I’m sure you’ve noticed: we live crazy makeup times. It’s difficult to tell what’s hot right now. Everything’s on trend.
Unlike the past centuries, where it was quite simple to state the beauty standard of the time, the XXI century seems to have taken all: nude and bold, matte and dewy, fresh and natural or completely over the top makeup …or, as Lisa Eldridge mentioned one time, no makeup at all. But we’re not the only ones who’re difficult to tag… Let me show you!
During the Middle Ages, in Europe, Teocentrism dictated the aesthetic taste. In fact, it dictated every single aspect of life.
The ideal medieval woman, as described by the chronicles of the time, had to be pale, with small lips and nose, thin eyebrows and ears and big eyes and forehead. And I mean huuuge (shaved or plugged) forehead. On top of that, she should be natural. Beauty was a God´s gift, so altering your appearance was kind of sin-ish (except if you were sick, in which case, you were allowed to wear makeup to avoid another sin: your husband cheating on you….).
Spain was quite different to the rest of Europe, though. Part Christian, part Islamic and with a strong Jewish presence since the VIII century till the XV: it was the perfect place for a unique look. They lived crazy makeup and fashion times, as well.
Even though the are physical evidence of women using bleaching agents for both hair and skin following the European/Christian trend, this “ethereal” or “angelic” look mixed with the Muslim and Jewish aesthetic taste.
The philosopher Maimonides wrote about the use of henna and we know that kohl around the eyes was considered the epitome of sexy and sultry.
In fact, during the XV century “morisco style” was real flirty and high fashion. Even Enrique IV, King of Castile and half-brother to Isabel the Catholic, rocked it, regardless religious or political implications.
Back then, just like nowadays, the mix between different beauty approaches happened purely because of the consideration of the “foreign” style as pretty, luxurious and innovative.