centuries, women have gone to great lengths to be beautiful. No one wants
wrinkles to age their face. Or crow’s feet to accent their eyes. Or a double
chin. Or a skinny face.
In the early
1900s, massage techniques and creams to solve these problems abounded.
advertisement for Pompeian Massage Cream. It challenged the reader to find the
forty-year-old chaperone among the group of young women. She held onto her
youth and beauty through regular massage with this cream.
The 1910 book Health and Beauty Hints by Margaret Mixter devotes an entire chapter to
face and neck massage.
A woman could
rub gently and use a flesh-making cream to increase the roundness of the cheeks.
Alternatively, she could rub vigorously and use an astringent lotion to remove
a double chin or extra flesh through friction.
If only it
were that easy.
friction explains why witch hazel was an ingredient in the massage cream
recipe at the beginning of the chapter. It could dull the pain.
A face massage took at least fifteen minutes. Although, a massage to reduce a double chin took half an hour.
attention, the homeliest neck may be made pretty.”
One didn’t even need to buy a book to stay up on the latest beauty tips. Newspapers dispensed similar advice.
In 1907, the Las Animas Leader included a Woman’s Realm section. It shared a variety of articles for women, even beauty tips. It recommended a cheerful disposition and a massage with good skin food (which appears to be a skin cream) to reduce wrinkles. It suggested “expert facial specialists” would use electricity. Yikes!
Barber parlors also offered facial massages to beautify the complexion.
An exciting array of creams promised results. In the February 4, 1894 edition of the Pueblo Chieftain, I found an advertisement for Mrs. Harold’s Marshmallow Cream. It would fill in the hollows in the cheeks and around the eyes. “It is magical in its results and so harmless you could eat it.”
find was a “machine,” which was basically a rubber straw with a suction cup on the
end. A lady would put the cup on her face and suck through the straw to create a vacuum,
which was a way of massaging the face to get rid of wrinkles.
“The cup is moved from the center of the face outward and upward while sucking.”
device for sale was a massage ball because “No woman wants crow’s feet and forehead
wrinkles.” It could make all parts of the face beautiful.
As much as I laugh about these old beauty tips, I must remember what we do today in the name of looking young. When I Googled “massage for double chin” for this blog, I found that I could purchase chin straps with massagers from many big box stores.
”Mending Sarah’s Heart” in the Thimbles and Threads Collection
historical romances celebrating the arts of sewing and quilting.
Sarah’s Heart by Suzanne Norquist
seeks a quiet life as a seamstress. She doesn’t need anyone, especially her
dead husband’s partner. If only the Emporium of Fashion would stop stealing her
customers, and the local hoodlums would leave her sons alone. When she rejects
her husband’s share of the mine, his partner Jack seeks to serve her through
other means. But will his efforts only push her further away?
a Free Preview, click here: http://a.co/1ZtSRkK
She authors a
blog entitled, Ponderings of a BBQ Ph.D.