(Practical advice on how to powder the hair for a Poudré ball or costume.)
With regard to Powdering, it is best, if possible, not to have recourse to a wig, they are heavy and unbecoming. It is far better to powder the hair itself, using violet powder, and plenty of pomatum before applying it; but it entails a great deal of trouble in subsequently removing the powder. The head may be covered with a thick soap lather. The powder is applied thus: A puff well-filled is held above the head, jerking the elbow with the other hand. The process should be repeated over and over again, and it is incredible the amount of powder that ought to be used to produce a satisfactory result. An easy mode of dressing the hair for powder is to part it across the head from ar to ear, turning the front over a high cushion, making the back into a long loose chignon, with a few marteaux or rolled curls behind the cushion. Sometimes the roll in front is replaced by a series of marteaux placed diagonally. Sometimes the centre-piece only is rolled over the cushion, with marteaux at the sides. Sometimes the back has four marteaux on either side, put diagonally, with others behind the ear, or a bunch of loose curls fall at the back. All this may be made easier by having false marteaux and curls which have a far better effect than a wig. It is, however, very much the fashion to powder the hair as it is worn now, viz., with curls in front and a coil at the back, a style which accords well with the dress worn when powder was a fashion.
Sources (identical language in both):
Holt, Ardern. Fancy Dresses Described, 2nd Edition, Illustrated. London: Debenham & Freebody, 1880.
Holt, Ardern. Fancy Dresses Described, 5th Edition. London: Debenham & Freebody, 1887.