Косметика: inside secrets of Soviet beauty routines

by Tanya  

In Soviet Union лёгкая про­мышленность “light industry,” including парфюмерная про­мышленность “perfume industry,” were not developed at all, as many might know. But every woman wants to be beautiful, in any country or place. So, how did the Soviet women go about it? Well, the lucky ones could get Polish make-up, which is of highest quality (at least, was :D). Polish make-up and skin care was easy to get in Moscow or Saint-Peterburg, not in the rest of Russia. So a lot of times ladies relied on nature's gifts. For example, beets were used for rouge and lipstick sometimes! Raw or boiled beats, and their color looked natural and pretty, like the color of your own cheeks. For eyeliner sometimes mashed coal was applied with a sharpened end of a match, and boiled onion skins (отвар из шелухи лука) were used to dye hair. Also skin creams were made at home often, with herbs, flowers, honey, berries, fruits, etc. Календула marigold was used to clean the face, then tonic из ромашки “made from chamomile” was applied, and then home made creams, from ромашка chamomile, жень-шень ginseng, rose petals or petals of other flowers, etc. Маски из тёртого огурца и клубники “masks made of ground cucumber and strawberries” were very popular; they made the skin bright and translucent. Faces looked pretty, but very natural, as if no make-up was applied at all.

The only thing that was hard to get from nature was тушь mascara. The most popular one in Soviet Union (maybe, even the only one made within the country) was from Saint-Petersburg's perfume factory. It was a little brick, of very hard consistency, which needed water to make it soft and applicable to eyelashes. Ресницы выглядели слипшимися от такой туши! But of all Soviet women's dreams, French mascara was beyond the wildest imagination of average Soviet woman; only privileged wives of government officials, and some artists who traveled abroad, could get this luxury, as well as French parfum (французские духи), which is considered the best in the world in Russia, even to this day.

In my wildest dreams I could not imagine, growing up in Soviet Union, that one day I'd have all these unimaginable things among my possessions, French mascara, French perfume, all the good make-up! But something else I understood also. Some places women have all these wonderful make-up things, but still… something's missing. What is it? I understood that amount of beauty does not equal to quantities of make-up available… what is it then, the secret behind being beautiful? Genes? Good taste? The ability to make make-up “play” on your face? Or is it only inner beauty that shines through and beautifies the outside? Any opinions? :D


Comment from: Жанна [Visitor]

You are very right- it would certainly have to be the inner beauty! However, if one is going to wear make-up, it MUST be applied properly! ;) Take it from someone with a make-up obsession: the more you have, the more you want… but that doesn’t mean the more beautiful you look!

04/28/09 @ 05:21
Comment from: care [Visitor]

Throughout the centuries, legendary beauties have used honey as part of their skin and hair care treatments. The famous queen of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, is describes as a woman of exceptional beauty. History informs us that Cleopatra used a mixture of fresh milk and honey in her bath. The legendary queen of the Nile maintained her skin soft, smooth and shiny owing to the skin-enhancing qualities of honey.

04/27/09 @ 23:07

Form is loading...