The Bloom of Ninon

DELICACY of Complexion.—The incomparable BLOOM of NINON DE L’ENCLOS, superior to any thing yet discovered for rendering the skin soft, smooth, and beautiful in the extreme. Its wonderful effects in removing freckles, morphews, worms, &c. justly entitle it to that preference so long bestowed on it by the most elegant …

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Empress Josephine Face Bleach

In a testimonial included in another Empress Josephine Toilet Co. advert, “Mrs Jos. C. Morton” wrote: Some years ago I ruined my skin and complexion by the use of worthless face powders. Pimples would raise up in large lumps all over my face. They oft times resembled more closely a …

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Dr MacKenzie’s Improved Harmless Arsenic Complexion Wafers

‘Dr MacKenzie’ was one of several brand names attached to arsenic products – similar ‘wafers’ (pills) were sold under the names Dr Simms, Dr Rose and Dr Campbell. The wafers made the skin fashionably pale by destroying red blood cells. Although it was possible to build up a tolerance for arsenic by …

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Alex Ross's Complexion Globules

This double advert shows only a fraction of the cosmetics range sold by Alexander Ross. He sold several products for the hair, including his famous Cantharides (Spanish Fly) Oil for curing baldness, and Golden Hair wash that turned the hair “a golden colour after a few usings.” Other products included …

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Tricosian Powder, Huile de Cachmere, etc.

As someone with a “countenance of moderate pretensions,” I can see the allure of some of these products …                                         TRICOSIAN POWDER.    For rendering Red or Grey Hair and Whiskers a beautiful                                    Black or Brown. THIS POWDER, which is a very curious dis- covery in Chemistry, will …

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Cosmeticon

This is another of the ads from Defoe’s A Review of the Affairs of France, which I have mentioned previously. COSMETICON:    A    most     excellent     wash to Beautifie the  Face,  &c.,  rendring  the  Skin sur- prisingly white and  clear:  It  takes  away  all  Hard- ness,  Tan,  Sunburn,  or  other  Discolourings:   All Morphews,  Scurfs,  …

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Crinilene

                   Image: Whiskerandos, by John Leech, 1854. Courtesy of the John Leech Sketch Archives from Punch               LUXURIANT HAIR, WHISKERS, EYEBROWS, &c.      THE   TESTIMONIALS   daily   received   by   Miss   DEAN establish  the  fact   that   CRINILENE  is  the  only  preparation  that can be perfectly relied upon in  producing  those  acknowledged  orna- …

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The Royal Essence for the Hair

 This is the oldest advert featured on The Quack Doctor so far – it’s from a 1705 edition of Daniel Defoe’s periodical A Review of the Affairs of France. Defoe began the publication in February 1704 as a weekly opinion piece, but by the time of this example he was publishing …

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Alfred's Royal Composition

  Image: Portrait of Madame Récamier, by François Pascal Simon Gérard   FEMALE ATTRACTION TO    obviate    the    unpleasant    sensation    experienced    by those    Ladies    who    may    have    SUPERFLUOUS     HAIRS growing  on  the  Face  or Arms, and to render their persons more lovely   and   attractive,   …

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Butler's Vegetable Restorative Tooth Powder

Image: Le Baume d’Acier by Louis Leopold Boilly. Courtesy of the US National Library of Medicine. BEAUTY, HEALTH, and a PEARLY SET of TEETH, may be preserved to old age, by the use of BUTLER’s VEGETABLE RESTORA- TIVE TOOTH-POWDER, a specific for the Tooth Ach, and its cause, the Scurvy …

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