5 Beauty Tips & Tricks Every Noble Woman Needs to Know!
by Eleanor of Aquitaine
As the mother of 10 children and wife of a very busy king who is always traveling from one castle to the next all over England and the continent, I don’t have a great deal of time to work on my beauty regime. I need something quick, easy and handy to keep my queenly looks dazzling all day long … and well into the evening. After all, everyone is looking at me.
I love good beauty tips, so I’ve gathered my top get-gorgeous tricks that have worked for me to keep my much-younger husband enamored. You know what I mean ladies. It’s tough after a certain age. So here are my favorite tips to get you looking pretty from head to toe.
How to Have Natural White Teeth in Just Minutes
An unflattering smile can quickly turn any admirer off and then who will want to wear your colors at the next tournament. But to turn your black teeth shiny white again, simply follow this easy recipe. Have your ladies-in-waiting mix ten drams (a dram is just a wee drop) of roasted pumice, ten drams of salt, two drams each of cinnamon and cloves with just enough honey to make a paste. Then place the paste on a plain dish upon coals until they burn, reducing the other spices to a powder. And when there is need, rub the powder on the teeth. Soon you will be dazzling all at court with your smile.
The Secret to Sweet-Smelling Hair
A woman’s hair is her crowning glory and as such, should smell as sweet. To maintain your hair’s marvelous aroma, comb in this homemade powder that you can make from ingredients found in any castle kitchen or garden. Simply take some dried roses, clove, nutmeg, watercress and galangal (a fragrant ginger-like herb). Grind all of these scents into a fine powder and mix with rose water. Sprinkle this fragrant elixir into your hair and comb it with a comb dipped in the same water. Your hair will smell amazing. For extra aroma, make furrows in your hair and sprinkle on the powder. No man will be able to resist your scent.
Follow These Steps for Golden Locks
Golden fair hair is much desired. But sadly, as we age our golden locks can start to look dull. To restore your hair to the luscious color of your youth, take the hull of a walnut and the bark of the tree itself and cook them in water. Then mix this water with alum and oak apples. Once thoroughly mixed, smear the head (having first washed it). Next, place leaves upon the hair and tie them with a bandage for two days. Remove and you will be able to color the hair.
To do so, first comb the head. Then place a coloring which is made from oriental crocus [saffron], dragon’s blood [Dracaena draco resin], and henna (whose larger part has been mixed with a decoction of brazilwood). The concosction should remain on your head for three days, and on the fourth day wash your hair with hot water. Comb out and let dry for golden locks every woman at court will envy.
Or if you prefer…Dark, Mysterious Hair
First the hair is prepared as described above so it is ready for coloring. Then place oak apples in a dish and mix in oil. Burn the two together and pulverize. Then soak in vinegar in which there has been placed a blacking made in Gaul ([atramentum] which is made by shoemakers). Mix all the ingredients and apply to hair for three days. Follow instructions as for golden hair.
The Perfect Whitening Techniques for Your Skin
In the world of beauty, nothing says “high-born” than pale, creamy, white skin. A daily facial application of this cerotum [preparation containing wax] is just the thing to keep your skin looking young and noble. To make your special blend, place oil of violets or rose oil with hen’s grease [fat] in a clay vessel. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Meanwhile, dissolve very white wax and add egg whites. Mix in well-powdered and sifted white lead. Let it cook a little while longer. Strain the mixture through a cloth and let it cool. Once it’s cooled, add camphor, nutmeg and three or four cloves. Wrap everything in parchment. You can apply once the cerotum is pleasing to smell. Under no circumstance, apply any sooner.
How to Keep Your Lips Kissable
Ladies, we often forget to take care of our lips. But at court, they must always look enticing for our husbands and courtly lovers to desire their touch. To keep your lips soft and inviting, use this thick creamy moisturizer you can whip up in minutes. Start with skimmed honey and add a little white bryony, red bryony, squirting cucumber and a little bit of rose water. Then boil the ingredients until the mixture is reduced by half. Once cooled, anoint your lips with this clever concoction. Wash your lips with hot water every morning and night rendering your lips extremely soft. Here’s a bonus: Should a blemish or ulcer appear on your lips, apply this ointment for quick healing.
Source: Monica H. Green, editor and translator. The Trotula: An English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women’s Medicine. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.