Friday, January 11, 2013

1931 beauty stunts: Preparing for sleep

I came across an interesting article, titled "Beauty Stunts All Girls Can Copy From the World's Loveliest Women", in the December 1931 issue of Photoplay magazine. The article details various beauty tips and tricks that movie stars used back in the day. I thought I'd transcribe and share the details with you, my dear readers, as many of these are still just as usable in 2013 as they were in 1931.

The first part details Joan Crawford's nighttime beauty regimen. I hope you enjoy it! (I'm now officially on the hunt for a marcel cap!)


Preparing for sleep at night


You don't need me to tell you that you shouldn't go to bed at night with your make-up on, but just a dash of cold cream hastily rubbed off with a towel won't do the job. I'm going to tell you exactly how Joan Crawford prepares for bed and manages - miracles, miracles! - to look attractive when the job is all done. Some of the most beautiful girls look like orphaned slaveys when they're ready for bed. But not Joan.

She takes off the make-up with some good cream or remover, using a soft tissue. But she doesn't stop there. She uses an astringent after that - to get all the cream out of the pores - and follows with a good washing with soap and warm water, and cold water plentifully dashed on to remove the soap entirely. This leaves her face pink and glowing and not greasy from the cream (face builders she uses during the day).

When she's working on a picture her hair is finger-waved every night, but even it if isn't, she wears a marcel cap to preserve her wave. This is drawn tightly over her head. (Incidentally, Dorothy Joran wears a regular baby cap not only for her hair but to keep her ears tight to her head.) A marcel cap is not a ravishingly beautiful head-gear, so Joan wraps a soft, colorful scarf about her head over the cap and knots it just above her forehead so that it won't be uncomfortable. This also holds the hair more tightly in place.

She wears pajamas in winter, gowns in summer, and uses a fresh one every night. Her face radiant from the cold water, her head wrapped in the bright scarf - she is almost lovelier when she's ready for bed than when she's fully dressed and made up.

- Photoplay, December 1931

9 comments:

  1. Oh I love this!! I am a firm believer in removing make-up properly before bed, but I am unfortunately never lovelier when ready for bed. I wish I had enough pyjamas to wear a fresh pair every night!

    Porcelina x

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    1. Definitely! I can count the times I've been to sleep with make-up on with one hand. How lovely it would be to always sleep in a fresh pair of pyjamas! Alas, not really a reality at my end.

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  2. I might try to have enough pajamas for every night if someone other than myself was the one to do the laundry! ;)

    What a lovely routine she had. Though I know I'm certainly more in the "orphaned slaveys" camp when I've taken off my makeup, washed my face and put my hair in rollers!

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  3. OOh, I want a marcel cap, toooooo. Neat little piece!

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  4. I may be a little behind, but what exactly is a marcel cap?

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    1. From what I've gathered, a marcel cap was like a baby cap but with a marcel wave shaped pattern to help preserve the finger-wave. You can see a swimming cap of that nature here: http://wearinghistory.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/1934swimsuits3.jpg (1934)

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  5. A marvel cap seems like such an obvious idea once you've heard of it, doesn't it? So smart! I highly doubt anyone is still producing them, but if I ever come across one (be it new or vintage), I'll let you right away, dear Riikka.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I would really appreciate it if you would let me know. Like you said, I truly doubt they're being produced these days but it shouldn't be absolutely impossible to find one on Ebay one day.

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