A lot of things have changed since the 19th century. In the Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information (1889), there is an entire chapter dedicated to the "secrets of beauty," and for a good reason.
One quote I absolutely couldn't stop laughing about (because we (use ladies) no longer stand by this rule) is "If women are to govern, control, manage, influence and retain the adoration of husbands, fathers, brothers, lovers or even cousins, they must look their prettiest at all times."
Here are just a few of the facts that stand by that rule:
- Bathe Often (ummmm, seriously?) ~ At least once a week, but if possible, a lady should "take a plunge or sponge bath three times a week."
- Household Cleaning Solution (starting with chemical's aren't we?) ~ What's better than soap? Is there anything better than soap? There is...Ammonia. Just a capful or so in the bath works as well as soap and cleans the pores. "as well as bleach will do."
- I never knew you should or could wash your eyes ~ Nothing is as attractive as a sparkling eye. :) The best way to achieve this is by "dashing soapsuds into them." (Ouch!) If that's not your style, perfume dropped into the eyes is a reasonable alternative. For the same bright-eyed look without the burn, "half a dozen drops of whisky and the same quantity of cologne, eaten on a lump of sugar, is quite as effective."
- Bathe Often...but don't wash your hair? ~ Water is "injurious" to the hair. Instead, wipe "the dust of the previous day" away on a towel. 30-minutes is a good hair-brushing session.
- Never, ever wash your face ~ Simply rub the skin with "an ointment of glycerine" and "dry with a chamois-skin or cotton flannel." One "beautiful lady" is admired who had "not washed her face for three years, yet it is always clean, rosy, sweet and kissable."
- Try not to wash your hands, either. ~ A well kept hand is soft, pale, and really, really dirty. Red hands can be relieved "by soaking the feet in hot water as often as possible (now, those old movies are starting to make a little sense)," but don't dare touch the water with your hands. Gloves should be worn for bathing.
- Laughable ~ Hang Out Naked by the Window Everyday ~ "The lady denudes herself, takes a seat near the window, and takes in the warm rays of the sun." If you're a lady of the restless sort, dancing is advised. A good vapor-bathing (different than the ammonia soak, but more likely to bring the attention of unwanted suitors) is at least an hour long.
Remember ladies, whatever methods are used...being married is better than an ammonia-water bath for your complexion.
See you next time,