Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vintage Facial Treatments

Westmore Beauty Book -- A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty TechniquesI love reading about anything beauty-related, especially if it is vintage in nature.  Several of you liked my post on easy, at-home facials, so I thought I would share some more old-fashioned beauty advice from my favorite beauty manual, Westmore Beauty Book -- A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty Techniques.  As I have said before, this book is increadibly comprehensive and was written by the Westmores, a widely respected family of makeup artists who were notorious for creating the glamorous looks of many of the screen sirens of the past.  One reason I particularly like the suggestions in this book is because they are simple and realistic.  They don't call for any exotic ingredients, but rather, things that you most likely already have on-hand at home. 

Caring for Dry Skin:

Make sure to clean your face with softened water.  If you have hard water, purchase distilled water for the purpose of washing your face.  If you are unable to get distilled water, boil the water to be used and allow to cool. This will help soften hard water. Be sure to use a mild and super-fatted soap for washing. To remove the day's makeup, apply two applications of cleansing cream, and wipe off with tissues.  Then wash your face gently with a soft cloth, moving your fingertips in a circular motion.  After washing with soap an water, rinse your face well, being sure to remove all traces of soap.  Pat (but do not rub) face dry with a soft towel. Morning cleansing should consist of an application of cleansing cream, removed with a tissue.  Then apply a skin freshener with a cotton ball, and wipe off with a tissue. (Do not allow skin freshener to dry on face.)  Whenever possible, apply a moisturizing oil to face and neck and leave on as long as possible.

Oil Facial for Dry Skin:

Warm oil to be used and apply generously to face using a cotton ball.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe off excess with a cotton pad.  Apply facial moisturizing cream in a circular motion and finish with a skin freshener.

Caring for Oily Skin:

Nightly cleansing should consist of two applications of cleansing cream, removed with tissues.  After this, wash the face with warm water and a neutral soap.  Use a clean washcloth each time, or use your fingertips (being careful not to use your fingernails) to prevent spreading infection.  Work up a good lather on the face and rinse thoroughly with warm water.  Pat the face dry with a soft towel (do not rub). Pat the face with a cotton ball soaked with skin freshener, allowing the freshener to remain and dry on the face.  Morning cleansing should consist of washing with soap and water, thorough rinsing and an application of skin freshener. Do not allow skin freshener to dry on the face in the morning, but remove it with a tissue.

Treatment for Oily Skin:

Use this along with the regular cleansing procedure as often as needed.  Add one heaping tablespoon of epsom salts to a hot cup of water.  Allow to dissolve. Dip cotton balls or pads into this solution and pat over face.  Rinse with cold water. Repeat for 10 consecutive nights.


  1. You know I LOVE advice from the well of all knowledge (vintage booklets!). This was great and reminded me that as a kid every bathroom had a jar with a lid filled with cotton balls (except ours - my mom was a washcloth gal, which we now know is good to exfoliate)Now I know WHY.



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