Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beauty Hints From 1910

This 1910 book by Margaret Mixter is one of the nicest items in my collection. Good balance of sensible advice and charming quirk, plus beautiful photographs. In fact, the photo in my masthead is from this book and illustrates home manicures. I just like the cagey look on the gal's face. Hopefully, I've inserted her image into some of your minds to stand for me. I guess that won't work on the percentage of readers who are related to me.
Tonight let's look at a few of Margaret's hints for applying cosmetics. I find this first tip especially charming because Margaret looked to the past for inspiration, just like I do.

"Beet rouge, that was popular with our grandmothers, can be made by any one. The raw vegetable is thoroughly washed and dried. It is then pressed against a grater until the juice is extracted, and this liquid is then mixed with starch or rice powder until the shade one wishes is attained. It is finally covered with a thin cloth to keep out dust, and set in the sun to dry. This is absolutely harmless when applied to the skin. A few drops of rose or lavender oil worked in will make it adhere to the skin better, but the preparation thus made requires thorough sifting through muslin to make it smooth."

"The inclination of women to darken their blonde brows and lashes is one that must be controlled. Surface colorings that do not sink into the pores do not injure, but chances are they will not improve. Nevertheless, if there is satisfaction in experimenting, it may be done. Burnt cork, obtained by literally charring a piece of cork, is a harmless black.
It will hold better if the hair is first slightly touched with glycerine. It comes off easily.
India ink, dissolved in water, is another harmless application, but it must not be allowed to touch the skin. A fine camel's hair brush is best for putting it on."