How to Detect Makeup, 1677

painting of woman recoiling from men's faces Artemisia Gentileschi,
Susanna and the Elders (1610)

So that we may recognize made-up faces, do thus. Chew a bit of saffron in your teeth, and bring your mouth close to her face while speaking, so that your breath will cause the makeup to lose color, and make it yellowish, but if she is not wearing makeup, there will be no harm.

Pompeo Sarnelli, Della magia naturale

After you have executed this clever maneuver, you’ll want to return to your library in search of advice regarding “what to do when your lady friend asks why you are creeping around breathing on her face and dear God what is that yellow stuff on your mouth.”