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The Look: A History of Tanning

Beyond the Pale
Considered an omnipotent deity by more primitive cultures, the sun was shunned by the gentry of ancient Rome, who used chalk to whiten their faces. Women of the Renaissance and Elizabethan eras turned to lead-based white paints, on which they drew blue veins to evoke the Spanish concept of blue blood. Sangre azul refers to the translucent porcelain skin of Castilian princesses (now you know).

Photo: The Bridgeman Art Library / Getty Images