Bee’s wax and Losing face
Personal hygiene once left much room for improvement. As a result, many women
and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's
wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were
speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face
she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax
would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too
close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the expression losing face.'
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and
dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace.