As it is now the summer and for those with families the children have broken up from school for the year and it is now the summer holidays. Deciding what to do in these months of (fingers crossed) sun we can chose to do many different things. For me personally it is a time to let go of stress and focus on myself. As a history student I have been opened up to a whole new world of studying and one of these new studies has been social history. I have been fascinated with how holidays and time off began and what people of the first ‘summer holiday’ thought to do in this time off. For England, the nineteenth century was one of change and development of the Industrial Revolution beginning in the late eighteenth century. Working hours increased but there was a general understanding that an emphasis on the nuclear family was necessary for England and therefore more children went to school and the weekend, bank holidays took on a new meaning.
So what does this all have to do with beauty? Well by the early 20th Century the world saw the rise of fashion brands such as Chanel (1909) and Dior (1946). Now these brands were and still are high end brands, names which probably never left the lips of an average family in Industrial Britain. Women of the eighteenth to nineteenth century would rely on natural products and home made beauty recipes. Some interesting ones I have found including face whitening creams including milk, lemon juice and white brandy!!
I love how the women of England and indeed throughout Europe had their own ways of re-creating a cheaper version of the expensive lotions and potions sold to the upper classes. It makes it all very real when walking into a department store now and be able to think of the journey these amazing high fashion brands have gone and how they have inspired others to join in the world of beauty!