A reader wrote this week to ask if I could share the “nighttime beauty routine” from Constance Hart’s Handbook of Beauty. I featured the one-night-a-week beauty routine and the morning beauty routine years ago on the website, from this 1955 beauty paperback. All of these refer back to other sections of the book; if you’d like more details you’ll just have to dig up a copy for yourself.
This is a bit more time-consuming that probably your usual routine, but if you get started before dinner and devote the evening hours to this instead of watching TV or other trivial pursuits, I’m sure you can accomplish all of this!
Your Nighttime Beauty Routine (for both housewives and working girls)
1. Remove all make-up with cream.
2. Cream-cleanse or soup-and-water cleanse face.
3. Rest for 10 minutes in darkened room with feet up and cotton pads soaked in witch hazel over your eyelids.
4. Take a warm bath (see chapter on bath). This is optional if you plan to take a bath before bedtime.
5. Wash hands and nails; push back cuticles.
6. Apply hand lotion or hand cream.
7. Change into fresh clothing.
1. Massage scalp for at least 2 minutes.
2. Pin up hair if necessary; if not, brush hair for at least 50 strokes. This brushing is optional if you’ve had your brushing session in the morning.
3. Do 5 minutes of general and special exercises (see chapter on exercises). This step is optional if you’ve exercised earlier in the day.
4. Take a warm bath (see chapter on baths). Skip this bath if you’ve had one before dinner.
5. IF not bathing, scrub hands, nails, forearms, upper arms.
6. Apply body or hand lotion or cream to elbows, backs of heels, and any other rough spots.
7. Check fingernails for rough spots; file them with emery board.
8. Apply petroleum jelly or oil to nails (fingers and toes), lashes, brows, and (if you’re not going to have a bedtime snack) lips.
9. Apply emollient cream to areas around eyes.
10. IF skin is dry, apply a thin film of emollient cream all over your face; if skin is half-and-half, apply it only to dry patches. In both cases leave on overnight.
11. Apply touch of perfume, toilet water, or cologne below nostrils for easier sleeping.
12. IF underweight, have a light snack. IF overweight, write down list of what you’ve eaten during day and record the calorie count.
13. Massage gums for at least two minutes.
14. Use mouth wash.
15. Check bedroom for proper sleeping conditions (see chapter on sleep and rest).
16. To bed and lights out.
Source: Hart, Constance. The Handbook of Beauty. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1955.