History of Beauty Spots

Beauty marks, beauty spots and birthmarks are in reality simply dark moles that have been given the name of a beauty mark or spot because for centuries they have been considered an attractive feature of the female face or another part of the body.The folklore of beauty spots goes back to at least medieval times in Europe. Some said that they were caused by the unsatisfied wishes of the woman during pregnancy while others told that the pregnant woman had seen something strange or had had fear in her mind.

Further back in time, ancient Chinese beliefs graded moles as lucky or unlucky, depending on their prominence, position, colour and size. They were said to be either lucky or unlucky and foretold great things in life, ranging from wealth and prosperity to good health and abundant resources. However, if there were many moles on the face the meanings of the moles were diminished since they were no longer unique.

These are the meanings of moles as listed in the Chinese almanac Tung Shu

Chinese Bad Luck Moles

  • A mole beneath the eyebrows suggests discord with extended family members. The stress caused by this may affect personal and professional aspects of life.
  • A mole in the center of the nose is a bad sign and people with these may have a tendency to overspend, be inveterate gamblers and voracious flirts. They have a problem knowing when to stop and resist temptation.
  • Moles on either side of the nose suggest that their wearer may become extremely ill.
  • Moles that appear directly on the lip suggest problems with diet and sexual relations. Furthermore, weight concerns may be a problem leading in turn to depression.

Chinese Good Luck Moles

  • A mole directly beneath the eyebrows was said to signify intelligence and creativity and thus bring fame, success and wealth.
  • A mole in the center of the forehead suggests a creative, hardworking, yet highly carefree spirit. These individuals are great leaders and might be very successful entrepreneurs.
  • A mole located directly in the center of the space between the nose and upper lip indicates the potential to raise a large family and constant emotional support.
  • A mole on either end of the eyebrows indicates a powerful, headstrong individual with great authority. These individuals may be ideal company leaders or business owners.
  • A mole either side of the mouth indicates a balanced, successful life. Individuals may be rich, famous and live a lavish lifestyle, but also enjoy satisfaction at home. Women with these moles may be extremely beautiful.


The interpretation of the position of moles and their meanings is known as moleosophy and in ancient Greece they had their own interpretation of the meanings:

  • Moles on the Arms – indicate that the person is polite, diligent and will lead a happy married life. If mole is near the elbow, the man will need to struggle in life, and might also become a young widower. If the woman has the same characteristics, however, her problems relate to her occupation.
  • Moles on the Armpits – are indicative of great struggle early in life, which is, however, well rewarded. Wealth makes later years equally pleasurable. A mole under the right arm shows that one needs to be alert and cautious in matters of security.
  • Moles on the Back – people with these are unreliable, and with them one must ensure that all facts are available before one enters any sort of negotiation for any enterprise.
  • Moles on the Breast – one on the right breast is indicative of laziness, which may affect family life. You need to be assertive about your needs to be able to enjoy the love and comfort of the children. A mole on the left breast belongs to active and energetic people who generally get what they want in life.
  • Moles on the Buttocks – people with these are not ambitious, and will be reconciled to any mode of living.
  • Moles on the Cheek(s) – indicate a serious and studious person who has no interest in material pleasures.
  • Moles on the Chin – is indicative of people who are affectionate and caring. These people adapt easily to any situation. They love travelling and respect the law of the land. They are also dedicated and conscientious workers and willingly accept responsibilities.
  • Moles on the Ear – people who are born with a mole on ear are generally considered lucky.
  • Moles on the Elbow – indicate people who love to travel and are adventurous and spirited.
  • Moles near the Eye – if located on the outer corner of the eye, this indicates that the person is honest, reliable and forthright.
  • Moles on the Eyebrow – if located on the right eyebrow, this signifies a person who will have a highly active life and will be successful in all ventures.
  • Moles on the Fingers – people with these will turn out to be dishonest and tend to grossly exaggerate.
  • Moles on the Feet – indicate people who are easy going and laid back and need to exercise to stay healthy.
  • Moles on the Genitals – lead to sexual addiction.
  • Moles on the Forehead – people with these will be prosperous and well settled in life.
  • Moles on the Hand – shows people who are talented and make a success of their lives.
  • Moles on the Heel – indicate people who make enemies easily and are prone to losing friends.
  • Moles on the Hip – signifies that these people are contented, resilient and spirited.
  • Moles on the Knee – if you have a mole on right knee, it implies that you are a friendly person. A mole on left knee signifies people that lead an extravagant lifestyle.
  • Moles on the Lips – people with a mole on lips always aspire to get ahead in life.
  • Moles on the Navel – men who have these will be lucky in life and a woman who has the same desires children.
  • Moles on the Neck – if on the front of the neck, it signifies unexpected good fortune. If it is on either side of the neck, it indicates an unreasonable temperament. A mole on the back of the neck indicates a person’s desire to lead a simple life.
  • Moles on the Nipple – on a man it indicates a fickle nature; on a woman it indicates that she is striving for social status.
  • Moles on the Nose –indicates people who will be a sincere friend and a hardworking.
  • Moles on the Shoulder – indicates a sensible, industrious individual.
  • Moles on the Wrist – that the person is frugal, ingenious and dependable.

Love Customs of 18th Century Spain

Luis José Velázquez – the Marquis of Valdeflores – published a book in Madrid in 1764 titled ‘Collección de diferentes escritos relativos al cortejo’ – A collection of essays on courtship – in which he writes about ladies using pencilled beauty spots to indicate the state of their mind in relationship to their escort.

‘The beauty spots on the left temple may signify that the fortress is occupied; on the right temple, that she is on the point of breaking up with the current escort and ready to choose another; and the absence of the beauty spots on either temple may mean that the place is vacant.

The tiny patches, skillfully distributed throughout the face, may denote a momentary state of mind of the lady. For instance, placed near the right eye, they command the cortejo (escort) not to look so attentively at someone; placed in the vicinity of the left eye, that he can look at whomever he wishes.

A spot near the right-hand corner of the mouth should signal to him not to talk to such and such a person; near the left-hand corner will tell the escort that he had been very amusing and cute.

Black Moles – This denotes that a person would have to surmount obstacles in order to achieve the desired results.’

Moles and Beauty

Since the time of the renaissance in Europe moles have also been associated with beauty, so it is little wonder that ladies that had no beauty marks created false ones to make themselves more attractive. And 600-years ago they used a range of treatments to create their beauty marks including cosmetics, temporary spots affixed to the skin and sometimes permanently tattooed marks,

Moving forward to the eighteenth century beauty marks once again became fashionable and creating and wearing false ones became common. The shapes used were not simply limited to symmetrical marks and other shapes such as hearts and stars were used. They were sold as silk, velvet or taffeta patches and were known as ‘mouchete’ (small flies).

In Venice you can still find the street ‘Calle de le Moschete’ where these fake beauty spots were produced. Venetian ladies displayed them on their face or breasts in round, heart-shaped and crescent and star shapes. They had a secret code of their own depending on where they were placed.

Near the mouth, but especially near the corners or the under lip they meant coquette – one who flirts. Closer to the mouth they signified ‘assassine’ – one able to kill.

A beauty spot on the corner of the eye indicated passion while one near one if the eyes meant irresistible. Other beauty spot meanings included, on the throat – gallantry; on the nose signified boldness or shamelessness; in the middle of the forehead – grandeur.

Where to Place Beauty Spots

Beauty spots shouldn’t be the focal point of the face, they should be used to accentuate your face and work particularly well if placed around the mouth and eyes.

As an example of this, Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark on her lower left cheek, as well as re-creating the vogue for adding them as makeup, helped draw attention to her features on her near flawless skin. While more recently fashion model Cindy Crawford’s prominent mole has once again helped to revive the fashion.

You will also find beauty spots one above the lip of Madonna, below the eye of Robert De Niro, while Sarah Jessica Parker has a beauty mark on her upper chin below the lips.

What Next for Your Beauty Spot?

Most beauty marks are usually sub-dermal which means below the surface of the skin. A mole that protrudes above the surface of the skin can sometimes be unattractive.

So you have a beauty mark you have the decision to leave it for the world to see, or to cover it up. And after reading the meanings of their positions, this may be a difficult choice!

If you don’t have any beauty marks, now may be the time to add one to your face or another part of your body! You can experiment with a pencilled in beauty spot to start with and if you like it, then move on to having one permanently applied using permanent makeup.

In the meantime I’m sure you’ll be taking a closer look at your friends beauty spots and interpreting their meanings!

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