Sunday, August 21, 2011

Elgin American Compact Treasure!

Last month I went antique shopping for the first time in a long, long while.  I stumbled across a compact mirror with two leaping gazelles on it.  I really liked the design, even though I didn't decide to buy it until last-minute.  My guess would be late '40s, early '50s, but I'm no expert.  What do you think?


 It was only $2 because the mirror inside is cracked.  When I got it home, I found out that it is an Elgin American.  I'm having a bit of trouble finding information on the company; I've heard of Elgin Watch Company but I don't know if it is associated with the makers of the compacts.

The center is stamped "Elgin American" in elegant lettering.  The powder puff would go here...

And the powder goes here!

I was thinking about restoring it, and replacing the mirror.  But I like it so much, maybe it is best to just leave it the way it is.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cool Beauty for August

More 1930s advice for ladies from the book What Every Woman Should Know!

This article instructs you on how to be "complexion conscious" and practice proper facial care for the summer.  With different temperatures and humidity, the face requires different treatment than in winter.  After all, wearing your winter face cream and powder in the summer would be like "wearing a fur coat on a hot August day"!

Here are some tips on how to keep your face feeling cool and fresh through these hot days of late summer.

"To avoid clogging the pores should be our greatest concern."  Therefore, make-up should be renewed often; however, "it is a mistake at all times to put fresh cosmetics over old make-up."  Remove make up with a removal cream, and follow up by dabbing the face with an astringent or eau-de-Cologne.  Now fresh make-up is ready to be applied.  And--"remember to wash your powder-puff more frequently in the summer."

A tinted lotion is recommended for summer wear as a make-up base, so that only a "fine dusting of powder" is needed.  "Rouge, if used at all, should be put on most sparingly.  Be more delicate in tone."  Under lipstick, "dry lips may need a trace of oil"...use this method instead of using a "greasy" lipstick.

"For the fair English skin that cannot tan with safety, or for the cream and roses girl who wishes to remain her exquisite self, there is a new sun-proof cream that actually deflects the sunlight.  This can be used once or twice during the day as a powder foundation."  (Golly, sunscreen!)

Those girls who have "acquired the 'real thing' in tans needs little or no make-up...She looks best with her own glow of health--and so much cooler!  A dust of powder on the nose and a vivid lipstick...will be enough."

Protect your eyes!  "Eyes suffer in the heat.  They get strained and burned."  Don't forget your sunglasses, which not only protect, but are also fashionable.  Bathe the eyes in cold tea twice or three times a day.

"Eye make-up should be less exotic if we wish to be cool-looking."  As it is the 1930s, the popular "trace of oil on the lids and the brows" is recommended, along with a touch of mascara.  "If eye shadow is used let it be a shadow."

Another interesting tidbit which dates this article is the mention of "leg cosmetics," and treatments for the legs (either bleaching or bronzing was available, according to skin tones).  But what does apply today is that "legs must be smooth and evenly coloured."

Shampoo hair frequently, and "don't let your figure 'go' in the hot weather.  It needs support more than ever.  Wear the lightest type of belt and brassiere".  Also, it is advised to "take advantage of the fashion for linen shoes, sandals and fabric and organdi gloves."  Rest during the day, even for only a few moments.  "Relax completely, and keep the feet up."  When it comes to nail colors, if you aren't wearing your lovely gloves too often, during these warm spells, coral-tinted nails are considered "cooler-looking and are newer than blood red or exotic shades."

So, stay cool ( and "cool-looking"), ladies!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My grandmother, circa 1939.

 Kathryn Belle.

I wanted to share this photo of my lovely grandmother, who helped raise me, and who is the greatest inspiration when it comes to vintage looks.  This is her senior photo, and as she graduated in 1940, my guess would be that this was taken in late 1939.  I love that dress!

The photograph was torn when I found it, but I tried to repair it digitally.