Welcome Eva! I am so excited about the release of The Last Gladiatrix. Congratulations. I know writing historical romance requires heaps of research but it sounds as though you have discovered some really interesting beauty tips along the way!
Tell us all about Making up Roman style!
In The Last Gladiatrix the heroine, Xanthe, is a wild warrior woman of the plains who gets mixed up with a nasty Roman General only to find herself in the arms of a sexy Centurion. On the way she ends up in Rome and can’t help but notice the way Roman women dress. It’s very different from how her people, the Sarmatians, dress and groom themselves but perhaps not so different from what we know in the twenty-first century.
Roman women used a type of foundation made from honey and fatty substance, blended a little bit of ceruse which is a white pigment making the skin appear to glow. Not unlike many of the products on the market today promising a “luminous” and youthful look.
Blush in the form of hematite powder would be added and “mascara” would be applied to eyelashes in the form of a stick of coal. Lipstick was unheard of and Roman woman would smear their lips with a variety of stains in a number of colours. Red was as popular then as it is now although it was made from toxic compounds such as red lead and cinnabar (red mercuric sulphide).
Roman women of means did not apply their own makeup or do their own hair; they owned slaves who specialised in the process. The slave girl responsible for the wig collection was called an ornatirix and would spend her morning doing her mistress’ hair and her afternoons tending to the wigs, making sure they were in perfect condition with every curl just right. Roman women wore their wigs on special occasions and at dinner parties giving them that stylish edge over their competitors.
One thing is for certain, Sarmatian women did not share the Roman love of cosmetics, preferring to spend time on horseback either fighting or hunting alongside their men. I can’t imagine Xanthe popping a paste of toasted ants on to her eyelashes to make her eyes appear more alluring, but then you never know! When in Rome...
THE LAST GLADIATRIX BY EVA SCOTT
In the dust and death of the Coliseum, a slave fights for freedom, a soldier fights for his life, and they both fight for the love that has been forbidden.
Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Coliseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.
Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?
The flash of her green eyes in the candlelight reminded Titus of the verdant wild forests of Northern Italy, which they had recently left. He rubbed a smear of dirt from her cheek with his thumb, and then taking her hand, he raised Xanthe up to stand. With deliberate, slow movements he unfastened her tunic, letting it fall from her shoulders to pool on the ground at her feet.
Xanthe made no move to stop him, their eyes locked, her fear and trust clear to see. He slid his fingers beneath the waist of her leggings and tugged them down over her hips, leaving her naked, standing there before him.
Titus took a sponge and dipped it into a bowl of warm water, letting it soak before applying it to Xanthe’s flesh. He washed her with firm yet gentle strokes, and as the water ran over her skin it dripped deliciously from her breasts. The centurion bent his head and licked at a droplet, pleased to feel her shudder in response. Her nipple hardened, inviting him to explore further. He needed no invitation. Xanthe had to summon all her self-discipline to stand still while Titus explored the curves of her body. His touch turned her core to molten fire; she could barely contain her need.
A bit about Eva
I live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia with my fabulous husband and gorgeous little boy. When I'm not writing romance you can find me out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.
And where you can find her and her Romans!
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