Wealthy women in Elizabethan England took this to an extreme, applying a white lead makeup called ceruse to create a ghostly pallor.
One popular skin lightening cream in the 1600s was made of mercury; it promised to remove all dark spots and inconsistencies– but it also removed the top layers of skin!
Women would then cover up these sores by applying more white lead on top.
As you can imagine, this standard of beauty was pretty rough on people’s health—life expectancies for women were a lot lower, and poisonous makeup was one reason why.
The Ancient Greeks loved unibrows.
Ancient Greek civilization was one of the first to try to quantify beauty, with various philosophers and mathematicians (such as Pythagoras) searching for the ultimate mathematical formula for beauty.
A lot of ideas came out of this search, including the “Golden Ratio” and the concept that a beautiful face is composed of perfectly symmetrical thirds. But the Greeks also loved the unibrow!