Recently, I was googling vain women of history and came across two who (strangely) share a similar name, nearly the same length of reign and an obsession with their beauty. They are the Empress Dowager of China, Queen Cixi, who ruled for forty eight years and the Empress of Austria, Queen Sisi, who ruled for forty four years. Both left a legacy of beauty secrets though today, I will only look at Cixi.
Cixi entered the Qing palace at the age of seventeen as a xiunu, the lowest-ranking of imperial concubines, and rose to the position of empress dowager on the death of Emperor Xianfeng. She held the reins of political power for forty eight years and was the key figure leading to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. Continue reading