"Unlike other women of her time, Elisabeth used little cosmetics or perfume, as she wished to showcase her natural beauty, but she tested countless beauty products prepared in the court pharmacy, or prepared by a lady-in-waiting in her own apartments, to preserve it. Although one favorite, "Crème Céleste", was compounded from white wax, spermaceti, sweet almond oil, and rosewater; she attached far less importance to creams and emollients, and experimented with a wide variety of facial tonics and waters, from which she apparently expected more results. Elisabeth slept without a pillow on a metal bedstead, all the better to retain her upright posture, with either raw veal or crushed strawberries lining her nightly leather facial mask. She was heavily massaged and often slept with cloths soaked in either violet- or cider-vinegar above her hips to preserve her slim waist, and her neck was wrapped with cloths soaked in Kummerfeld-toned washing water. To further preserve her skin tone, she took both a cold shower every morning (which in later years aggravated her arthritis) and an olive oil bath in the evening.
After age thirty-two, she did not sit for any more portraits, and would not allow any photographs of her to be taken, so that her public image of the eternal beauty would not be challenged. The few photographs that were taken without her knowledge show a woman who was “graceful, but almost too slender”."
Uploaded: Jul 20, 2017