Gladiator Sweat

Gladiator Sweat

Gladiator sweat was sold in souvenir pots outside of the games in Ancient Rome.

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Cosmetics, first used in ancient Rome for ritual purposes, were part of daily life for women, especially prostitutes and the wealthy. Some fashionable cosmetics, such as those imported from China, Germany, and Gaul, were so expensive that the Lex Oppia tried to limit their use in 189 BCE. These "designer brands" spawned cheap knock-offs that were sold to poorer women. Working-class women could afford the cheaper varieties, but may not have had the time (or slaves) to apply the makeup as the use of makeup was a time-consuming affair because cosmetics needed to be reapplied several times a day due to weather conditions and poor composition.

Cosmetics were applied in private, usually in a small room where men did not enter. Cosmetic, female slaves that adorned their mistresses, were especially praised for their skills. They would beautify their mistresses with cultus, the Latin word encompassing makeup, perfume, and jewelry.

The scent was also an important factor of beauty. Women who smelled good were presumed to be healthy. Due to the stench of many of the ingredients used in cosmetics at the time, women often drenched themselves in copious amounts of perfume.

Christian women tended to avoid cosmetics with the belief that they should praise what God gave them. Some men, especially cross-dressers, did use cosmetics, although it was viewed as effeminate and improper.

All cosmetic ingredients were also used as medicines to treat various ailments. Lead, although known to be poisonous, was still widely used.

Makeup usually came in tablet or cake form, sold at marketplaces. Wealthy women bought expensive makeup that came in elaborate containers made from gold, wood, glass, or bone. Kohl came in compartmentalized tubes that could store more than one color of eye makeup. Glassblowing, invented in the 1st century CE in Syria, lowered the price of containers. The most common color for glass was teal. Gladiator sweat and fats of the animals fighting in the arena were sold in souvenir pots outside of the games to improve complexion.

Mirrors in Ancient Rome were mostly hand mirrors made from polished metal or mercury behind glass. Spending too much time in front of a mirror was thought to denote that a woman was weak in character

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