Vintage Beauty Secrets – part I


Anita Page, as compared to “The Ideal Screen Type” versus me

Eleanor Boardman – the actress I think I look the most like.

My list of beauty secrets reads as if my grandmothers penned it:

– I cut my nails at a sharp angle so that they resemble kitten claws. This helps them to grow longer because there is less surface area for the sides to get busted up. This is also how lots of 1930s movies show womens’ manicures to look like.

– Strangers tell me I smell good all of the time. I use essential oils mixed with grape seed oil on my pulse points, wrists and knees. I use a mix of lavender, bergamont, clove, citrus, amber, rose and rosemary, depending on what I feel like that morning.

– Put an index card behind eyelids to prevent mascara application from ruining eyeshadow.

– Ladies pinch; whores use rouge. I am both a lady and a whore, it seems.

– I have deep set eyes so my eyeliner is always stamping little half moons onto my eyelids. I use a lot of concealer on the eyelid to lessen the effect.

– Cotton swabs for everything! I have them overflowing in little teacups in my vanity. In fact, I keep lots of things organized in little teacups and saucers!

– Sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, asprin scrubs, sand scrubs – whatever the method, I exfoliate often.

– Use four different flavors of toothpaste for taste variety and effectiveness (I use: Crest Peppermint, Ayurvedic Clove, Jason Teatree and Tom’s Anise)

– Wet hair and set it once a week. Shower as much (or as little) as I like while wearing a fashionable showercap. Seldom do I shampoo unless I’ve biked 20 miles or am really dusty. I follow the curly girl method for my ringlets.

– Swim in natural springs lots during the summer because the spring water makes my hair move and feel differently.

– Shave legs half as often if I wear knee socks and moisturize the kneecaps

– I always have my toes painted outlandishly because it makes me smile when I take off my shoes in the dead of winter (this week’s combination is brown with silver polkadots)

– Vaseline smeared over kohl lined eyes is a simple fix for classic eyes

– I use a proper setting lotion (1:4 combination of Lottabody:water) and I add some lavender essential oil to it.

– Beer or liquor resets curls. When I had a mohawk I spiked it with Scotch, but now I use beer to recurl fallen tendrils if I’ve been out at a bar dancing.

– I’ve shaved my forearms for 6 years now. I’ve forgotten why I started doing it. Just one of those things.

– I took my lighted magnifying mirror off my vanity and only use it once or twice a month. Who needs to see a macro view of their face everyday?

– Cocoa butter or massage bars from Lush for perfume and moisturizing everything that’s not my face.

Everything Balm for my face and for sore muscles (not vegan but I got it a long time ago and it lasts forever!)

– Steep lavender blossoms in hot water and make a “tea.” Strain and use in a squirt bottle. Lavender water perks up curls and smells heavenly.

– I live in the hot, humid South. I keep a spraybottle of “Arkansas Air Conditioning” in my fridge that has 10 drops of Peppermint Essential oil and water in it. This is invaluable for cooling off on hot days, just keep away from eyeballs, mucus producing orifices and genitals.

– “Arkansas Air Conditioning” is a great way to make friends. Bring a spraybottle to punk shows, house parties, and bbqs and ask to spritz people down. Both charming and helpful!

– The summer is too hot for stockings. If I’m going out and I want a suntan, I’ll do what my grandmother Betty did for pantyhose in WWII: fill a tub with warm water and dissolve 6 black teabags in the water. Soak in the water for about 15 minutes and dry off with an old towel. Draw a line up the back of the legs with brown eyeliner for a seamed stocking look.

– Buy a few cheap paper or fabric decorative parasols from Asian stores and use them instead of sunscreen. I’m only exposed to sun when I walk to the grocery store because I work indoors and have a 3 minute bikeride to work. Why stink like sunscreen all day when you can have an adorable prop?

– Drink 10 cups of tea a day. Eat lots of young coconut right from the shell. Pick my own vegetables. Be raw until dinner.

Me with a parasol, in lieu of sunscreen, March, 2009.

This is a photo of me from April, 2006, when I was still mastering pincurls but hadn’t yet grown out my trademark kiss curls. I have been taking daily outfit photos now for four years!