It can be said that if us girls were to keep ourselves perfectly preened and glamorous every single day, we would have no time at all to do anything else.  Looking beautiful all the time takes a lot of hard work and dedication.  There’s cleansing, toning, moisturising, exfoliating, waxing, plucking, shampooing, conditioning, brushing, setting, face masks, manicures, pedicures and not to mention the layers of make up applied with skill.  With modern busy lives, sometimes these things can slide a little – after all no one can see your hairy legs if you have trousers on.  So when I found a useful little section in one of my vintage books, I just had to share it with you.

The book of which I speak is actually a book for “The Bride”.  I found it whilst clearing out my Uncle’s house (he recently passed away).  It was a present from a Mr Kennard (whoever he is?!), on the occasion of my Grandparents engagement, to my Grandma.  It is a little sexist by today’s standards as it is not only a book on how to plan the perfect wedding, but also a handbook on how to be the perfect housewife and wife in general.  That aside it does have some really useful hints and tips.  In particular it has a super useful “Beauty Calender”, a daily list of areas to concentrate on so that all your appearance is lovely and becoming 24/7.  I believe this is something the modern gal can learn from.  It breaks down all the tasks us ladies have to do into manageable daily chunks so beautifying isn’t as daunting a task.

MONDAY.- Nails, hands and elbows.  A once-a-week manicure should be sufficient if you do it properly, and are careful to push back the cuticle whenever you are drying your hands.  On your “nails, hands and elbows day” after you have filed your nails and removed the polish, cover your hands with a rich cream, paying special attention to the cuticle, then have a look at your elbows.  Even if they are in fairly good condition, it will be a good plan to massage them for five minutes with a cream of which the base is lemon or peroxide.  Then wipe them off, wash them in warm water, and dry them.  By this time your nails will have had a good oily soak as well, and you can finish your manicure.
TUESDAY.- Look around for incipient wrinkles-at the eye corners, between the brows and around the mouth.  Pat in a nourishing skin food.  Let it remain for five minutes.  Take it off with a pure skin lotion, and then pat some more of the lotion into the area.
WEDNESDAY.Neck and chin.  Apply olive oil or a skin food into the neck with an upwards motion towards the chin.  Remove this with warm water or tonic, rub in some more cream and leave it on the skin for at least five minutes.  Tap along the surface under the chin and the jaw line, with fingers that have been dipped generously in skin food.  When you remove the cream, take a piece of ice wrapped in a cloth and rub it upwards on your neck and around the chin and jaw.
THURSDAY.- Face.  Cover the face with a cleansing cream and leave it on for five minutes.  Then remove it with skin tonic.  Now apply a beauty mask.  You can make one with Fuller’s Earth and Skin Tonic mixed to a thick paste, or if you dip cotton wool into the unbeaten white of an egg and apply this all over the face, in an upward movement.  Lie down flat on your back for half an hour.  Keep your eyes closed and try to relax.  Then take off the beauty mask with skin lotion, apply a good coat of skin food and leave this on for five minutes.  After you have taken away all traces of the cream, rub ice over your skin.  Your skin will feel fresh and renewed.

FRIDAY.- Teeth and eyes.  Look at your teeth in a good light and see if there are any discolourations.  If so, try the bicarbonate of soda hint mentioned in the paragraph on the care of the teeth.  Turn your attention to your eyebrows.  If they are uneven, pull out the odd hairs with tweezers.  Try to spare twenty minutes or half an hour for the eyes themselves.  Dip pads of cotton wool in strong cold tea which has been strained.  Lie down and cover your eyes with the pads, renewing them occasionally.  This rests and refreshes the eyes and makes them brighter.

SATURDAY.Very special bath and care of the feet.  Make this a really ceremonial bath.  Don’t just pop into the tub and out again.  Wallow in that warm water.  Put some of your favourite bath salts in it.  After you have thoroughly dried yourself, use a spray with eau-de-Cologne.  Then have your weekly pedicure.
SUNDAY.- Hair.  Give your scalp a five minutes’ massage, keeping the thumbs pressed against the head and moving the scalp with the fingers.  Far from hurting your wave, this will help to renew it.  Then give your hair a really good vigorous brushing.  Lastly, set it back into its normal shape, and if possible, cover it with a veil or net for half an hour.

Phew!  Did you get all that?  Some of the advice is written in quite an old fashioned way.  For example you have to use your noggin and realise that ‘skin food’ is probably moisturiser.  But I believe that if you list all the areas that you wish to improve upon in your beauty regime, then break them down into little tasks and assign a day, you won’t get those days where you think ‘urgh my skin looks so dull and dirty’ or ‘yuk my feet are all dry and flakey’.

Another section in the Brides Book which I love is the chapter on Entertaining.  All about how to host the perfect cocktail party!  But that shall be another blog post topic.

I shall leave you with the very exciting news that the Black Nell Robe is back in stock IN ALL SIZES!!!!!  So if you missed out last time on this beaut, go on and treat yourself.  Alternatively celebrate all things British (with all the Olympics and Paralympics on the telly and all that) by grabbing something made entirely in the UK on my website ;-).

Lots of Love
Betty xxx