Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!


Posts Tagged ‘beauty routines’

Your One-Night-A-Week Beauty Routine

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

give yourself the tired-eye treatmentI just couldn’t resist the opportunity to provide you with more tips from The Handbook of Beauty. I skipped over the more general “Nighttime Beauty Routine” to bring you these once-a-week suggestions.

I apologize for not being able to include all of the chapters that are referenced in the list below, but I think you can perform the routine without more specific instructions. And by the way, I’ve decided to set aside Tuesdays for my special night. How about you?

1955: Your One-Night-A-Week Beauty Routine
(for both housewives and working girls)

Set aside one evening a week ~ whichever is most convenient, but try to make it the same night every week to fix the habit firmly ~ to do the following beauty chores that don’t have to be done more often. Start after dinner. Give yourself plenty of time (at least two hours). Try to avoid interruptions by your family or by friends on the phone.

I’m going to suggest the order in which you can do all these beauty chores. But if you prefer, rearrange the order to suit your own particular tastes. Just make sure you do all the steps listed for a complete feeling of achievement on the road to beauty.

1. Get into the most comfortable old robe you have.

2. IF you have make-up on, remove all traces.

3. Thoroughly cleanse your face (see chapter on skin).

4. Give yourself the tired-eye treatment (see chapter on eyes).

5. Sit in front of a mirror and, for about 15 minutes, experiment with new make-up purchases and new ways of applying your old make-up (see chapter on make-up).

6. Remove all traces of this make-up but keep on the final application of cream you’ve used to remove it.

7. Do five minutes of facial massage (see chapter on skin).

8. Apply facial mask.

9. While mask is still on, remove old nail polish.

10. Do all steps of your manicure up to but not including the new polish application (see chapter on hands).

11. Remove facial mask.

12. Give yourself the tired-foot treatment (see chapter on feet).

13. Start your pedicure. Do all the steps up to but not including the new polish application, if any (see chapter on feet).

14. Exercise for 15 minutes (see chapter on exercises).

15. Brush hair at least 100 strokes.

16. Shampoo hair (see chapter on hair).

17. Set hair (see chapter on hair).

18. Take a warm “luxury” bath (see chapter on baths).

19. Apply anti-perspirant to underarms (if you use it).

20. Apply toilet water, cologne, or body lotion all over yourself.

21. Finish off with talcum or dusting powder (not, however, if you’ve used body lotion).

22. Apply polish to toenails.

23. While they’re drying, apply polish to fingernails.

24. When fingernails are dry, weigh and measure yourself. Record results on Pages 315 and 316 of this book.

25. Apply emollient cream to area around eyes.

26. IF skin is dry, leave a thin film of the cream all over your face for overnight. If skin is half-and-half, leave a thin film of the cream on dry patches for overnight.

27. Wash and thoroughly dry hands; push back cuticles.

28. Apply hand lotion or cream.

29. Get into bed and lights out.

In addition to the above routine, set aside a shorter time on an evening about three nights later to do the following:

1. Repair manicure.

2. Give your hair a between-shampoo cleansing (see chapter on hair).

3. IF you’re over thirty, give yourself a 5-minute facial (see chapter on skin).

4. Check up on your make-up equipment. Wash sponges, puffs, and brushes in soapy warm water.

5. Apply anti-perspirant to your underarms if you perspire profusely as a rule.

Source: Hart, Constance. The Handbook of Beauty. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1955.
~ pp. 297-99 ~

Your Morning Beauty Routine

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

would you pass me the talcum, sweetie?This very important advice for the “working girl” comes from The Handbook of Beauty. And remember, Miss Abigail does not like to discriminate ~ boys might want to give this a try too. You never can tell what a good beauty routine will do for you. However, you might need to wake up a few hours earlier than usual to get things done.

Note: I think I need clarification on #6. When do we get to drink the coffee?

1955: Your Morning Beauty Routine
(if you’re a working girl)

1. While still in bed, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.

2. Out of bed and in front of open window, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.

3. Dash cold water onto wrists (excellent waker-upper).

4. Use mouth wash.

5. IF you’re going to exercise, cream face. IF not, cream face if your skin is dry; soap-and-water cleanse it if your skin is oily; do either if your skin is normal or half-and-half. Apply astringent if you’ve soap-and-water cleansed.

6. Put on coffee.

7. Drink a cup of hot water with or without lemon juice (excellent for digestion).

8. Do 5 minutes of general and special exercises (see chapter on exercises).This step is optional if you’re planning to exercise later in the day or at night.

9. Take shower or bath (see chapter on baths). This is optional if you haven’t exercised.

10. IF you’ve creamed face, remove cream; apply finishing lotion, cold water, or witch hazel.

11. Apply deodorant.

12. IF you’re using toilet water or cologne, apply all over body.

13. Finish off with talcum or dusting powder (unless you’re wearing dark dress).

14. Apply foundation.

15. Apply rouge.

16. Eat a balanced breakfast (see chapter on diet).

17. Brush teeth.

18. Apply lipstick and blot it.

19. Apply face powder if you use it with your type of foundation; remove excess.

20. Put on all clothes except dress.

21. Apply second coat of lipstick.

22. Apply mascara and eyebrow pencil to lashes and brows. (You can use petroleum jelly or oil instead if you prefer.)

23. Brush hair at least 50 strokes.

24. Apply perfume if you’re wearing it instead of toilet water or cologne.

25. Blot lipstick.

26. Finish dressing.

27. Comb hair and apply hair dressing.

28. Wash hands and apply hand lotion or cream.

29. Check up on your appearance in full-length mirror.

Source: Hart, Constance. The Handbook of Beauty. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1955.
~ pp. 291-92 ~