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Crocodile Poo & Other Daring Ways to Attain Beauty
Down through history, men and women have gone to some extreme measures to make themselves attractive. Even today, some will do some crazy things to try and make themselves appealing to someone they are attracted to. Some of these daring and potentially dangerous beauty practices are ancient, some are used today. If you are writing historical fiction, one of these practices that took place during the time of your story would add great interest and authenticity to it. If your tale takes place in modern times, you could revive one of the ancient practices or incorporate one that is being used today into your story.
What does crocodile poo have to do with beauty? Would you climb in a bath of warm mud mixed with crocodile poo if you believed that it would keep you from aging? The ancient Greeks and Romans believed in this treatment so much that they would soak in these baths for hours.. But it didn't end there. The rich were known to make face masks out of the excrement. My thought on this? Yuck! I don't think so.
Ancient Japanese women longed to whiten their skin. The geishas would apply a paste to their face to lighten the skin color. This paste would be applied over the entire face, on the lips, on the eyelids, and even up the nostrils. What was this paste made of? The two main ingredients were rice flour and bird droppings.
How about poo from nightingales? Would you consider smearing it on your fact? I wouldn't, but apparently plenty of women will. This isn't an ancient fad; it is one in vogue today, although I'm sure that nightingale poo was used in the ancient paste of rice flour and bird droppings. The nightingale facial, made popular by the Japanese, is supposed to whiten one's skin and make you look more beautiful. It is also said to heal skin that has been damaged by the sun and other things.
If you were a woman living in ancient Egypt and you had a hot date, what you do for lipstick? You couldn't exactly run to the corner drugstore and buy a tube of it, nor could you call your Avon lady and hope she had some handy for you to purchase. One way to get your bright red lipstick, was to go out and capture some ants and some beetles. You would also need to visit the beehive and borrow some of their beeswax. Now that you have all of your ingredients, what do you do with them? First, you crush the ants. Next you kill the beetles. Mix some of the beetles' blood in with the crushed ants. Now you add some of the beeswax. Voila! You have some bright red lipstick for your night out.
If the thought of crushed ants and beetles' blood on your lips grosses you out, you do have one more option for your lipstick. To make your lipstick this way, you need to go out and get some of each of the following: red clay, iron oxide (yes, that is rust), henna, seaweed, iodine, and bromine mannite. Mix these ingredients together and you have your red lipstick. There is a problem with this lipstick, though. Bromine mannite is extremely poisonous. If you and your date make out, it could have fatal results.
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