Did women wear makeup in the Old West?

atm-logoDid women wear makeup in the Old West?

Bill & Patty Hassoldt
Addison, New York

Despite the fact that facial makeup has been around since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians, with the exception of the “painted ladies of the evening” and stage performers, makeup didn’t really become fashionable in America until the 20th century. That’s when entertainers like actress Sarah Bernhardt helped popularize women’s makeup. Then the movie industry gave it a boost.

If Hollywood portrayed frontier women and men as they really looked, viewers would probably be sorely disappointed. Somebody who had just gotten off the stagecoach after a
15-day cross-country ordeal with no opportunity to bathe wasn’t exactly photogenic (or sweet smelling).

 

***
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian.
His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.

If you have a question, write:
Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008,
Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at
marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu

Related Posts

  • women-of-the-wild-west

    The great female shortage, that was one of the dominating, formative and frustrating facts of…

  • Boudoirs to Brothels_The Intimate World of Wild West Women

    Women of the wild West were tough. Michael Rutter’s Boudoirs to Brothels: The Intimate World…

  • mtrimble

    Did Old West folks wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun? David Fuller…