5 Terrifying Historical Beauty Tips from Empress Elisabeth of Austria

By | August 8, 2016

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known to her family as Sisi, was one of the great historical beauties of 19th-century Europe. The Empress was famed for her floor-length auburn locks and (painfully) slender figure.

The 15-year-old Bavarian duchess met Emperor Franz Joseph, Austria's most eligible bachelor, when she came to court in 1853, and rumor has it that the Emperor fell for her on the spot. The only hitch? The Emperor was betrothed to Elisabeth's older sister, Helene. He promptly informed his mother that he would be marrying Sisi instead.

How did the famous beauty maintain her youthful glow? Well, she wasn't exactly the wash-and-go type, that's for sure. Maybe, by following these historical beauty tips, you can snag yourself an emperor, too.

1. Sleep with raw veal on your face

The Empress kept wrinkles at bay by sleeping in a leather face mask lined with raw veal.

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2. Start your day with raw egg whites and salt

Sisi was notoriously proud of her 16-inch waist. Her go-to detox? Raw egg whites with a dash of salt. The breakfast of champions.

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3. Do old-timey pull-ups

The Empress was way ahead of the home gym trend. She installed a state-of-the-art gymnasium in her palace bedroom so that she could do 20 old-timey pull-ups a day.

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4. Pour Cognac on your head

Elisabeth's Rapunzel-esque locks were a little high-maintenance. Sisi's hairdresser, Baroness Feifalik, reportedly spent 2--3 hours every day on her coiffure, and she shampooed her hair once a week with a special mixture of eggs and Cognac. (Take a moment to appreciate that her hairdresser was a Baroness.)

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5. Invest in a herd of goats

The Empress bathed in goat's milk once a week. Sisi knew how to pack for a trip—she reportedly travelled with a herd of goats so that she could be sure of a fresh supply.

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