmacy or general store. The main dye used to make red lip paint was composed of carmine from the crushed bodies of cochineal insects. The pigments weren't deadly on their own, although some did cause allergic reactions. What really made lip paints poisonous was the ammonia mixed into them when the insects were boiled and crushed. Yuk
Happiness is a new lipstick but not a victorian one.