I've never come across hair removal in my research of the Tudor era so I just don't know. A dislike of body hair is quite a modern thing in that I remember going to various countries as a teenager and being shocked by women with underarm hair and hairy legs. I'm not sure that Tudor women would have worried about it.

As far as cosmetics are concerned, there is a great fact sheet at http://www.npg.org.uk/assets/files/pdf/exploring-elizabeth/npg_tudor_makeup.pdf on what kind of make-up the Elizabethans used. For a white facepaint they'd mix egg whites, powdered egg shells, Alum, Borax and White poppy seeds. Lips and cheeks were reddened with a mixture of Vermillion (red crystalline mercuric sulphite), Gum Arabic, Egg white and Milk from figs, or a lipsalve made from cochineal. The fact sheet also suggests that Elizabeth dyed her hair red with a mixture of lye, wood ash and water. Nice!


1 thought on “Hi Claire, Just like you I remain endlessly fascinated by Anne Boleyn. I often wonder what it is about this woman that keeps women like you and me so interested in her almost 500 years after her death. I check your site almost daily and most of my questions have been answered here. A little while back I was making sugarwax and then I started wondering if women had any way of hair removal during tudor times. Would Anne have waxed her legs and other parts of her body? Also, I was wondering if women used any form of make-up back then. Love your site! Silvija”

  1. Linda says:

    I remember reading about Cleopatra days they used even stones to remove hair. Sounds painful but I’ve read it more than once. Now that might explain why Anne of Cleves was such a turn off. Don’t bash me since my ancestors on my Dad’s side came from Germany but maybe she didn’t practice the same habits. His dislike seemed to be instant even before greeting her.

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