Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita was one of the most beautiful women in the Byzantine Empire. She didn’t just look good when she was young, though. Even when she was well into her sixties, it’s said, she still looked like a 20-year-old.

Beauty Trivia: The Beauty Secret of Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita: Starting Your Own Cosmetics Lab
Beauty Trivia: The Beauty Secret of Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita: Starting Your Own Cosmetics Lab

She certainly worked hard enough for it. After becoming the empress, Zoe Porphyrogenita had an entire laboratory dedicated to making her cosmetics built inside of the imperial palace. It was a real cosmetic factory, every bit as huge and expensive as the ones that supply whole countries. At this one, though, Zoe was the only customer.

It was expensive—but for the empress, blowing a small fortune was just all in a day’s work. It’s said that she was “the sort of woman who could exhaust a sea teaming with gold-dust in one day.”

But it’s also said that “like a well-baked chicken, every part of her was firm and in good condition.” This is definitive proof that it worked, because, clearly, Zoe looked so good that the men who saw her were so smitten that they couldn’t even form a sentence that didn’t make your skin crawl.

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