Review: Heirloom Haircare 18th Century Rouge

I’ve wanted to share this epic 18th century rouge with you for ages, but I haven’t played Georgian dress-up in such a long time!  However, last week’s photo shoot presented the perfect opportunity.

Given my use of the word “epic,” I suppose you already know how much I love this rouge. I’ve tried some other cosmetics made from original recipes, but had struggled to find a rouge that worked for me, until now.

Abby Cox, best known for being one of the apprentice milliners at Colonial Williamsburg’s Margaret Hunter shop, is the creator of Heirloom Haircare, offering pomatum, powder, and rouge made completely in the original way – no substitutions, no compromises. We’re talking ground up cuttlefish bone and locally sourced Virginia tallow for the hair products, and brazilwood and sandalwood for the rouge.

This stuff is legit.

No makeup on the left; Fully done 18th century face on the right

To apply the rouge, I first did my usual base makeup application, with foundation and cover-up, then shook up the rouge bottle, got a little on my finger, and rubbed it into my cheeks in a circular motion. The rouge blends in wonderfully, although there is some sediment that comes along with, which brushes off cleanly once the rouge is all rubbed in. It feels a bit like rubbing super condensed red wine onto your face….but in a good way….and with great results. I also used it for staining my lips.

The rouge comes in a small 0.5 oz brown bottle, but you need just the tiniest amount to get a good flush. It can be layered for a darker blush, even mottled if you want that 18th century fresh-from-the-country look.

Abby modeling her rouge, pomatum, and powder

I highly recommend the Toilet de Floral All Natural Liquid Rouge & Cheek Stain from Heirloom Haircare as the easiest to use with excellent results, and most historically accurate rouge I have tried. It’s made in limited batches from one of the premier researchers in 18th century toiletries, so be sure to snag yourself a bottle and try it out!

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