Plunge into the intimate history of cosmetics, and discover how, for centuries, women have turned to make up as a rich source of creativity, community and resistance. The Renaissance was an era obsessed with appearances. And beauty culture from the time has left traces that give us a window into an overlooked realm of history – revealing everything from 16th-century women’s body anxieties to their sophisticated botanical and chemical knowledge. ‘How to be a Renaissance Woman’ allows us to glimpse the world of the female artists, artisans and businesswomen carving out space for themselves, as well as those who gained power and influence in the cut-throat world of the court. In a vivid exploration into women’s lives, Professor Jill Burke invites us to rediscover historical cosmetic recipes and unpack the origins of the beauty ideals that are still with us today.