Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now You Can Wake Up Prettier

I'm exhausted, craving a nap and considering canceling my plans for this evening. Before I curl up, I should do a bit of prep work to ensure I wake not merely rested, but prettier:

"Heavy cream applied at night with a light, brisk, tapping of the finger ends will so tone the tissue of the face that light wrinkles evaporate. A round and round motion is likely to push the flesh upward toward the eyes, causing turkey tracks. While the cream remains n the skin, iron with ice. Say prayers and go to bed."
--Helen Follet Jameson, The Beauty Box (1931)

If I meet resistance to cancelling tonight, I can still squeeze in a disco nap, fully made-up, of course:

"Here is the big secret: take your foundation to bed for ten minutes. The move does more than refresh your bones. What happens is this-- the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, absorbs the foundation, causing a slight expansion of the skin and subsequently a temporary disappearance of tiny lines and wrinkles. For a long lasting finish, apply a second coat upon arising."
--John Robert Powers and Mary Sue Miller, Secrets of Charm (1954)

Perhaps I can continue to stay up through the wee hours writing, if I just establish a better routine to look fresher:

"The dark circles under the eyes are usually caused by an impairment of the chemical constitution of the blood or an impoverishment of the system by prolonged study, lack of sleep, or dissipation of any kind. External treatment is sometimes effective, but not permanent while the cause exists. Bathe frequently with cold water and use friction. A little turpentine liniment may be rubbed into the skin daily, or weak ammonia-- one part to four parts water-- care being taken to let neither get into the eyes."
--William A. Woodbury, Beauty Culture (1910)

But honestly, it's hard to get proper beauty sleep on my bed linens. They're of a lovely shade of lavender and decent thread count, but not as restorative as they could be:

"A very ancient and wonderful French manual, written some time during the seventeenth century asserts than linen bed sheets are pernicious to beauty, and recommends most urgently the use of chamois leather ones. Now, chamois leather has been used for many purposes, from a shoe to a card case, but it is only lately that it has been once more called into requisition for sheets. The idea originated with a lady whose skin was of marvelous delicacy, and who had made a careful study of the book in question. Chamois leather sheets are now becoming quite popular and women who use them travel about carrying with them their own sheets, smartly trimmed with colorful ribbons."
--The Marquise de Fontenoy, Eve's Gloassary (1897)

I'm surprised these sheets didn't experience popularity in the 1970's. Can't you imagine them on a round bed, perhaps a round water bed, in a bachelor pad with a disco ball and a wet bar that pops out when you pull the right book out of the faux bookcase?

In other bed-related news, I saw Bob and Ted and Carol and Alice last weekend for the fourth or fifth time and have things to say about the clothes and makeup. I will do that soon, but for now: the pajamas were incredible! Natalie Wood greets her husband after a business trip in pink-flowered babydoll pajamas. I love those, and distinctly remember going in the car for watermelon sherbet in a thunderstorm in my own pink pair when I was six. Oddly, wearing them made me feel grown-up. Guess that makes sense since I was, at the time, planning a future adulthood that included hot pink satin sheets.
For a different look, pay attention to Dyan Canon's pre-bedtime tantrum in the film. In this scene, she wears the most incredible confection of a nightgown. I'm trying to find a photo. The robe looks like about forty layers of chiffon and opens to reveal a matching white silk nightgown. But what really makes the outfit is the white Alice-in-Wonderland bow she puts in her hair merely for the trip from vanity to bed. With an ensemble like that, who'd notice if your face was not properly iced and ironed?