Roman make-up and jewellery

Make-up and jewellery

Just like modern women, Roman women were very conscious of how they looked, and they used make-up and jewellery to enhance their appearance.  Roman women used make-up to cover imperfections in their skin and also to accentuate natural features.  They applied white-lead (poisonous!) or chalk directly to their skin in the same way that modern women use foundation.  They used rouge to make their cheeks appear rosy, and they lined their eyes with dark black eye-liner (Balsdon, p. 262).

A remarkable amount of Roman jewellery survives and can be viewed in museums around the world.  It is interesting that Pliny complained that some women spent far too much money on their earrings (Balsdon, p. 263).

Below is a video which demonstrates how to make Roman style jewellery.

Link to the references page on this website.

Last updated: 20 August 2017