Carmine or Rouge-home-made Rouge-the Art of Applying Colour-lip Colouring-the Use of

Black Paint-make-up for Theatricals

Carmine is generally used instead of the rouge, or red paint, against which so much has been justly said.

Mercury, arsenic, and vermilion have baneful effects on the skin, and a rouge has been known to "pit" the skin in a dreadful manner. Carmine - a preparation of cochineal - is harmless enough, and is not so palpable as rouge.

A Home-made Rouge

A simple home-made " rouge " is made by mixing two ounces of carmine with half a pound of levigated French chalk; but, when the skin perspires profusely and much make-up is put on, a liquid rouge is preferable, as it will not get streaky with heat. A liquid rouge is made by dissolving the carmine in ammonia, and a pure carmine is entirely soluble. Dr. Anna Kingsford's recipe for liquid rouge is:

Powdered carmine

1 1/2dr.

Liquid ammonia

5 dr.

Put this mixture into a stoppered bottle, set it in a cool place, and agitate it occasionally until completely dissolved. Then add, with agitation:


8 oz.

Rectified spirit......

1 1/2 oz.

previously mixed with

Essence of rose......

2 dr.

Lastly, dissolve in the mixed liquid:

Fine gum-arabic

1/2 oz.

and, in a few days, decant and bottle the mixture. Cloudy ammonia is best for this recipe.

Another liquid rouge often used is:

Cochineal, in powder

1 oz.

Rectified spirit.........

2 oz.

Distilled water......

6 oz.

Mix the spirit and water; heat, add the cochineal, and leave for a quarter of an hour on the stove. If too red, add distilled water and filter.

The secrets of success in the use of rouge are three. Be sure to use the tint that looks most natural; use sparingly; tone down with powder. Where liquid rouges and powders are used, the foundation cream is not required, because the right method of applying a liquid rouge is to apply first a basis of " liquid powder," then an extremely small quantity of the liquid rouge, applied on a bit of sponge wrung out of hot water. Ten parts of powdered white bismuth to one hundred and twenty of water is a typical basis for a "lquiid powder." Finally, powder carefully and wipe off any that shows.

A very innocent way of imparting a little colour to the cheeks is to dip the finger in the juice of a boiled beetroot, and apply just where the colour usually is. The petals of a geranium or a rose will also slightly colour the cheeks.


Alkanet root is a harmless colouring which might be substituted for carmine for the lips. Dissolve half an ounce in. three ounces of warm oil. (Place the oil in an earthenware vessel, and stand this in a pan of hot water.) Melt one and a half ounces of white wax and half an ounce of spermaceti in another jar; mix. Perfume with otto of roses. This lip-colouring is also a nice lip-salve, and is almost similar to a lip-salve already given.

A lip-colouring pure and simple is:


4 parts

Strongest solution of ammonia...............

4 parts

Rosewater ......

500 parts

Essence of rose

15 parts

This gives a beautiful cherry tint.

The Uses of Black Paints

It is not wise to use a black paint for daylight wear, as it is always so obvious. Black paints are used for eyes and eyebrows in order to darken the brows and increase the apparent size of the eye. Placed along the upper eyelid and drawn to the comer of the eye and a tiny way past, a line of black paint gives the eye a desirable almond shape. The basis of black paint is lampblack, and of black dyes, Indian ink. A simple way in which very slightly to darken the brows is by one of the two following little home-made devices:

1. Sharpen a soft lead-pencil, and then scrape the lead with the knife till you have a little heap of black fine powder. Apply with a wetted finger.

2. Hold a saucer over a candle until there is a residue of black sufficient to be taken up with the finger or a camel-hair brush. Apply very sparingly to eyebrows or lashes.

Blue paint (lazulite) is used to imitate veins, and is seldom used off the stage.

A Slight Theatrical Make-up

A slight make-up is absolutely necessary to make one look well across the footlights. Grease-paints are generally used. First apply the cold-cream, and then the white or tinted grease-paint. Powder well, and wipe off all that seems too thick. Take the powder or any make-up out of the eyebrows and from around the eyes. Apply the rouge, thinning it at the edges, so that the colour fades off into the tint of the powder. Dabs of rouge are used only by clowns and "comics." Powder to tone down. With a camel-hair brush dipped in Indian ink, or with an eyebrow pencil, mark out the eyebrows; for the eyelashes there is a soft grease-black to be applied with a brush. Mark out the lips with carmine, taking this opportunity to simulate the curve of the upper lip if the lips are thin and straight, or, by bringing up the powder and white paint and using very little carmine, lessening the apparent size of the lower lip if it be too full. No written directions, however, will serve as will practice to enable one to arrive exactly at the desired result. One must make up several times, for instance, before the nose can be treated properly, the amateur being apt to make it either too conspicuous or too trivial when manipulating the white paint. To make-up the hands and arms, which would otherwise appear unduly red, they must first be smeared with cold-cream and then well powdered. If very red naturally, use white paint.

To Hide a Scar One use of grease-paint other than for theatrical make-up may be mentioned here. It is to hide some serious mark which powder will not disguise. A stick in any tint may be bought from a theatrical costumier, and enough is applied to hide the scar. The whole is then powdered. A paste imitating the colour of the skin, for local application in the case of eczema of the hands and fingers is:

Rice powder . .

10 parts


each 30

3 parts

Glycerine J

60 parts

Mix, and reduce by boiling to 80 parts.