I risked nearly goug­ing my eyes out while try­ing to curl them with a heated spoon

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - BEAUTY -

I’m not rose-tint­ing those times (things were un­equiv­o­cally tough back then), but from a beauty per­spec­tive, they re­mained in­cred­i­bly el­e­gant. That’s why I’m tak­ing my rou­tine back to that era for one week. And maybe, just maybe, my search for Look­ing at iconic snap­shots of vin­tage god­desses like Rita Hay­worth, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe and Lau­ren Ba­call, they ap­pear as across their bow-shaped lips. I want that. Screw these bis­cu­ity nudes loved by these nu-90s In­sta­gram pouters. Red lip­stick is way more pow­er­ful. And back then, it was also an easy way for women to ‘put their best face for­ward’ and raise sol­diers’ morale (this was over 70 years ago, be­fore PlayS­ta­tions and PornHub). If you’re go­ing to do a red lip­stick au­then­ti­cally, it needs to be matte, pig­mented and come from a beau­ti­ful gold bul­let rather than the beet­root juice Bri­tish women had to use be­cause lip­stick didn’t make it into the ra­tioning books. I spent the week switch­ing be­tween Dolce & Gab­bana lip­stick in Dolce Mag­netic (R710), a suit-all, vam­piric blood red, and MAC Matte Lip­stick in Damn Glam­orous (R220), a scar­let shade that would have been pop­u­lar in the late 30s to early 40s and a must for ded­i­ca­tion to the past. I come un­done on two oc­ca­sions: en­coun­ter­ing a hang­over bur­rito (I looked like The Joker by the end) and then on a night out (lip­stick all over ev­ery­one – sorry, friends). Later in the week, I re­dis­cover that a slick lip­stick sealer re­ally does work – although it does sting a lit­tle. Straight­en­ers would have been to­tal anath­ema back in the 40s. Pin curls – where you fash­ion a curl shape and pin it to your head overnight – were all any­one wanted. And rag­ging – where strips of fab­ric se­cure your coiled hair – were used most of­ten. I gave both a go, and on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions woke up look­ing like the wan­ton off­spring of Marge Simp­son and Worzel Gum­midge. But the worst was yet to come. I then recre­ated the ef­fect of the 40s-style steel rollers women used to use with the mod­ern-day version. Cue the most un­com­fort­able night’s sleep ever. When I did man­age to get some shut-eye, I dreamt that a weird tree shaped like a pe­nis was chas­ing after me through an en­chanted Nor­we­gian, dis­rupted sleep and strange dreams (I can blame Tin­der and Vik­ings per­haps), but sleep is too steep a price to pay.

After read­ing Dita Von Teese’s new book, Your Beauty Mark (R577, Harper Collins), I re­alised that heated rollers, used widely in the 60s and 70s, are the key to mega-coif­fured hair. My pick are Toni hi-tech tongs like the ghd Curve Clas­sic Curl Tong (R2 299) out of lazi­ness, as it cre­ates long-wear­ing curls and comes with three dif­fer­ent-sized wands. Ge­nius. Nowa­days, you won’t see a star­let with­out gi­ant strip lashes and gal­lons of spi­dery mas­cara – and I can’t lie, I do the same for a night out. But back then, cake mas­cara and a small brush were used, or if you didn’t have ac­cess or funds, a con­coc­tion of burnt cork and Vase­line. (R335), to coat my lashes, but found the ef­fect too nat­u­ral. I look like an over-ripe potato if I don’t wear mas­cara, so I risked nearly goug­ing my eyes out while try­ing to curl them with a heated spoon (please wasn’t hugely ef­fec­tive. By now I’m pin­ing for my Chanel Di­men­sions De Chanel Mas­cara (R575) like it were my own spawn. But one tip I do take from this en­counter with lashes of the past, is to cre­ate sep­a­ra­tion for true im­pact. Au­drey Hep­burn’s make-up artist used a safety pin to sep­a­rate her lashes, but a Tweezerman Fold­ing Lash Comb (R215) does the same, mi­nus the risk of spear­ing your eye­balls. washed with soap, mois­turised with cold cream and made face masks with the con­tents of their kitchen cup­boards. Mean­while, the A-list, in­clud­ing Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, Greta Garbo and Jackie Onas­sis, all vis­ited Dr Erno Las­zlo, a renowned Hun­gar­ian skin doc­tor. In the name of in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism, I fol­lowed the rou­tine Mar­i­lyn used, which in­volved rub­bing Lipi­dol Cleans­ing Face Oil (R80) on to my skin to dis­solve make-up. Then, I had to cleanse with a cleans­ing bar used Bio­derma Se­bium Mat Mois­tur­is­ing Mat­ti­fy­ing Fluid (R230) dur­ing the day to keep shine at bay, which I’d rec­om­mend if you have oily skin. Fi­nally, I round off with a mod­ern-day equiv­a­lent of cold cream – Clar­ins Daily En­er­gizer Cream (R285) – a cold-pressed hit of mois­ture that sinks straight in. I could get used to not ap­ply­ing an After a week of try­ing to dip into the beauty rou­tines of women from the 40s, I’m con­vinced it’s time for a clear-out – of both our prod­uct stashes and rou­tines, which helps ev­ery­one.

op­posed to a 10-step cleans­ing rit­ual. There is also a rather pleas­ing sim­plic­ity to my new arse­nal – if any­thing, it’s made me feel more youth­ful and care­free than any beauty prod­ucts ever have. Bring on the end of the world, I say.


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