...and we are with Queen Cleopatra again... Cleopatra's Beauty Secrets - Natural Homemade Beauty Recipes of Cleopatra I. Cleopatra's Beauty Regime Portraits of Queen Cleopatra, living in the first century before Christ, show that she certainly wasn't a ravishing beauty, but she was obviously attractive enough to attract the most inaccessible and formidable men of her time :-)
Cleopatra also developed the art of self-adornment into a science, aiding her in beguiling her Roman admirers, Caesar and Antony. Moreover, Cleopatra was the first of the high priestesses of an era of cosmetics, and knew enough about the feminine arts of beauty to write a book about it, and to become a STANDARD for feminine beauty!
Not only was Cleopatra a standard for feminine beauty, but all sorts of beauty creams, oils, balms, gels and salts have been based on her. And, on her own dressing-table there undoubtedly would have been countless wooden, alabaster and ivory containers (such as boxes, bottles and vases,) the substances therein designed to add further enchantment to her body.
In addition, Cleopatra adored anything at all to do with beauty (like many feminine ladies of today *wink*) and had at her disposal a small army of perfumers, wig-makers, and sandal-makers - as well as loyal guardians of the royal wardrobe. Yes doves, Cleopatra certainly adored beauty, and her spirit demanded such beauty also in her homes and surroundings.
The lotus blossomed on the handle of her spoon, and her wine sparkled in the deep blue calyx of the same flower. The limb of a lion, carved from ivory, probably upheld the couch upon which she slept. And, the ceiling over her bed was probably a starry heaven that rested upon palm tree trunks - each crowned with its graceful tuft of drooping foliage.
In Cleopatra's living areas, Papyrus stems probably rose from the floor to support the azure roof, with birds twittering on the swaying grass-tops.... Perhaps doves and butterflies flitted across the walls too, and the floors were frescoed with the opulent green of rich marsh-grasses - and with fish gliding among their roots! You'd also have probably spotted somewhere a goose, a gazelle and a fox.
Now my feminine lovelies, let's take a look at the beauty tips and secrets, as well at the beauty regime of Cleopatra....
II. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Beautiful Skin
In Cleopatra's day, the custom of anointing the body with oil, such as ambrette oil (obtained from the seeds of Hibiscus plants,) or fenugreek oil, was essential - due to the hot climate. And, despite Cleopatra's skin being at risk of being constantly scorched by the sun and sand, the beauty of her skin was just AMAZING.
To keep her facial skin clean and beautiful, Cleopatra would wash her face several times a day, using a cleansing cream made of oil and lime (or chalk.) Apple cider vinegar and water was used as a facial rinse, and honey was often applied to her skin as an antibacterial.
Several facial masks were also included in her beauty regime, and were attributed to the superb condition of her skin. The masks were often composed of milk, honey, cucumber, yeast and clay. Warm ass's milk and honey in equal doses was a favorite facial mask of Cleopatra's, as was a clay mask.
To keep her skin smooth and exfoliated, Cleopatra would have her body regularly rubbed and polished with numerous body scrubs – in particular sea salt scrub. Among other ingredients used in Cleopatra's skincare were balsam, cedar, beeswax, calamine, castor oil, aloes, apple cider vinegar, turpentine, goose-fat, dill, fennel, juniper, mint, ginger, antimony, sulfur, red lead and onions.
An effective wrinkle preventative was sometimes applied to Cleopatra's face, and was prepared with beeswax, the gum of frankincense, maringa oil, fermented plant juice and finely ground cyprus grass. Then there was the 'Balm of Mecca,' which was held in the HIGHESTrepute by Cleopatra (as well as all the ladies of the East,) and was used in her beauty regime to render the skin incomparably soft and silky smooth.
Every night before going to bed, Cleopatra would anoint her face and neck with Balm of Mecca (or Balsam of Gilead as it's called in the bible,) which is a resinous gum of the 'Commiphora gileadensis' tree. Then, the following morning, thousands of minute scales would be detached from the skin - from every part in which this precious balm had been applied.
It was also at her bath that Cleopatra anointed herself with this wonderful skincare balm. She'd sit in the bath until she was very warm, then she'd start anointing her face and neck, with an ample and copious ablution - rubbing herself until her skin had fully absorbed the balm. Balm of Mecca would leave Cleopatra's skin incomparably delicate and buttery.
For treating scars, an ointment made from frankincense and honey would be applied daily to the scar. An alternative treatment was to apply a bandage soaked in honey and carob to the scar.
And, here's some natural homemade skin care recipes for you to incorporate into your own beauty regime;
Buttermilk and Fennel Cleansing Milk (for oily skin) 1/2 cup buttermilk 2 tabs of crushed fennel seeds
Heat the milk and fennel seeds on top of a double boiler for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, and let it steep for 2 hours. Cool, strain, and then pour into a bottle and refrigerate. This cleansing milk keeps for 2 weeks.
Cleopatra's Sesame Oil-Pulling Cleanser (For Dry Skin) Apply sesame oil to your face and neck. Then, help to 'pull' and remove the oil from your skin, as well as the makeup from your skin with a washcloth that's been soaked in hot water, and then wrung out. Finish with a apple cider vinegar rinse which is also a wonderful pH Balancer.
Cleopatra's Grape Facial (for over-sunned faces) 1 cup of green grapes 1 tsp of honey
Crush the green grapes to a pulp. Add the honey and mix. Apply to a clean, damp face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse well.
Cleopatra's Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (restores the natural pH balance or acid mantle to your skin) 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar 1 basin filled with warm water
Pour the apple cider vinegar into the warm water. Thoroughly splash your face with the rinse. And, then let your face dry without using a towel. Acne sufferers should try this also, but be sure to start with a perfectly clean face!
Cleopatra's Soothing Cucumber Cream Recipe 1 whole cucumber, unpeeled 1/2 oz of white paraffin 2 oz of sweet almond oil
Cut the cucumber into chunks and purée it in the food processor or blender. Strain the pulp through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Melt the wax in a small bowl in the top of a glass or enamel double boiler over medium heat. As soon as the wax is melted, slowly add the oil, stirring gently. Add the strained cucumber and blend thoroughly.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover with a clean towel. Let the mixture cool very slowly to prevent crystals from forming in the wax. Then, stir mixture once or twice until cool. When the mixture is completely cool and smooth, store it in a tightly capped glass container in the refrigerator. It will keep for two months.
To use in your beauty regime, smooth a bit of cream every night around the tender skin of your face and neck.
Cleopatra's Royal Rose Face Cream 2 oz of almond oil 1/2 oz of beeswax 4 to 8 drops rose oil Vitamin E capsule (optional)
Slowly heat the almond oil, beeswax and rose oil. Beeswax is the thickener, so the more you add, the thicker the cream. It's best to start with just a little. If, after the mixture has cooled, you decide you'd like it to be thicker, simply reheat it and add more beeswax.
If you find that the cream is too thick, simply reheat it and add more almond oil. Moreover, if you'd like to add vitamin E to the cream, cut open a vitamin E capsule and add the gel inside to the cream.
Cleopatra's Mud and Yogurt Facial Pack 3 tabs of fuller’s earth 3 tabs of plain yogurt
Mix ingredients to make a paste and then pat onto your face with gentle, upward strokes. Let the face pack dry on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, rinse off with warm water. Acne Facial Scrub 2-1/4 tsp of yogurt 1-1/2 tsp of fine salt 1 tsp of brewer’s yeast
Mix the ingredients in a glass bowl. Gently massage into your skin (the salt is the exfoliant.) Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Scented Salt Body Scrub 3 cups of fine sea salt 3/4 cup of olive oil 3/4 cup of sweet almond oil Essential oils (as desired) Mix salt, olive oil, and almond oil in a glass bowl. Add an essential oil, such as peppermint, for scent. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar. Massage a tablespoon or two of the scrub onto your skin, massaging in small circles. Leave to sit on your skin for at least five minutes. Then, rinse. Cleopatra's Mint Souffle Mask (for tired skin) 1 tab of ground or powdered spearmint 1 tab of good cold-pressed oil 1 tab of honey
Whirl in the blender until fluffy. Apply to clean skin.
Cleopatra's Antiseptic Honey Mask 1 egg yolk 2 tabs of honey 10 drops of almond oil
Whip until creamy. Store any extra in the refrigerator – and a wide-mouth jar for future use.
Cucumber Facial Mask (for oily skin) 1/2 cucumber 1 egg white 1 tab of lemon juice 1 tsp of mint
Puree everything and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on 15 minutes. Rinse with hot then cool water.
Cure-All Moisturizer Straight olive oil is a very good moisturizer and serves multiple purposes. However, if you can’t stand the smell, add a few drops of essential oil. To soften your cuticles, dip a cotton ball in some olive oil, and then dab on tops of your fingernails and rub in. Moreover, for a great split ends treatment, shampoo your hair, and use olive oil in place of conditioner on ends only. Then, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
III. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Comfort, Hygiene and Cleanliness Since cleanliness was so highly regarded by Cleopatra, taking a bath was one of the most important daily beauty regimes for her, and she bathed frequently.In addition, Cleopatra kept her skin soft and beautiful by regularly bathing in ass's milk and honey.
**And, since the smell of milk and honey represents sweetness and youth, it can also suggest 'delicious young woman!'
Now cupcakes, to make a modern-day version of the Cleopatra milk and honey bath, dissolve a cup of honey in a liter of hot (not boiled) milk, and then pour the mixture into the bath. Dry milk powder can also be added to the bath.
Ideally, the temperature of the bath should be 36-37 degrees, and the bath taken for 10-15 minutes.
Here's some bath more recipes;
Cleopatra's Milk and Honey Bath 1 cup of honey 2 cups of milk 1 cup of sea salt 1/4 cup of baking soda 1/2 cup of red turkey oil Rose or jasmine essential/fragrance oil
Combine the honey, milk, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Then, fill your bathtub with warm water and pour in the mixture. Then, add the red turkey oil and a few drops of fragrance.
Minty Watermelon Bath Oil 1/2 cup of castor oil 1/2 teaspoon of spearmint oil 1/2 teaspoon of watermelon fragrance oil
Simply blend all three ingredients together by shaking them up in a jar. Then it's ready to use. This is a very refreshing and mind-easing blend :-)
Cleopatra's Cleansing Honeyed Bath Salts 1 1/2 cups of Epsom Salts (or rock sea salt) 1/3 cup of liquid honey 2 drops of yellow food coloring 3 drops essential oil (optional, as honey gives off a nice sweet scent)
Take the salts and place them in a bowl with the honey. Stir them together very well (however, it will seem a little sticky!) Add your two drops of yellow food coloring to the essential oil - if you choose to use it. Oils that are good would be juniper, rose or jasmine. Then, take the oil and color mixture, and stir it into the salts, and cover in a bowl for about 30 minutes.
Use 1/4 cup of recipe for each bath, drop into hot running water.
Queen Cleopatra's Romance and Passion Bath Oil 4 drops of ylang ylang oil 4 drops of frankincense oil 4 drops of jasmine oil 4 drops of sandalwood oil 4 drops of rose otto oil
Measure out the ingredients as needed above, drop by drop, and placing them under the flow of your warm running bath water. Then cupcakes, light a few candles, relax and allow your mind to clear of all other thoughts, and just let your senses stimulate your thoughts, as well as to warm your body, mind and soul!
Cleopatra's Silky Facial and Bath Recipe Ingredients for the facial;
1 cup of fresh cucumber juice 1/4 cup of honey 1/2 cup of plain yogurt 6 drops of sandalwood
Mix the ingredients well and apply to your face just before the bath...
Ingredients for the bath;
8 drops of jasmine essential oil 8 drops of fennel essential oil 2 tbsp of jojoba oil
Light a candle, step into the bath and rellaaaax....
Cleopatra's Stimulating Bath Salts 3 tabs of sea salt 3 tabs of baking soda 8 drops of essential oils (choose 3 or 4 oils from these essential oils: cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, fennel, cypress, pine, spruce, juniper, spearmint, peppermint or thyme.) A 4 oz jar
Add the sea salt, baking soda and oils to a jar. Gently shake to mix well.
And, here's a home-made beauty recipe for cooling the body doves.
Cleopatra's Cooling Foot and Body Powder This light, fragrant powder absorbs moisture and fights bacteria – to eradicate perspiration and body odor. It also has an antiseptic and antifungal action.
Ingredients; 1/2 cup of powdered arrowroot 1/2 cup of cosmetic clay 2 tbs of powdered ginger 10 drops of spearmint essential oil 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
Instructions; In a large jar, combine the arrowroot, cosmetic clay and ginger. Cover and shake to mix. Add the peppermint and tea tree essential oils and shake again. You may want to sift the powder through a fine mesh strainer to break up any drops of oil. Store in a covered, dark glass jar (will keep indefinitely.) Apply as needed to feet or body.
IV. Cleopatra Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Beautiful Eyes Cleopatra had beautiful, dark, almond-shaped eyes, which were always outlined with an application of black kohl - or with green malachite. The outline would be applied with a round-ended stick – made from materials such as obsidian, haematite or bronze.
Or it would be applied with the paint bottle's stopper, elongated into a stem to be dipped into the paint. Her eyelids and brows were also enhanced with moistened kohl powder – increasing the beauty and appearance of her eyes by making them look larger.
Another cosmetic used by Cleopatra for enhancing her eyes was black sulphide of antimony (mestem,) and she used this eye-paint to darken her eyebrows and eyelashes. The mestem was rubbed into the edges of the lids and the lashes, then followed the painting of the lower lid and eyebrow. Moreover, Cleopatra believed that eye-paint was an effective preventative for certain diseases of the eye.
As a part of Cleopatra's beauty regime, an overnight eye treatment consisting of goose fat and kohl would be also applied to the eyelids. Or a special paste prepared from galena, lapis lazuli, malachite, honey, ochre and ore was applied. This eye treatment was kept in little bags of linen or leather, and had to be ground on a palette into a fine powder. Then, the powder would be poured into vases or tube-shaped containers - from which it would be extracted and applied with a thin stick.
A favorite eye wash that Cleopatra used was prepared from ground celery and hemp. Moreover, to cool and soothe her eyes, a concoction of ground jasper or serpentine, mixed with water, would be applied to the eyelids. An alternative preparation was made with ground carob and fermented honey.
However, Cleopatra knew that nothing made the eyes more brighter or more beautiful than falling in love! Hence the old Egyptian love poem that went like this;
“Like eye-paint is my desire. When I see you, it makes my eyes sparkle.”
V. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Beautiful Nails, Hands and Feet Cleopatra regularly gilded her nails, as well as the palms of her hands and soles of her feet with an orange or red color – made from henna leaves. Beautiful geometric designs were also applied to her hands and feet with henna. VI. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Beautiful Lips and Cheeks Cleopatra loved to highlight her lips with a vivid red lip color, applying the color with a small cosmetics brush (much like the women of today.) Or, with a little spatula, she'd apply tinted lip gloss. However, in those days tinted lip gloss was made from red ochre and fat - or from one of the plants used for dyeing.
In addition, to give a lovely glow to her cheeks, Cleopatra had rouge applied to her cheeks – made from red ochre, fat and gull resin. VII. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Beautiful Breasts For natural breast enhancement, Cleopatra would massage her breasts with a breast serum containing fennel, fenugreek and dill. These herbs also contain phytoestrogens; natural plant hormones that mimic the estrogen that's found in a woman's body.
Estrogen is also the sex hormone that's responsible for having a healthy reproductive system, as well as for promoting optimum growth in the body. The functions of estrogens can be duplicated by phytoestrogens too, and if you use breast serums containing them, you can experience the growth of breast tissue. VIII. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Smelling Divine From Arabia, traders came to Cleopatra on camels, laden with myrrh, frankincense etc. And, Queen Cleopatra always smelled divine around her man; ONE breath.... and then the endless embrace!
Cleopatra not only loved the art and mystery of compounding perfumes for her personal use, but for medical and physiological use - as perfumes were believed to possess great medicinal, as well as physiological virtues.
So naturally, Cleopatra would use certain aromatics to influence men; to make them feel comfortable in her presence, to increase their enchantment, or to become submissive!
Or, to bring back the precious moment of an exotic night *wink*
How exacting Cleopatra had to be in choosing her perfumes as well; the only scent, for the only one.....In particular, Cleopatra loved the rose, jasmine and myrrh perfumes, and her hair was lavishly perfumed too - yet another component of her feminine attractiveness.
In fact, Cleopatra used perfumes and aromatics just about everywhere - at great cost and in great profusion! In addition, perfumes made from iris, lotus, frankincense, sandalwood, cinnamon and Mignonette were often used.
The oldest of all surviving perfume trade-marks is the ancient Egyptian name of 'Kyphi.' Kyphi was the most sacred of all the religious fragrances, and every night it was offered by the priests in their temples. However, for Cleopatra, Kyphi was not confined to the gods.
In addition, to repel body odor, she's rub little pellets of ground carob and essential oils onto her skin. She also placed little balls of incense where her limbs met.
Here's a wonderful perfume recipe for you to try doves;
Cleopatra's Oriental Nights Perfume (contains natural plant pheromones) 4 drops of sandalwood essential oil 3 drops of frankincense essential oil 4 drops of musk fragrance oil 2 tsp of jojoba oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bottle and shake well. Allow the perfume to settle for at least 12 hours. Store in a cool dry place. Use with caution ;-)
And, a bonus Scent recipe;
Cleopatra's Sexual Energy Oil (also contains natural plant pheromones!) 2 drops of cardamom 4 drops of ginger 5 drops of patchouli 4 drops of sandalwood Dilute in 1/2 oz carrier oil.
IX. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Beautiful Hair Cleopatra was very proud of their hair, and dressed it with numerous ornamented combs and pins. Delicately-carved ivory combs kept Cleopatra's tresses sleek and untangled. And, any hairstyle, whether it involved waves, curls or braids, would be kept firmly in place with a setting lotion - made from beeswax and resin.
Moreover, for special festive occasions, or to protect her hair from the heat of the sun, Cleopatra would wear various wigs and hairpieces made from human hair.
However, despite being a fan of elaborate wigs and hairpieces, Cleopatra still aimed to keep her own natural hair in good condition. And, Egyptian women happened to be so proud of their hair, that when their hair got very long, locks of it would be cut off and then wrapped up for safe keeping - to be buried in their tomb after death.
There were also unguents for preventing grey hairs from appearing– such as an unguent made from the black horn of a gazelle. A unguent to cover grey hairs was made from oil mixed with juniper berries and two unidentified plants. The astringent properties of juniper also stimulated the scalp.
Moreover, the hair-dye used by Cleopatra is credited to Schesch, the mother of Teta, who was the wife of the first King of Egypt. This is also the oldest known prescription for hair-dye!
In order to make her hair grow faster, Cleopatra had chopped lettuce placed on her scalp, or the scalp was anointed with equal parts of cedar-wood oil and fat. She also used deep conditioning hair treatments in her beauty regime. And, here's a recipe;
Cleopatra's Honey Treatment for Dry Damaged Hair 3 tabs of honey 1 tablespoon of good oil (such as olive, coconut or avocado oil, which have been proven to penetrate into the cortex ofthe hair.)
Combine the homey and the oil, and stir for a minute or so until the mixture is smooth. Apply to freshly shampooed hair, and then let soak in for 10-12 minutes. Rinse off the hair conditioning treatment with plenty of warm water.
Hot Oil Treatment for Hair 1 tsp of olive oil 2 tsp of castor oil
Combine the ingredients and warm over a low heat. Then, massage the hot oil treatment into your scalp, as well as all over your hair. Once you're done, wrap your hair in a hot towel and relax with it on your head for at least 15 minutes. Shampoo and rinse out.
Frizz Tamer for Hair 1/2 cup of any hair conditioner 1/4 cup of honey 1 tbs of almond oil
Mix the ingredients well, then pour the mixture over damp hair, working it in well. Leave it on for about 30 minutes for a really good deep conditioning. Wash out with shampoo.
X. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Hair-free Skin Part of Cleopatra's beauty regime involved removing body hair with a razor, although a number of hair removal creams were sometimes used for the same purpose. One such cream consisted of the crushed and boiled bones of a particular bird, that were then mixed with cucumber, gum, oil and sycamore juice.
The mixture would be heated and then applied to the body hairs, presumably to be pulled off when cold, with the hair adhering to it. Tweezers were also used for removing individual hairs. XI. Cleopatra's Beauty Tips and Secrets for Having Fresh Breath To improve and perfume the breath, Cleopatra chewed cachous pastilles. These pastilles were prepared from kyphi (an incense made from honey, wine, myrrh, raisins, junipers, fig leaves, clover, cardamom, sorrel, calamus, galange, rosin, aspalathus, mastich amd asphalt.
Alternative breath freshening remedies were to chew frankincense and herbs, or to chew a piece of mastich branch.
Now, here's a lovely mouth wash recipe for you doves that's good to use before kissing your man *giggles*
Cleopatra's Rose and Honey Mouth Wash 2 oz of dried red rose leaves 8 oz of rose-water 6 oz of clarified honey Immerse the rose leaves in the water, and heat gently on the stove for two hours. Strain and add the honey. This is a very pleasant and useful wash/gargle for the mouth. It also soothes a sore throat.
And, an ideal wash for the mouth and teeth;
1 oz of camphor 1 pint of rectified spirit Tincture of myrrh 10 drops of spearmint essential oil
This is an excellent and convenient wash for cleansing the teeth and for scenting the breath.
Anyhow doves, I do hope you enjoyed my article 'Cleopatra's Beauty Secrets - Natural Homemade Beauty Recipes of Cleopatra!' And, while we're on the subject of Cleopatra's beauty regime, and the art of feminine beauty, you may be interested in my beauty book