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Guest: Paty Jager


My June release, Doctor in Petticoats has a heroine with a large scar. She was disfigured as a child while saving her younger sister from a run-away wagon. She’s from a prominent family, and her mother wasn’t about to have a daughter who couldn’t be seen in public. So after years of different treatments and finally realizing the best they could do was cover up the scar, they learned the tricks of makeup application for stage.

 Rachel mixes face powder with lard to blend in the wide ridge of scar tissue from her temple to her jaw.

In my research to discover how she could cover her scar and what types of makeup were available at the time of my book, I scanned the internet and purchased a helpful book. The Actor’s “Make-Up” Book-a Practical and Systematic Treatise on the Art of Making Up for the Stage by N. Helmer

Stage Makeup items available before 1850:

                        White face powder

                        India ink for drawing lines

                        Rouge (very bright red or pink)

                        Misc. artist’s pigment base powders, (like Bole Armenia aka “burnt umber” for a reddish brown tone)

                        Burnt cork (for dark brown/black)

                        Lamp-black (for mascara)

                        Burnt paper (for gray shadows)

                        Spirit gum

                        Wool crepe hair (for both facial hair and false noses)

 1850’s Germany – Mysterious invention of greasepaint (powdered pigments mixed with lard) by either German actor Carl Baudius, or Carl Herbert.

1870’s USA-Anglo-French actor, Charles Fechter, supposedly spreads the use of greasepaint to the US while on tour.

1873 Germany– Ludwig Leichner commercially produces non toxic ready-made greasepaint sticks. Leichner’s company goes on to be the main European theatrical makeup producer for over a century.

1877 England -The Art of “Making-Up” by Haresfoot and Rouge*, published by Samuel French, the first booklet in English on theatre makeup is printed, describing makeup application with powdered pigments. Suggested pigments in this booklet are 3 kinds of white, Dutch pink rouge, carmine red, and ruddy rouge, Mongolian brown, powdered blue, and chrome (yellow), and antimony (a metallic gray-black) used for shadows, which was toxic.

 Blurb for Doctor in Petticoats

After a life-altering accident and a failed relationship, Dr. Rachel Tarkiel gave up on love and settled for a life healing others as the physician at a School for the Blind.  She’s happy in her vocation–until handsome Clay Halsey shows up and inspires her to want more.

Blinded by a person he considered a friend, Clay curses his circumstances and his limitations.  Intriguing Dr. Tarkiel shows him no pity, though.  To her, he’s as much a man as he ever was.

 Can these two wounded souls conquer outside obstacles, as well as their own internal fears, and find love?


“I’m going to look in your other eye now.” She, again, placed a hand on his face and opened the eyelids, stilling her fluttering heart as she pressed close. His clean-shaven face had a couple small nicks on the edges of his angular cheeks. The spice of his shave soap lingered on his skin.

She resisted the urge to run her cheek against his. The heat of his face under her palm and his breath moving wisps of wayward hair caused her to close her eyes and pretend for a few seconds he could be her husband. A man who loved her and wouldn’t be threatened by her occupation or sickened by her hideous scar.

His breathing quickened. A hand settled on her waist, slid around to her back, and drew her forward. Her hand, holding the lens, dropped to his shoulder, and she opened her eyes. This behavior on both their parts was unconscionable, but her constricted throat wouldn’t allow her to utter the rebuke.

Clay sensed the moment the doctor slid from professional to aroused woman. The hand on his cheek caressed rather than held, her breathing quickened, and her scent invaded his senses like a warm summer rain.

Blog Tour Contest

This day six of my fifteen blog/twelve day tour. Leave a comment and follow me to all the blogs on my tour and you could win an autographed copy of my June release, Doctor in Petticoats, a B&N gift card, and a summer tote filled with goodies. To find out all the places I’ll be, go to my blog- to find the list.




  1. Great information, Paty! Can’t wait to read this one!


  2. How interesting about the stage makeup. My great grandmother was on stage and I imagine she must have used some of the items available. Hadn’t ever thought of researching it. Good job, Paty!

    Good luck with your book with lots of sales.

  3. Paty Jager says:

    Thanks, Nic!

    Hi Paisley. The book I mentioned is really good.

  4. Isabel Roman says:

    I’m so sorry about not getting you up earlier, Paty! I don’t know what happened. Thank you for stopping by, and best of luck with this one, the excerpt alone tempts me to buy it!

  5. Hi, Paty! Best of luck with your new release!!

  6. Ann Campbell says:

    I have been following the blog hop all they way and have to say that this is by far one of the best I have followed. Can’t wait for the rest and to read the new book 🙂

  7. Hi Paty! Good to see you here. Fascinating stuff about the makeup. I know that so much of it was toxic. My grandmother loved the stage and was in many productions in our town, and even had my mom take part as a little girl in the plays for children. The excerpt is definitely intriguing. Sounds like a winner!
    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
    And thanks Isabel for coming to our rescue!

  8. Alice Trego says:

    What wonderful information here! I love doing research, and it’s always exciting to learn a nugget of history that we get to use in our stories.

    Thanks for this ‘makeup’ lesson, Paty.


  9. lorettaC says:

    We have come a long way with covering up scars.


  10. Hey, Paty. I’m enjoying your blog tour and learning more about life in the 19th century. The lard and face powder is an interesting way to blend the scar. Does your heroine worry at all about the lard melting and running down her fac?

  11. Fascinating post! The ingenuity of women throughout the centuries never fails to amaze me.


  12. Fedora says:

    Wow, I’m glad that makeup sure is easier to come by these days 🙂 I’m not all that adept at using it even in modern times, but at least all the components are relatively safe and easy to get 🙂

  13. Paty,
    Thank you for the information on stage makeup. I love the premise of your story, and your excerpt is tantalizing.
    I can’t wait to read more!

  14. Fascinating post on makeup and I love your excerpt. I remember using the stick makeup when I was in high school plays. I had no idea the invention was so old. As Jeanmarie said, we now know many of those old colors were toxic.

    Good luck with your blog tour.

  15. Terrific information Paty. I love anything historical, particularly westerns and Doctor in Petticoats sounds a great read. I’ve put it on my to buy pile.


  16. Paty Jager says:

    Isabel, We figured it out and now it’s up, no problem!

    Thanks, Susan!

    Yes, Ann, you have been following. I have all the slash marks by your name to prove it! I’m so glad you are on the ride with me.

  17. Paty Jager says:

    Jean Marie, Yes, the toxic elements are why so many stage actors died at young ages.

    You’re Welcome, Alice!

    Loretta, yes they have. Kind of like the evolution of medical treatment.

    Keena, In Salem, OR where she lives it rarely gets hot enough and if it is, she stays inside. In Salem, she has to wear a hat or bonnet to keep the rain from messing it up! when she remains out of the public she doesn’t wear her makeup, just learns to keep her head turned.

  18. Paty Jager says:

    HI Victoria, Thanks for stopping by.

    Fedora, I’m the same way. I rarely use make up, but I’m glad it is easier to use than back then when you had to mix your own.

    Thanks , Mary Ann!

    Thank you ,Caroline.

    Margaret, and any of you, when you read Doctor in Petticoats, if you like it please feel free to leave brief reviews on the sites that sell it. I’d really appreciate that. Thanks!

  19. Arletta Dawdy says:

    I’m enjoying your posts very much tho’ not always able to post due to Goggle problems.
    This one was especially great, not only for the info shared but the demo of how much of our research must be set aside. I think it makes for a lively blog.
    Thank you and good luchk with sales and all.

  20. Paty Jager says:

    Thanks Arletta. It is true there is so much research goes into a book that never shows up. I’m glad you’re following the tour and I’m sorry you haven’t been able to comment.

  21. Eunice Boeve says:

    How interesting about early day cosmetics. Enjoying your daily blog.

  22. Paty Jager says:

    Eunice, It’s good to see you here and at my blog.

  23. Shelley says:

    Speaking of stage makeup, although my writing is about Texas, not London, I just today got a book called The Invisible Woman, which is about Dickens’ mysterious relationship with an actress.

  24. Paty Jager says:

    Shelley, Sounds like a great book!

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