Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to Get All the Attention

"You must learn to make up your eyes with shadow and painted-on liner, and to wear false eyelashes as inevitably as other girls wear panties"
--Jean Rook, Dressing for Success (1968)

Harness Your Power
False eyelashes are a powerful thing. I love them for parties. Once I had pink-feather lashes to match a flamingo costume for Halloween. There turned out to be another girl there dressed as the same bird, but did she have the pink, floofy lashes? No she did not. Last Christmas, a generous friend treated me to lash extensions that lasted for a couple months. I requested that the technician make them "extra glamorous," and she complied. I felt like a cartoon bunny and enjoyed the slow thud of my own blinking. I began to tell anyone who would listen that I could Never Be Without lash extensions again. Perhaps one day I'll be able to afford to maintain those...

Say No to Drugs?
The Beauty Brains just wrote about a drug company that announced plans to launch a lash-growth stimulating product. They discovered growth as a side effect from a pre-existing drug. I believe it's the same prescription my mother was taking last year. She was driving when I looked over, saw her lashes hitting the lenses of her glasses and began to exclaim over why I hadn't inherited this luck. She later showed me that the drug had also darkened her eye color.

Drag queens have always known that nothing intensifies femininity like long eyelashes. Lucille Ball was also well aware. A biography claims that she once yanked the false lashes right off of Vivian Vance's face. I'm leafing through Vivian's bio now, The Other Side of Ethel. Hal King, makeup artist on the show, was quoted fighting for Vivian's right to wear the lashes on screen.

Don't Listen to Your Mother
Before she met up with undermining pal Lucy, Vivian was a hot number. She was handpicked by producer Florenz Ziegfeld for his chorus line. Ziegfeld girls were known for their beauty and lovely figures. The teen-aged Vivian would probably have been happy to join up, but the plan encountered resistance in the form of her mother:

"Mama raised the roof so high you'd think a tornado had struck. She couldn't have been more disturbed if I'd been invited to Buenos Aires as a recruit for white slavery."