Miss me blathering on about weird old beauty stuff? Stop by my new column at The Hairpin. I chortled about Edith Zimmerman a while back and now I get to work with her. To celebrate, let's look at a couple of off-label uses for that iconic of lady tool:
One of the first principles of home remedies for the ears is to keep these organs free of wax... This treatment must be carefully administered, so the delicate structure will not be injured. A safe way of removing the wax is with a wire hairpin.
Margaret Mixter, Health and Beauty Hints (1910)
Until recently, hot grease cosmetique was used exclusively for stage make-up. If discreetly applied, it exaggerates the length of lashes and lends an air of sophistication when this is desired. The cosmetique is obtained in sticks. A small quantity is placed in a spoon and then heated until it melts. It is then applied to the tips of lashes with the round end of a hair-pin. The grease must not be too hot or too liquid. The object is to place a tiny blob of grease on the end of each lash.
Sonja Joslen, The Way to Beauty (1937)