Thursday, August 12, 2010
Cosmetics and Regency Ladies by Guest Blogger Amy Corwin
You're going to like this author, folks. Join me in welcoming Amy Corwin to the blog. Amy, I love this!
If you’re like me, you’re always fascinated by potions, lotions and cosmetics. Maybe it’s the idea that you can stave off the effects of time and find that perfect solution that will let you—finally—catch the attention of that guy you’ve been lusting after. Maybe it’s just the fun of pampering yourself for a few minutes out of your busy life.
In any case, this idea is not new. Throughout history, women (and men) have created cosmetics to smooth their skin and make them attractive to the ones they desire.
So it’s not surprising to discover that Sarah Sanderson, the heroine of the historical romance, The Bricklayer’s Helper, is desperate to find that elixir that will dissolve years of sun damage and make her beautiful. However, Sarah is not your typical Regency lady, and a good face cream is more of a necessity than a luxury. She’s lived a hard life as a bricklayer’s helper for more than a dozen years, and it has left the inevitable marks on her face and hands.
You see the character of Sarah is based upon a real Regency woman who, after being orphaned at an early age, decided it was better to live as a man and find honest work then live on the streets as a prostitute-one of the few jobs open to females alone in the world. So like that brave woman, Sarah labors hard outdoors for thirteen years until the person who murdered her family discovers her identity.
However, when she enlists the aid of an inquiry agent, William Trenchard, she soon finds herself in the awkward position of wishing to make herself more attractive to the man she’s trying very hard not to fall in love with.
So, what would she do?
Her first stop might be the ladies’ magazine, La Belle Assemblée. This wonderful periodical often had recipes in it for skin lotions and tinctures, as well as descriptions and pictures of the latest fashions. Herbals were also full of natural remedies. Some, like rose water, are still in use today by those who enjoy making their own beauty supplies.
The following is a recipe Sarah would definitely use to fade her unbecoming tan and make herself more beautiful to her handsome hero, William.
Crême de l’Enclos
Use this every morning and night to remove a tan.
Take half a pint of milk and mix with the juice of a lemon and a spoonful of white brandy. Boil and skim of all scum. When cool, it is ready to use.
I’ve been tempted to try that, myself, as gardening has created a few brown spots that I’d love to get rid of. Lemon juice as historically been used for fading spots and lightening hair, so it’s not surprising to find it used in this lovely Regency potion.
And now, here is an excerpt from Sarah and William’s story…
Book: The Bricklayer’s Helper
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publisher website: http://www.thewildrosepress.com
Release date: Aug 6, 2010
Author: Amy Corwin
Author website: http://www.amycorwin.com
In this scene, Sarah has pushed William a little too far and she’s about to get everything she deserves…and then some.
Excerpt from The Bricklayer’s Helper
“Get back into bed, or I’ll put you there.”
Her eyes turned silver as she studied him, her head cocked to one side. “If you think you can, I recommend you try."
“I don’t foresee any difficulties,” he said, striding toward her. After all the stabbing and head-bashing, he thought she’d have enough sense to stay abed.
Obviously, he was wrong.
He deliberately came to a stop mere inches from her, hoping to discomfort her at least half as much as she had discomforted him since their first meeting.
She stared at him, her chin thrust out at a mutinous angle. Although she blinked a few times, she didn’t back away.
Her eyes blinked more rapidly.
So he did the only thing he could think of that would put the fear of God into her soul.
He leaned nearer and kissed her.
Amy, thanks for coming. Your book sounds absolutely fabulous, and I think I'll try that potion myself. The stuff my dermatologist gave me didn't do much good to get rid of spots. If I have good luck I'll report back.