Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Your Power as a Woman (1957): Makeup Tips!


Oh, Alma Archer. How I've missed your stern yet encouraging voice over the last week. The next chapter in 1957's Your Power as a Woman has your favorite self-help proto-guru explaining the in's and out's of corrective makeup. You CAN correct even a face like this:
Quelle horreur! Why are their faces all alike except for weird elongations
and exaggerations of certain features?
I feel fear!
In sixth grade, I remember getting a copy of what I think was called Girl Talk through the Scholastic Book Club "Especially for Girls" division. I KNOW that one existed, but I can't find it on either my bookshelf or the internet. Frustration. It came in a double book set with a "My Personal Diary" blank journal and was itself a self-help, "tweenage" book that predates the term, probably written in the late 80's. Some gals who bore striking resemblance to Mayim Bialnik were wearing berets and high-fiving each other on the cover. Through the course of the self-improvement/comportment guide, you could find out what "color" you were to figure out what shades of makeup to wear or that you didn't have an oval face and were thus doomed to spinsterhood if you didn't follow the instructions for CORRECTING said defect. This chapter of Your Power is the is the exact thing for adult women of the 1950's. I don't know why I'm so into this kind of "pink think" as to there being a right and a wrong way to wear cosmetics/your hair/etc for maximizing your beauty potential! Sometimes I like to think three waves of a wand and I could be Kim Novak. Or at least feel like her! And sometimes the right mascara and lipstick is the first step towards that.

One of the items I'm most interested in right now, as befits my training-wheels phase of daily lipstick wearing, is the segment on the lips. See some of the shapes you should either avoid or try to create:

While I have a thinner uppper lip than the illustration in the right hand lower corner, I have a dramatic natural cupid's bow of a mouth, which in previous generations made my father and grandfather look like they were perpetually doing "Elvis lips" in photos. While not as pronounced as theirs, the iteration of this mouth that I ended up with just begs to be Clara-Bowed, which is EXACTLY that of which this portion warns the budding cosmetologist. Actually, Archer looks back on most pre mid-modern makeup fads as h-i-d-e-o-u-s. And I just thought I could look like Mae Murray (below)!

In a nutshell.
I love that Archer calls twenties' and thirties' made-up women "ghouls" and "witches" respectively! Can I please use this in place of a stronger epithet some time? I don't share her opinion, but them's was different times.

The "real scoop" on lipstick, complete with shameless plug for publisher Hazel Bishop company's lipstick line:

So that settles that!

Some terrifying, hairless face shapes below. Which face shape do you think you most resemble?

Triangular...just wow.

Above, Archer encourages the older woman reader not to despair over wrinkles, as they can lessened by these simple face exercises.They make you look completely crazy, but would probably serve as a nice stress reliever. Do you ever feel like when you read about how to work out at your desk or how to get a whole cardio exercise in 10 minutes or how to not get wrinkles in Cosmo or Allure or the like that they're just about as made up as the horoscopes? Like someone's sitting at a desk somewhere going "Oh, we're gonna get 'em this week. Elvis sighting in Montreal, annnnnd...wrinkle relief"...

Some tips on how to shade your nose, chin, and eyes for ultimate, real beauty. are listed below P.S. If I had a pug nose like Midge or Carol Lynley, I could not be swayed to change it. How cute is that? All good drag queens know how to contour the face with light and dark lines of makeup, I think it's time we step up the pace as ladies and stow away a few tricks up our own sleeves! (PS #teamsharonneedles drag racers know what I'm talkin' about)

Thanks for the bleak look into my future, Al-Arch...
 Want to own your own Hazel Bishop 77 lipstick? I don't think the cosmetic is still good, but you can buy a case to replace with a new stick here or a freakin' vanity tray (yes and YES?! Last picture below) here.



Til next time!


  1. Um...what she talks about with that teenager with the "ski-jump nose" is actually aging. Oh, Hazel. Sooner or later, our lips all fade away and our ski-jump noses give way to the sad distraction of course hair and double chins. Or maybe I'm just feeling tired today. And worried that I have that triangle face.

    And god, yes...Blogger. I'm dying. I get lost. I stumble. I post something and then look at it and see that there are like, four billion spaces between paragraphs.

  2. oh i think i will have a nightmare about that triangle face tonight. i want to go on drag u so bad so the queens can show me how to contour my face so i look totally different! (i was seriously on the edge of my seat for the finale!! i'm so happy miss needles won!!!)



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