Thursday, May 28, 2009

Facials, So To Speak

I just read the latest New York magazine on the subway and came this short piece on Spermine facials.  Though Spermine is said to be an antioxidant isolated from sperm, it seems to be harvested from, yuck, foreskins.  I'm a bit confused but resist further research.  

Even more peculiar is this quote in the magazine by comedian Joy Behar.  In response to, "Are you artistically talented?" Ms. Behar says one of the most eccentric things I've ever read:
"I used to make paper-mache puppets of all my relatives during my first depression-- you know, like when I was first married.  I even put mink stoles on them and everything."

Is she joking?  I truly hope she is not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Really Makes For A Darling Outfit

In these complex times, us modern gals have two things on our minds: sticking to a strict budget, and finding shorts that don't make us look like sluts. We count on Heloise, "Heroine of the Household," to get us through:

"Some of us who are not 'short-shorts' lovers would like to be able to find a pair that fits us and is cut exactly at the right length. For instance, some of us would wear shorts if we could find them cut just below the knees.
Watch for slacks and pedalpushers on sale. When you find a pair that fits, buy it.
While you are in the store, look for a white blouse. Often there are blouses on sale at the same time.
When you go home, cut the slacks or pedalpushers off to the exact length you desire, leaving about an inch and a half for a good hem. These may either be hemmed by hand or on the sewing machine. And don't throw the leg part away. We are going to use that to make a darling outfit!
Slit open the sides of the part you cut off (where the inseam is) and spread out. Lay the collar of the white shirt that you just bought on this piece of material. Cut exactly around the collar and make your pattern for a new colored collar! Use your iron and turn this new colored collar under one-fourth of an inch all the way around.
Cover the original shirt collar with the extra piece of material you have left from those pedalpushers. Not only does it make a snazzy outfit, but that printed collar won't show soil as much as a white one does!
With the leftover scraps you can make a binding for the top of one pocket or, if the shirt does not have pockets (and I absolutely despise shirts that do not have two pockets), you can make two pockets to match the collar and the shorts.
Another cute idea is to cut out little squares or triangles of this extra material (about an inch square or so) and sew them on the blouse so that it will look like a patched checkerboard. On one set, I saw these little squares and triangles sewn just on the white pockets and the collar itself. Really makes for a darling outfit which costs you practically nothing if you watch for your sales."

The description of this outfit reminds me of Stella and her paper-doll ensembles.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Place An Old Shower Cap Over Your Face

I just picked up a copy of Heloise's 1965 All Around the House, and was delighted to find some beauty tips among the suggestions for stain removal and preventing bacon curl (a surprisingly popular topic). Heloise's column was largely made up of hints sent in by readers, so each one tells a different little story. Let's start with this historical tidbit:

"Did you ever try dropping several pellets of BB shot into your nail polish bottle? Each time you use the polish, shake well and the polish is easily, quickly, and thoroughly mixed. This is especially good for frosted polishes."

As I'm sure you know, pretty much all nail polish has included beads in the bottle for decades now. I never really gave it any thought, but now we know who though it up.

Next, an entirely extraneous project from a self-satisfied crafter:

"Make a hair-do apron from a large bath towel that had become too thin for good drying. Fold in half crosswise, cut out a circle to fit the neck and cut an opening down the front. Bind with bias tape. This also helps use up odds and ends of tape!
Sew a large pocket at the bottom of the apron. It can be made from a washcloth or from the circular piece cut from the neck hole. Make a smaller, narrow pocket on the other side.
In the large pocket, keep rollers or clips. In the small pocket keep your comb. This is easy to work with when putting your hair up, keeps your dress clean, and is easy to launder as it needs no ironing.
I put this hair-do apron on when I take my hair down. I put the curlers in the large pocket, the comb in the narrow pocket and put the apron away. By doing this, everything is ready when I want to 'do up' my hair the next time."

Sometimes the tips are short but evocative, much like haikus. The clever but oddly self-annihilating:
"Before removing dresses, blouses or sweaters over your head, place an old shower cap over your face (underneath your chin and above your forehead), and thus avoid any make-up rubbing into your garments."

The heartbreaking:
"From Maine: 'When my imitation pearl beads and earrings turn yellow from wear, I dye them any color I choose. I just mix dye in a little jar, drop in the jewelry and let it stand-- shaking it once in a while-- until the desired color has been absorbed. Sure is pretty.'"

I'll end with this longer piece, my favorite in the book. What a strange little tale:

"For years I have used rubber powder puffs. I have always carried one in an empty plastic compact while the puff is still damp.
I find if I don't use it often enough, it starts smelling!
Then a few years ago, I found that the puffs won't smell if you carry them in waxed paper sandwich bags. The great thing about this is that the dampness does not come through the lining of your purse, yet the sandwich bag let's just enough of the moisture escape so that the puff doesn't smell.
When my husband saw me take my foam rubber powder puff from my worn, crumpled sandwich bag one day, he said, 'Why don't you wrap it in a piece of foil?' Immediately he returned with a piece of foil, just a little larger than the powder puff itself. Now, after I apply my cake make-up, all I have to do is take the damp sponge, fold it in half, or roll it in the foil. Personally, I like to roll the sponge in the foil because it stays damp longer. Also it doesn't take up as much room in my purse.
Gals, all of you who use cake make-up, skip into that kitchen, unroll that piece of foil, and lay it on your make-up table. In the morning when you do your face-- this is especially for working girls-- roll your sponge-type puff and put in in your little piece of foil and twist both ends.
You will find that this will last at least forty-eight hours. You will have no mess in your purse. It is easily seen for quick make-up jobs. But best of all, it never has an odor."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You're Invited

My friend Felicia Sullivan, writer and all-around dynamo, organized a brilliant event.  She partnered with social-service organizations in Brooklyn, and with fashion and beauty brands to create a day of boutique-like free shopping for women in need.
Do you have nice clothes to donate?  Tomorrow night is the Fashion for All Donation Pre-Party!
Bring your lovely, gently worn clothes, have a cocktail and a cupcake, and.... shop the MINT by Jodi Arnold collection at wholesale prices.  Plus, hang out with me.

MINT Jodi Arnold Showroom
230 W. 39th St., Floor 2
(b/t 7th and 8th)
6-9 pm
RSVP: Deenie Hartzog