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Queen Elizabeth I Was Probably Killed By The Makeup Required For Her Signature Look

Updated 26 Aug 2019 364.7k views14 items

Pale white skin was the signature look for the upper class in the Elizabethan era. Queen Elizabeth I's makeup represented the 16th-century ideal for women, with her porcelain skin representing nobility and earthly perfection. But to achieve that perfection, Elizabeth coated her face in lead, which slowly poisoned her body. That wasn't the only dangerous cosmetic Elizabeth used - she also rubbed mercury on her lips and likely used a mercury-based makeup remover that ate away her skin.

As a female ruler, Queen Elizabeth I was held to even higher standards than her male contemporaries. While battling threats to her throne from Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth lamented that royalty couldn't let a single spot or blemish show. So the queen used more and more lead cosmetics as she aged, reportedly wearing makeup and lipstick an inch thick in her final days. And that's just the beginning when it comes to facts about Queen Elizabeth I's makeup.

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