WILDE IN LOVE with 18th Century Makeup Patches

We need to talk about 18th-century makeup. While reading Eloisa James's RT Top Pick, Wilde in Love, I learned about women's "patches." Apparently it's a beauty trend that was quite popular among the many ladies looking to court the book's hero, Lord Alaric. As the women flocked Lord Alaric at a house party, the heroine Willa observes,

"Patches had been applied to women's faces with such abandon it was as if the skies had showered scraps of black silk."

WILDE IN LOVE by Eloisa James

I'd never heard of such a thing before (though of course it's possible I managed to miss the reference in other historical romances), but through context clues I gathered that these "patches" were bits of black silk that women applied to their faces. Naturally I had to know more ...

After googling "18th Century makeup patches" I fell down a glorious rabbit hole of illustrations and tutorials. Basically, patches act as a temporary mole for women who were born without. There are even maps (yes maps!) that explain where the patches can be applied and what that represents. Think of it as contouring ... but for beauty marks.

18th Century Makeup Patch Instructions

Of course, patches acted as more than false moles. Think of them as the 18th-century version of concealer. Due to smallpox outbreaks, many women were left to find creative ways to cover marks on their skin. A beauty patch could create the illusion of a mole, while actually covering the unpleasant color of a healed pockmark. It also worked just as well for pimples, should you be so unlucky to experience an outbreak before the ball!

18th Century Makeup Patches

Source - {{PD-USGov-Congress}}

Since society still lauds the beauty of a well-placed mole (shout out to Cindy Crawford!), I can totally understand the hype of beauty patches. Some women today lay for 90 minutes while an aesthetician applies extensions to their lashes, 18th-century women were glueing bits of silk to their faces.

Cindy Crawford Pepsi ad

Source / Gif Mania

Not to be outdone by the women of the 18th century, I went searching for some patches of my own. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the 21st century version of the beauty patch — false freckles! I found these bad boys on Amazon and have zero regrets:

Temporary Freckle Tattoos

Wilde in Love  will be available in digital and print on October 31. Digital copies start at $6.99, grab yours here: Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo. And for more romantic reads, be sure to check out our Everything Romance page!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and purchase an item from the vendor, we receive a percentage of the profit (even if you don't buy the item we've linked to). Thank you for supporting RT Book Reviews!