If Gretchen Rubin sent you from The Happiness Project, welcome! And I just realized (I'm new at this) that I have a bunch of new subscribers, so welcome to all of you, too. If you would like to subscribe, here you go. You should be able to use any reader you like. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I love it when you write to me and introduce yourselves or ask for beauty advice.
I often refer to my adored collection of beauty books as auto-beauty-ographies. The authors tell highly personal stories in the guise of how-to. Reading Gretchen's blog, I realized that one of many things I love about the books is that often, the authors tell of how they rebuilt themselves and their lives from the outside in; makeovers are their Happiness Projects. Here are a few quotes on beauty for happiness:
"We have all heard women who declared that, 'The sense of being well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.' Courage and clothes have so much to do with one another. A well-ordered dress helps to put one at leisure from one's own self. The ease of it, the sense of fitness it induces, prepare the mind for the right attitude of courtesy to others."
--Francis Mary Steel and Elizabeth Livingston Steele Adams, Beauty of Form and Grace of Vesture (1892)
"A beautiful mind irradiates and gives loveliness. You can cultivate it. Wipe out from your mind all thoughts and ideas not in keeping with true beauty, for on the face are often written the thoughts and ideas that run through you, and if they are ugly and undesirable you can be pretty sure you are not conveying to the world a happy, kind and lovely face."
--How to Attain and Retain Beauty (1935)
"Yellow has always been a happy color for me and I wear a lot of it."
-- Barbara Walden, Easy Glamour 1981
And remember, it goes both ways.
Something happened yesterday that made me very happy. A new reader offered to mail me a special vintage pamphlet she has lying around that "needs a good home." I'll save the topic and surprise you later, but needless to say, I will give that pamphlet the very best home. Now I want to make one of you happy with a present! I have a duplicate of a beauty book, by one of the world's most famous beauties, that I'm doing a piece on soon. The very first one of you to pipe up in comments gets the book mailed to you. So come on, who wants a present?