The previous chapter summarized the ways in which the adorned woman was viewed as deceptive, wasteful, and frivolous, and outlined how adornment was bound up in the discourse of female self-presentation. I should like to offer here a different picture of ancient cosmetics and adornment, and contend that cultus was essential to a noblewoman’s rank and influence; that it served to make a woman economically visible; that beauty and adornment lent a woman social and erotic power, and a status she might not normally have been accorded. Cultus provided a woman a measure of prestige and pleasure in Rome’s male-dominated society, and gave her the means to create a personal space for herself. I also link the impulse to adorn with the construction of the self as a work of art. It is not my intention here to downplay or ignore the social and moral dangers of overadorning, or the fact that many apparently believed such activity exemplified feminine frivolity, deception, and wastefulness. I wish merely to note that there is evidence that the adorned woman was not always viewed with derision. This interpretation of fashion and adornment as powerful has been advanced before. D’Ambra notes that the Roman matron “was expected to complement her husband’s career or profession with her elegance and sophistication” and that “the feminine arts [were a] regime of carefully constructed appearances that signal [ed] social position and worth (D’Ambra 2000: 111).1