Historical Beauty Practices That Will Horrify You – Part II

If the horrifyingly historical beauty practices in part 1 of this set of articles didn’t shock you enough, you’re in for a treat!  We’ve saved the very best for last.

In case you missed our first article, the beauty practices below were considered quite the fashion back in ye olde day.  And you thought today’s trends were bad…

Flammable Hairstyles

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

We can think of few worse smells than that of burning hair. This didn’t stop women in the 17th century from wearing elaborate, mile-high hairstyles. Of course, back then, most places to which they’d wear these styles were lit by candle chandeliers.

This clearly heightened the risk of one’s hair catching ablaze, and that doesn’t sound attractive at all.

Literal Rats’ Nests

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

In the 18th century, some of those tall hairstyles were built up with products such as lard. Yes, women would use animal fat on the creation of their incredible coifs.

They might also not wash their hair for weeks at a time, which could occasionally lead to pest infestations.

Laundering with Lye and Urine

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

The Athenaeum

Laundry was once washed with a combination of lye and urine. Of course, urine is sterile, and it does also contain ammonia, but we’re having a hard time imagining the smell.

It may remove stains, but it seems it’d likely be quite a pungent agent for doing so.

Super Shiny – and Toxic – Shoe Polish

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

In the early 20th century, many popular shoe polishes contained an ingredient called nitrobenzene. While it certainly made shoes shiny, it also had a ghastly side effect – it was extremely toxic.

Not only could exposure to the fumes cause fainting, but accidental ingestion or absorption could also even result in death. Maybe having super-shiny shoes isn’t quite worth it.

Mercury for Cold Sores

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

As you likely know, mercury is highly toxic. Still, in the past, people would use it to cure cold sore outbreaks.

One over-the-counter treatment containing a small amount of mercury was even still readily available in the U.S. up until 1998.

Lysol for Feminine Hygiene

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices


Yes, you read that correctly. Back in the late 1920s, Lysol was actually marketed as a feminine hygiene product. Ads produced by the company suggested creating a diluted solution and douching with it to prevent odor and infections. (As one might guess, these were also quite sexist ads.)

Some women also used Lysol as a form of birth control – yes, really. Post-coital douching was a popularly used method to prevent unwanted pregnancy, however ineffective as it was. (Newsflash: it’s not at all an effective contraceptive.)

Of course, using Lysol to freshen up your lady parts isn’t such a good idea. Luckily, the medical community later began discouraging such uses of the product.

X-Ray Hair Removal

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Forget waxing, sugaring, or shaving, in the early 20th century, some women would opt for x-rays. And yes, it’s as harmful as it sounds. Some patients would be exposed to the harmful rays for as much as twenty hours.

Sure, this made their hair fall out, but with one not so insignificant caveat – it gave them cancer.

Sulfur Facials

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Freckles, as trendy as they may be now, used to be considered an unsightly flaw. In order to rid oneself of them, some people would rub sulfur into their skin.

In fact, you may still see home remedies for the removal of freckles that suggest using onion to do so. This is, of course, because of the naturally occurring sulfur content found in them.

Someone Else’s Teeth

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices


The teeth of deceased soldiers used to be repurposed to make dentures for the living. Pretty gross, huh? With tooth decay being quite rampant in the 19th century, the demand for false teeth was rather high. What better way to keep up with the demand than to simply use dead people’s teeth, right?

Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, there were quite a lot of casualties. Therefore, scavengers and surviving soldiers would simply yank teeth from the dead and sell them to dentists.

The dentists would then fashion these real human teeth into dentures. These are now often referred to as “Waterloo Teeth.”

Combustible Hair Combs

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices


If you think cheap knockoffs are a problem today, you should see some of the ones from the 1800s. Some tortoiseshell combs back then weren’t actually made from tortoiseshell at all.

Instead, they were created using an extremely volatile celluloid compound. This highly combustible, unstable material could go easily go up in flames if exposed to heat.

Radium Haircare Products

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices


What better way to “restore” your hair than to treat it with a radioactive substance, right? Yes, at one point in time there were people who believed products with radium would rid them of gray hairs.

Haircare products weren’t the only things laced with the incredibly hazardous substance either. Radium firms claimed that small amounts of the radioactive element could be beneficial – even beautifying.

Thus, an entire industry was born. Face creams, cosmetics, soaps, and even some grocery products were infused with the substance. Even radium-laced lingerie was once a thing and was said to improve the wearer’s sex life. Yikes.


Historical Beauty Practices That Will Horrify You – Part I


It’s pretty astonishing – if not terrifying – what some people used to do in the pursuit of beauty and/or perceived affluence. Throughout history, men and women both have done some pretty ridiculous things to change their appearance.

We know now that many of these things are quite unhealthy, and quite a few are even downright dangerous. Still, some folks really thought these truly appalling historical beauty habits and hygienic practices would actually make them more attractive.

Get ready to totally cringe at the thought of these shocking trends.

Makeup Containing Lead

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Royal Museums Greenwich

Throughout much of history, being pale was seen a sign of affluence and beauty. As such, white lead makeup stayed in vogue for centuries. Ancient Egyptians and Romans used it, and during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was especially popular in Europe.

Even in the 18th century, the incidence of lead-poisoning was high. That’s because the most fashionable makeup trends still used red and white lead makeup. While the era may have been considered the Age of Enlightenment, the use of these cosmetics wasn’t very bright.

Not only would it cause inflammation, swelling, and all sorts of other side effects, it literally poisoned people. Since it also caused severe skin damage, it became a necessity to cover the damages with more makeup. Therefore, this created a seriously vicious cycle.

Mouse-Hide Eyebrows

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

In addition to poisoning themselves with lead makeup, there were some other ghastly 18th century trends as well.

Some women would pluck or shave their eyebrows off and replace them with false ones made from mouse hide. We think we’ll stick to today’s modern brow kits, thank you very much.

Intentional Gum Disease

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Bad teeth? Why, you must be incredibly affluent! At least, this seemed to be the thinking in the Elizabethan era. Since only wealthy people were able to afford sugar, rotting teeth became all the rage with aristocrats.

Yes, tooth decay was actually a trend – that is, until people realized the downsides like toothaches.

Poison to Dilate Pupils

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

In the 16th and 17th century, some women would use the poisonous Belladonna plant to give themselves dilated pupils. Also known as deadly nightshade, this herbaceous plant is highly toxic and has unpredictable and often hallucinogenic side effects.

However, dilated pupils were considered attractive and seductive, hence why women used these deadly nightshade eyedrops regardless of the risks. The name “bella donna” is actually Italian for “beautiful woman,” a name the plant received thanks to this very use.

The plant has significant cultural and historical relevance as it’s been used for nefarious means as well. It is a poison after all.

Chicken Poop to Cure Baldness

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Once upon a time, some men actually thought rubbing chicken droppings on their bald heads would make hair grow back. Guess what? It didn’t.

Crocodile Dung as Birth Control

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

In ancient Egypt, women would sometimes use crocodile feces as a form of birth control. No, it wasn’t used to disgust their partners into abstinence. They would form it into a pessary.

In other words, they’d make a little tablet and insert it into their you-know-what. Ew. That just seems like a nasty infection waiting to happen.

Urine Mouthwash

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Ancient Romans apparently believed that using urine as a mouthwash would whiten teeth and prevent diseases. And while, yes, the ammonia found in urine does work as a whitening agent, all we can say is ew.

What’s crazy is that urine from Portugal was actually in high demand, and even highly taxed, because of this. (They certainly didn’t use their own, duh.)

Moss for Menstruation

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices

Pads, tampons, diva cups, Thinx – these are all modern-day luxuries. Prior to these inventions, women found all sorts of weird ways to deal with their periods.

That includes using moss. Somehow that just doesn’t seem incredibly hygienic.

Arsenic for Improved Complexion

Horrifying Historical Beauty Practices


As for arsenic “improving” one’s complexion, we’d say that’s certainly debatable. Regardless, in the late 19th century, this was actually a thing. Newspapers in the U.S. advertised “Arsenic Complexion Wafers.”

These small doses of poison promised to clear one’s complexion of pimples, freckles, and other marks.

While folks were well aware of the fact that arsenic is poisonous, it seems some thought small doses wouldn’t hurt. Of course, taking these wafers posed significant health risks.

If you’d like to see even more horrifyingly historical beauty trends, click here to check out part II!


Woman Lives for 99 Years, Didn’t Realize She Had Organs in the Wrong Places

Rose Marie Bentley

If you enjoy strange medical and health tales, then this is one for you.

The five medical students who gathered around a cadaver in an Oregon Health and Science University dissection lab never expected to find organs in the wrong places… But that’s what happened when they examined 99-year-old Rose Marie Bentley’s body.

Rose Marie Bentley

Once in a 50 Million Kind of Gal

After opening Bentley’s chest cavity, Warren Nielson, one of the students, noticed that something was missing. In particular, they couldn’t find the large vein that should have been normally on the right side of her heart.

Nielson called out to the professors, exclaiming, “Where’s the inferior vena cava? Are we missing it? Are we crazy?” He said that they then kind of rolled their eyes. “Like, how can these students miss this big vessel?”

“And they came over and that’s when the hubbub starts”, he continued. “They’re like oh, my God, this is totally backwards!”

Organs in the Wrong Places – Totally Backwards

What they found was that Bentley’s vein was on the left, and that instead of leading directly into the heart the normal way, her vein instead “continued through her diaphragm, along the thoracic vertebrae, up and around and over the aortic arch and then emptied into the right side of her heart”, said assistant professor, Cameron Walker.

And that wasn’t the only strange health-related mystery! Walker continued, “Instead of having a stomach on the left, which is normal, her stomach was on the right. Her liver, which normally occurs predominantly on the right, was predominantly on the left. Her spleen was on the right side instead of its normal occurrence on the left. And then the rest of her digestive tract, the ascending colon, was inverted as well.”

This condition only happens in about 1 out of 22,000 babies and is usually associated with severe congenital heart disease, and only 5-13% live past the age of 5. Miracualously, Bentley never had any heart defects.

Walker believes this is what contributed to her long life of 99 years. She was truly 1 in 50 million, thanks to this, and the other incredibly rare anatomical abnormalities that were found by the school’s team.


What Were These Real Estate Agents Thinking?! Worst House Photos Ever


When posting any real estate for sale online, it is incredibly important to leave a good impression in the minds of buyers who might be interested in purchasing it.

At the same time, it is important that the photos be an honest portrayal – but the real estate agent photos below are a little too honest.

Scroll down to see what I mean – especially the last photo. Talk about a literal pigsty!

Worst Real Estate Photos Ever

The Ultimate in Convenience


While it’s nice to have a bathroom conveniently situated in a home, there is such a thing as too convenient.  And a need for privacy.

It’s a Little Too Loud in Here


Especially for a bedroom!  Isn’t a bedroom supposed to be a relaxing environment?  I’m not so sure they achieved that in this particular photo.



I really hope there isn’t a tv on the far side of the room.  You’d need an excellent pair of blinkers to even see it!

The Perfect Setting


Especially if you’re into making certain types of movies.  I guess.

For Close-Knit Families


This might work for families that are very close, although I’m not sure that any guests will want to partake in that kind of closeness.

Sad Fan is Sad


It must be awfully humid wherever this house is located!

I Hope Those Aren’t Dead Bodies


As if the color scheme and design wasn’t bad enough on its own!

Great If You Like Having Options


I wouldn’t even know where to begin!

Huddled Together For Safety


Safety in numbers is the key to survival.

Time to Mow the Pool Again, George!


This might work if you’re a fan of a more natural environment.

Crime Scene, Hidden


Every good real estate agent knows that you should always hide the dead bodies before taking photos.  This is a job well done.

Ready-made for Satanic Rituals


I can’t say for sure if this will be a great selling point.

Again With the Close-knit Families!


…it seems like they even have a food and water bowl for their pets in between the toilets?  Just, wow.

A Literal Pigsty


I told you the last photo was a literal pigsty!


Keanu Reeves Says He’d Love to Play This Role…

Keanu Reeves

It seems John Wick star and beloved actor Keanu Reeves is interested in reprising a certain role.

No, it’s not Neo, nor is he interested in making Speed 3 either. And we already know he’s soon to return as Theodore Logan in Bill & Ted Face the Music.

Keanu Reeves

He did mention he’d enjoy being in a Western on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Perhaps that serves as a clue?


Actually, Reeves seems the most interested in returning to the world of DC Comics as the warlock antihero John Constantine.

Reprising his DC Role

Though the 2005 film adaptation wasn’t exactly well received, Reeves said he’d “love” to return to the world of Constantine.

“I’ve always wanted to play John Constantine again,” he told Variety in a podcast interview. “I just love that world, too, and I love that character. I just had a blast playing a character and [playing] in that world.”

Though fans of the 2014-2015 TV series may object, it certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea.

DC Comics in Need of Quality Cinematic Content

DC and Warner Bros. have been struggling to produce films capable of rivaling those of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Considering these circumstances, and the success of the John Wick franchise, surely, they might want to consider the proposal.

With Keanu’s resurgence as a seriously hot name in Hollywood, why shouldn’t they give him another crack at the character?

As clearly evidenced by John Wick 3’s massive opening, a Constantine sequel with Reeve’s name attached could be absolutely huge.

Of course, it’s currently unclear how truly feasible this might be, so don’t go holding your breath.


Winner Revealed on Game of Thrones, But Was it Worth the Cost?

game of thrones winner was it worth it feat
HBO | Game of Thrones

We finally have our winner, and it certainly isn’t the fans.


game of thrones winner was it worth it feat
HBO | Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones came to a much-begrudged conclusion Sunday night, naming somewhat-minor character Brandon Stark as King.

Fan-favorite Danerys, who inexplicably went genocidal in the previous episode, was killed off by Jon Snow as her remaining dragon melted the coveted Iron Throne.

Drama Turned into a Sitcom

According to critics, the finale as a whole felt “hacky”, “cliched”, “rushed”, like a “drama turned into a sitcom”. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the show currently has a 6.64/10 average rating.

GoT social media users were equally as harsh. One well-circulated meme has an image of Tyrion Lannister from the final episode asking “Who has a better story than Bran?”

Just underneath are pictures of 20 GoT characters whom most fans probably would have preferred to see take the throne instead.

Bran the Bland

Brandon Stark, aka the Three-Eyed Raven, was a staple throughout most of the series but never a character igniting much water-cooler discussion. The young philosopher’s appointment caused critics and fans alike to sound off on his appointment to the (now-melted) Iron Throne.

Newsday‘s Verne Gay called the move “a bit of a letdown”, while the New York Times’ Jeremy Egner bemoaned that “a Shakespearean saga about power, blood and loyalty” ended with “a wizard being put in charge.”

Twitter user @26_JOKER_KING summed many’s thoughts by tweeting “Bran Stark is the kid in the class project who did nothing and still got an A!”

Even actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, who portrays Bran, couldn’t believe his destiny when he received the final episode’s script. “I genuinely thought it was a joke script,” the 20-year old said. “Like ‘yeah, good one guys’.”

Those who hoped for a warm spring of an ending will now have to endure more long winter until one of the three-rumored Game of Thrones prequels comes to life. Or, hope that the viral Change.org petition (currently with 1.2 million signatures) to reshoot the eighth season is taken to heart.


This Movie Finally Dethroned Avengers in Weekend Box Office

avengers dethroned feat

Avengers: Endgame’s reign at the top of the box office finally came to an end.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum brought in $57.025 million for its opening weekend, besting the Marvel blockbuster’s $29 million haul over the same three-day period. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu finished just behind with a $24 million total.

avengers dethroned feat

The new John Wick film follows Keanu Reeves as the eponymous character, a hitman on the run after a $14 million bounty is put on his own head. Set in Manhattan, the film also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick (The Wire, Lost).

A Future Record Breaker?

While it has a way to go before it catches Endgame‘s $2.6 billion+ worldwide gross, JW III‘s success has already made some smaller achievements.

For Reeves, the weekend was his second biggest, behind only The Matrix Reloaded‘s $91 million in 2003. For distributor Lionsgate, the opening weekend was their highest-grossing for a film that didn’t have Twilight or Hunger Games in the title.

However, the John Wick franchise may still have a future in challenging those hit franchises—in a recent Reddit AMA, director Chad Stahelski hinted that a fourth movie was possibly in the works.

Reeves too, seemed on board when asked in another interview how long he would star as Wick: “As far as my legs can take me. As far as the audience wants to go.”


Gay Sex Scenes in New Rocketman Movie Will Be a First in Major Films, ‘No Holds Barred’

Paramount Rocketman feat

Rocketman will be the first major motion picture to show man-on-man sex scenes.

The film debuted at the Cannes film festival last night and included scenes of men kissing and having sex. At least one of the steamy scenes comes between Elton (played by Taron Egerton) and ex-manager John Reid (Richard Madden).

Paramount Rocketman feat

The scenes’ inclusion ends speculation that the film would be “straight-washed” the same way Bohemian Rhapsody was. The 2018 biopic caught much criticism for depicting Freddie Mercury having sex only with a female lover.

“No Holds Barred”

Scenes of gay romance, especially between men, have been rare in Hollywood.

While Brokeback Mountain broke boundaries (and wasn’t released by a major studio), the scenes between Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were fairly tame compared to the kinds of graphic heterosexual sex scenes regularly seen in R-rated movies.

And based on comments from Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, Brokeback will look even milder in comparison to what moviegoers will see beginning May 31st.

“[The film] has and always will be the no holds barred, musical fantasy that Paramount and producers passionately support and believe in,” said Fletcher.


Game of Thrones Has Been Hiding Secrets in Daenery’s Hair

Daenerys' Hair
Instagram | thedaenarys

Whether or not you’re a Game of Thrones superfan, chances are you’ve seen plenty of Daenerys Targaryen. The “Mother of Dragons” has inspired many a cosplay, and photos of her character are all over the internet.

Daenerys' Hair
Instagram | thedaenarys

What you may or may not have noticed is that her hair style has become increasingly complex. As the series progressed, so too did Dany’s hair.

Blood and Braids

Over the seasons, her hair has become more and more elaborate, and there’s a very distinct reason for this.

Way back in Season 1, there’s a scene that lends a bit of insight to her ever-evolving style. Long before she became the Mad Queen, she explained to her brother Viserys how braids signified one’s triumphs.

“You’ve no right to a braid! You’ve won no victories yet,” she exclaimed during an argument with the narcissistic twat.

Like her former husband, Dothraki king Khal Drogo, Daenerys used braids to symbolize won victories. As evidenced by her progressively intricate styles, we’d say she’s had her fair share of those. Plus, her hair has gotten longer as well – which is also apparently representative of one’s tenacity.

Continuity Gaffe

The show’s eighth and final season, with which many fans have been disappointed, has seemingly been rife with sloppy mistakes. There was, of course, the anachronistic coffee cup that somehow made its way to Winterfell – and into countless headlines. But eagle-eyed fans also noticed another little slip as well.

In the very first episode, when Daenerys first arrived in Winterfell, it seems Emilia Clarke was wearing the wrong wig.

Though she made quite an elegant entrance, some fans were quick to point out the continuity error.


Grumpy Cat, Beloved Internet Legend, Dies at Age 7

Grumpy Cat Dies
Instagram | realgrumpycat

The popular and often-memed internet superstar Grumpy Cat has died.

Grumpy Cat aka Tardar Sauce
JStone / Shutterstock.com

The treasured feline, known for her famous frowning face, died after complications arose following a urinary tract infection. She was 7 years old.

Grumpy Cat’s Rise to Fame

In 2012, Grumpy Cat – whose actual name was Tardar Sauce – became a viral sensation after her photo was posted on Reddit. At less than a year old, she became an instant internet celebrity thanks to a combination of feline dwarfism and an underbite.

Tardar’s family was able to capitalize on this fame, landing a Friskies sponsorship, a TV-movie deal with Lifetime, and more. Overall, she netted her family millions.

Prior to her rise to fame, Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, was a waitress at Red Lobster.

The Death of Grumpy Cat

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the world lost Tardar Sauce. The following Friday, her family posted the sad news on Twitter.

“Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome,” the Bundesens wrote. “She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”

They added, “Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world—even when times are tough.”

While Tardar Sauce may no longer be with us, her memes will surely live on for years to come.

Or, as her family put it: “Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.”

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Some days are grumpier than others…

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