Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blondes: Makeup and Skin Care

Make-up is a very important part of looking put together. Today, we will look at a Blonde's ideal skin and makeup routine, according to Ruth Murrin in 1940s editions of Good Housekeeping.

Some blondes have an opaque magnolia type of skin as hardy as any brunette's. But most of them have the thin, delicate complexion that won't stand neglect. A girl with this typical blonde skin can't afford to be careless about cleansing. She must guard constantly against blackheads. It is difficult for her to prevent freckles, but she should do what she can with protective make-up bases, sunburn preventives, shade hats, and long sleeves. Crinkles and lines lie in wait for her if she doesn't watch out, so from her teens on she must use cream every day of her life.

Gossamer powders are best for the transparent-skinned blonde because they enhance her delicate air, and all her make-up should be applied with a light hand. Just enough rouge to give her cheeks a faintly rosy hue; enough mascara to make the fringe of her lashes noticeable without being prominent; vague eye shadow, soft lipstick - that's her prescription.

Overemphasis in any one of these strikes a strident note which can be quite disastrous to subtle blonde harmonies.

Flesh and natural powder look well on pink-and-white skins, and cream or light rachel on fair eggshell complexions. Soft violet-pink rouge and lipstick, blue eye shadow, and brown mascara complete the typical palette recommended for blondes.

But some blondes like their complexions to be, as they say, more "substantial." They like a darker beige or rachel powder, and with many costumes prefer to use rouge and lipstick in coral or nasturtium tones that have a slight orange cast. In either case their aim should always be to keep make-up gentle and to key it nicely with the colors that they wear.

I was curious about a few things that I was not familiar with. One of them is what "rachel powder" is. From what I could find, it appears to be face powder. The below is an example of Coty's Rachel 2 (a Medium Ivory Shade)

I was also curious about what "nasturtium" was. For what I could find, Nasturtium is a flower. It can be grown in containers or in vines. They come in several colors. From the context of the advice, I think they are referring to the orange ones.

As a side note, being a blonde sounds difficult. From the skin care bit, it sounds like blondes get wrinkly granny skin the second they hit puberty. And ya'll know my freckle policy - I love them. Curious about blue eye shadow as well. I know I couldn't pull it off. Good thing I'm a redhead!
Tomorrow's lesson for Blondes - Colors that Flatter


Diva said...

Your blog is a great read ! All the best. D

Shay said...

"Rachel" is a term I've read as far back as the early 20's (in fact I seem to remember it being a clue in one of S.S. van Dine's Philo Vance mysteries!).

When ordinary women first started using cosmetics--ordinary women as opposed to actresses and other "fast" females--there were only two shades of powder available, and Rachel was for brunettes.

A said...

Thanks for the great info Shay! Sometimes it is so hard to find out what every day things from the past mean because no one bothered to document what it was. Us vintage enthusiasts are sometimes in the dark, searching for the meaning.

Katrina said...

Nasturtium is a flower, very easy to grow. It is also edible! The leaves (and flowers) have a slightly peppery taste that can go well in salads and soups.

Witchcrafted Life said...

I love these vintage beauty tips based on hair colour so much. They remind me a bit of the "Color Me Beautiful" books/craze that many were obsessed with during the 80s/early 90s (in which a person was though to have one or two colour pallets that were based on the hues associated with each of the four seasons, that suited them best based their skin/hair/eye colours).

Have a wonderful Tuesday, honey - big hugs!
♥ Jessica


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