Beauty Spots, beauty marks and vintage style
Beauty spots hit their fashion peak in the 18th century and the 1950s. If you have no beauty spot of your own, use our vintage style tips to create one.
PLUS: Use our 18th century beauty guide to position your beauty spot according to your inner personality!
Sadly, most people googling for beauty spots these days are trying to remove them. It’s a shame, because a beauty spot is a marvellous thing. It’s the staple of a vintage bombshell look, for a start! But beauty spots have been considered alluring well before the fifties and Marilyn Monroe… even going back to the Roman Empire.
What is a beauty spot?
A beauty spot occurring naturally on your face is a mole by the name of ‘melanocytic nevus’. This fortunately looks more attractive than it sounds! No-one knows quite why a little spot on your face has been invested with such allure over the centuries. Perhaps it’s because beauty marks draw attention to the eyes, cheeks and lips to give them increased visual impact.
Dita Von Teese wins. Again.
Roman women applied their beauty spots with kohl. Alternatively, they pasted tiny alum leather patches in both round and cresecent shapes onto their face. They did this to conceal blemishes, in patterns which became increasingly intricate. A bit like face lace today!
Beauty spots were, however at their most popular in the 18th century, in Marie Antoinette’s day, when they were worn by both women and men.
Those incorrigible 18th Century aristocrats used fake beauty marks to:
- Accentuate features
- Hide facial blemishes
- Display political affiliations
- Draw the eyes back down from their powdered wigs!
Regency beauty spots were either applied via a pencil or appliqued onto the face in varied styles including dots, hearts, stars and crescent moons. Unfortunately, necessity was the mother of invention: even the well-to-do figures of the Regency period were riddled with smallpox scars and disfigurement caused at least partially by foundation powder containing mercury and lead. A slyly-placed beauty spot could hide all that.
The positioning of beauty spots was considered a fine art, and Madame Du Barry, one of the courtesans of Louis XV, is said to have defined the meanings behind beauty spot placement like so:
- Cheek – flirtatious
- Corner of the mouth – kissable
- Forehead – haughty
- Laughter lines – playful
- Upper lips – mischievous
- Lower lips – discreet
- Eye – provocative
- Nose – impudent
Jean Harlow, we love you.
Beauty spots made a comeback in the fifties. Norma Jean Baker was born without one, but Marilyn Monroe wore hers on her cheek, and a post-war craze was born with stars like Elizabeth Taylor following suit.
We now consider beauty spots to be synonymous with pin-up girls and vintage bombshells, but as stud piercings begin to echo beauty spot placements there’s room for this durable style to evolve.
How to create a fake beauty spot
You can easily create your own beauty spot with a Kohl pencil or black eyeliner by choosing your position, pressing down firmly and rotating the nib on the spot.
You can also go with a durable liquid eyeliner which reduces the risk of smudging. Felt tip eyeliners give you good control of the pen, ideal for beginners.
Lastly, you can buy fake stick on beauty spots online which allow you to experiment and have fun to see what works for you.