Perusing her bookshelves during the weekend, Jules picked up an old copy of the Book of Hints and Wrinkles and learnt a little something about the beauty advice on offer in the 1930’s.
Here’s just a few top tips from the section “The Housewife’s Personal Appearance”.
Hints on Beauty
Housework was apparently hard on one’s appearance in the 1930’s. “Those who can set aside £10 for the year on beauty aids can of course repair the damages, but it’s helpful to have a servant or at least a charwoman to do the heavy work”
(However, for those who were either servantless or only had an occasional ‘woman’, beauty treatments were probably beyond their pocket, so the following advice is given…)
Help yourself to look Attractive
“There’s no doubt your facial expression is important – and an expression cannot be altered by cosmetics or even massage. Try to be tolerant and understanding rather than disparaging and censorious. Above all, don’t sneer as it produces a most unpleasant facial expression and causes indelible lines and wrinkles”
Try to look Cheerful
“Watch yourself and cultivate the habit of looking happy, contented and cheerful. A smiling countenance is always attractive and a far better safeguard against the onslaught of age than all the physical jerks and cosmetics in the world.”
Importance of occasionally Relaxing
“Don’t allow yourself to become overtired – lie down whenever possible
The importance of a daily bath cannot be overstressed – and the best time for a bath is as soon as possible after housework
Restore energy when tired by sucking a lump of sugar, a few boiled sweets or a little chocolate”
Jules says: “I’m not sure where I got this book as I’ve had it for years! But it’s a fascinating read and goes on to talk about general rules for buying clothes, how to be careful when buying clothes at sales, warnings about lingerie (!) and dressing yourself to a definite scheme. Now we know where Great Grandma’s advice came from – and despite modern attitudes to beauty, perhaps some of it still resonates with women today?”
Excerpts from The Book of Hints and Wrinkles, Odhams Press Limited, Long Acre, London, WC2