Wednesday

Why I wear the Mouche

You may have noticed that I draw on a little black circle "beauty mark" just below my right eye practically every time you see a photo of my face. For a REALLY long time now.... I've been meaning to share some history on mouches and why I've chosen to wear one.  I started doing this as a finishing touch to my make-up about 2 years ago after learning more about them in costume history class and becoming pretty obsessed with the idea! (Thanks to my costume history I & II teacher, Helene Siebrits!)
"Beauty Marks" had their origin in Rome around 100 C.E. Wearing these mouches or "patches" over blemishes came into widespread fashion in the second half or the 17th century and developed far into the 18th century due in part to the scars Small Pox would leave on the face. Both men and women imitated this natural mark by sticking black beauty patches on their faces which were eventually used to send signals in flirtation rituals! 
(illustrated by Rita Flores)
Mouches could also conveniently cover Small Pox scars and blemishes from wearing the white lead based make-up that was popular in the 17th & 18th centuries. It was the vaccination for Small Pox in 1796 that eventually led to the end of this make-up fashion.
These mouches could be made of black taffeta, velvet, silk, or thin leather that was cut into circles, crescents, stars, hearts- you name it. It was stuck to the skin with gum mastic- glue made from the sap of trees. As the fashion increased, the patches became more and more elaborate and were created in the shape of sailing ships, birds in flight, etc. When the patch is placed near the eye, it indicated passion, one by the mouth would indicate boldness. On the right cheek meant that the woman was married and on the left cheek meant the woman was engaged. I chose my right eye because it meant I was passionate about life and I also felt like it was the most suiting for my face! Also, I just use liquid eyeliner to create the look.
Drawing on mouches for the girls who model for Paulie Antiques has also become my signature style for their make-up. Everyone gets a mouche these days, but it's not always in the same place!
I hope you enjoyed a little history on the fashion of the beauty mark and mouches! Do you have a natural beauty mark or do you create one for yourself? What do you think about them? I'd love to know!
love, polly

21 comments:

Kiana McCourt said...

Interesting!
Love this dear!
xo,
Kiana
finchandfawn.com

miss teacups said...

It looks so natural on you. I never knew that they had meaning behind them! I find they look best on flawless skin like yours. You're a beauty!!

Angel said...

How interesting. Im starting to get a white mole on my upper lip, to the side and have been thinking about trying to put a black dot on. See it it works out for me. The ones near the eyes are always a favourite.

Mariko said...

I was blessed with a beauty mark just above my lip on the left side, but sometimes when I'm feeling especially flirty I'll emphasize it with a little eyeliner. Thanks for the sharing the historical info, it's really fascinating.

Rusin D said...

Beautiful! Love the pink hair! :)

www.ruzinscloset.com

Sammi said...

Polly, this is so interesting!! I actually always assumed that your beauty mark was natural (I have one on either side of my nose and a double one on the side of my face near my temple)! I have a friend who has one right at the perfect spot above her mouth. I assume you've seen The Artist? This reminds me so much of that. I loved learning the history behind it, and I think this suits you on so many levels. <3

xox Sammi
www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

Kate H said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I've always been interested in the history behind the beauty mark and I love that you've embraced such a pretty one as your own ^_^ really lovely.

chantilly said...

this is so cool! i want a star-shaped one :)

xx
Chantilly

Katzi Roman said...

I had no idea of the full history of beauty marks! Love it! I have a mole / beauty mark at the top of my crease above my left eye that I always enhance with liquid eyeliner after I apply my eyeshadow because I've always felt that it was a little souvenir from one of my past lives :)
(also - my mom would tell me not to cover it because some people would love to have a natural feature like that, so I should enjoy it!)

Carla Ortega said...

wow! I loved knowing about, because of those painted polka dots, I have one on my right cheek that sometimes being noticed framework for more!, but it would be fun to create one under the right eye!, love and looks very sexy !

Coconut Wishes said...

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Claire Petersen said...

This is so fascinating! I'd love to try out a beauty mark one day for a photoshoot - glad I know a bit more about what they symbolise now!

technicolourdreamer.blogspot.com

andrea said...

ah! LOVE this! I'm excited for the next time I get dolled up and go out, because I will definitely by adding that into my makeup! <3

Jamie S said...

Super Interesting Polly! I love that something so tiny can have such significance. It's wonderful when fashion and beauty have intent, meaning and history. I think I need to find my mouche.

~K said...

I never really noticed before you mentioned it! It suits you so nicely, really adds to the look you are trying to create. I never realised there was so much history behind them either!

~ K

Dus of Cuddly Cacti said...

interesting to hear the history behind them, and how it's definitely not a new thing to want to cover up a scar. did you see that video (I think on upworthy) about the lady who had the scars on her breasts from cancer tatooed? that was really interesting to watch to me. as for me, i haven't worn any make up in months and last time i did, it was just a bit of mascara so i dont think i would, but i think it's really cool as a signature style for you/your models!

Amy said...

You were born to stand out. :)

ajnatty said...

It's nice :)
You're so pretty

Sunae Reilly said...

Thanks so much for sharing this post. I found it super interesting to learn about the history of mouches. I really respect your bold choices of hair and make up - you are a true champion for personal style xx

The Braided Bandit said...

This is so cool, I never even knew the proper name for beauty marks! Yours always look adorable and unique! Also I've been loving your videos lately :)
xo Hannah
http://thebraidedbandit.blogspot.com

mermaid mint said...

Polly, your mouche suits you so well! To be quite honest, I can't image seeing you any other way. :]
So very lovely and informative. I've never put much thought about the placement; now, I begin to wonder about the significance and meaning.
I personally don't have one but, Monroe beauty moles do run on my mom's side of the family. To which, my mom has one on her left side and then my sister has one on her right side. So sweet!!
♡ Dulce