Roman Makeup Tutorial | History Inspired | Feat. Amber Butchart and Rebecca Butterworth

Roman Makeup Tutorial | History Inspired | Feat. Amber Butchart and Rebecca Butterworth



Discover how cosmetics from the Roman Empire literally changed the face of Britain in the 3rd century in our latest History Inspired Makeup Tutorial.

Fashion Historian Amber Butchart and Makeup Artist Rebecca Butterworth are at Wroxeter Roman City, near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. This time we’re showing you a step-by-step makeup tutorial inspired by real cosmetic artefacts found at Wroxeter.

From bathing to bright blue eye shadow, find out how important appearance was to Roman Britons and see the artefacts that shaped our tutorial. Watch as we use a replica grinder to apply eyeliner to our model Sarah Mhlanga and learn how to recreate the look at home. Our English Heritage Collections Curator Cameron Moffett is on hand to discuss the artefacts, while Properties Historian Dr Andrew Roberts tells us about life at Wroxeter.

To start planning your trip to Wroxeter Roman City, visit:

PRODUCTS USED

BATHING
Olive oil – Tesco

SKIN
Anhydrous Lanolin – Amazon

EYELINER
Crushed charcoal
(Modern alternative: Black Loose Pigment – Sample Beauty)

EYE SHADOW
Crushed Lapis Lazuli stones
(Modern alternative: ‘Rubix’ Loose Pigment – Sample Beauty)

LIPS AND CHEEKS
Lips and cheeks are the same:
Beeswax – Starchild Glastonbury
Olive Oil – Tesco
Red pigment – Sample Beauty

HAIR
Black Wool
Massive darning needle
Wig – Websters Wigs

CREDITS
We would like to thank Janet Stevens for her research into Roman hairstyles, which assisted us in the interpretation of our Roman look.

Photo of Tondo of the Severan family © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro
All illustrated reconstruction drawings © Historic England

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39 thoughts on “Roman Makeup Tutorial | History Inspired | Feat. Amber Butchart and Rebecca Butterworth

  1. Interesting. I was rather under the impression that the average Roman matron was quite heavily made up with lots of white lead all over their face. I wonder if they adapted the look for a modern audience? Top marks to the presenter for getting through all those roman names and sites without sounding like she is trying to speak Martian: other presenters don't do so well (I'm looking at you, The One Show).

  2. I worked as a sheep farmer when I travelled and I was always covered in lanolin. Although I was always perfectly moisturised, it also smelt SOOO bad…

  3. I would agree with this, except the hair, Roman hair was often much more tightly curled and pulled a bit higher on the head.

  4. i think this is jeffree star's follow up to "following my 100-year-old grandmother's favorite makeup tutorial" 😂😂

  5. I wish they would have addressed the fact that slaves would have been doing all the makeup and hair styling as well as the skin scraping and being a bath attendant. The Roman Empire ran on the backs of slaves. But overall, an excellent video. I'll keep this site in mind for future trips to Britain.

  6. So if bathing was a long and involved process, so was it just the middle to upper classes who took bathing to that degree then? I can’t imagine a regular working pleeb to ha e the time for anything like that? Were they just generally dirtier or did they do a less extravagant version of the bathing ritual?

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