Monday, September 1, 2014

Non-Fiction Review: Glamour Daze Vintage Make-up Guides Bundle

Total Pages: 401
Genre: Non-Fiction, Health/Beauty
Purchased from: Vintage Make-up Guide
Purchase Price: $19.99

A BARGAIN ! -- DOWNLOAD ALL THE BEAUTY GUIDES INSTANTLY ! Beautifully restored and inspiring beauty manuals in high resolution - from the Flapper days of the 1920s, to the glamorous 1950's era. Genuine advice for women by beauty experts of the period. A trip on a time machine, back to gentler, more feminine days. And the advice and tips are fabulous. So treat your self, best friend or loved one to a pleasant surprise. [ PDF e-book - also read on iPad or iPhone - see below]

I was surfing the Glamour Daze website one night when I found their make-up guides. If the site didn't have enough information already (seriously, if you are a vintage nerd go check it out now!) there were also these authentic guides available for purchase. I couldn't really decide which era to get and the books worked out $9.99 each or $19.99 for the bundle of four. I decided to get the bundle and I am glad I did because I like each one for different reasons.

These books are restored pages of actual vintage guides that have become out-of-print and are not under copyright hence Glamour Daze's authority to sell them. There are four eras and the original book titles are: 'Make-up & Beauty- A 1920's Flappers Guide' by Majorie Oelrichs, 'Make-up' by Virginia Vincent (1932), 'The New Art of Make-up' by Max Factor Hollywood (1938), 'Make-up & Beauty - A Vintage 1940's guide' by Bud & Ern Westmore, 'Make-up and Live!' by Joe Bonomo, And, 'Make-up and Beauty- a woman's path to glamour' author unknown. Each book contains info about Skincare, appropriate hairstyles and make-up for certain faceshapes/skin tones, manicure tips, And, articles about inner beauty/being a lady in society.

One of the things that I think is the most interesting about these books is the differences between recommendations for your face shape and skin tone. I think this is because the standard of beauty changed over the years as did the look that women were trying to achieve and the types of products available. Other factors such as a woman's role in society, Affordability, The War,  and new technologies would have also changed the way women wore make-up. I recently found out that I have a heart-shaped face (I always just assumed it was oval) and this shape is not included in the books. If we were to go on an oval face shape (which I honestly think a heart shaped face is really just a type of oval face from the descriptions in the books) the 1940's guide tells me to stick to shorter hair styles or keep longer hair in a hairstyle at the nape of my neck. It also states that I shouldn't hide my widows peak, not to have a fringe and not to part my hair on the side. The 1950s guide suggests a "gibson" style up-do for a person with small-ish features (the girls face looks heart-shaped) and she has all of her pulled up onto the top or her head. It is relatively short and pincurled / curled near the temples. This would exaggerate the "heart" shape and contradicts the 1940's do's and don'ts rules.

Some of the instructions in the books are quite simple, yet agree-able and quite different to modern suggestions. Things like applying lipstick over your lip or inside your lip depending on the size and shape of your lips, Applying a bright lipstick neatly to draw attention to the lips and away from imperfections, Avoiding eye-shadow altogether if your eye-lids are too heavily hooded and making an effort to match your lipstick and blusher (or at least use shades from the same colour family). I think some of the instructions are more in-depth in the later guides.

I feel like these guides -while interesting- are a little insensitive. I think that maybe back in the day this would have been acceptable, but in the 21st century reading this book as a sensitive person could become quite an offensive experience. The books do push contact lenses (rather than glasses), weight loss techniques (diets and exercises), plastic surgery and hair dye. This is possibly due to the fact that these modern technologies were only just becoming available. The 1920s book has a piece on 'The Girl Who is Unpopular' and encourages lonely girls to put effort into their appearance (assuming that they don't already). The 1950's guide explains that oily skin is unusual and that if you have Acne there is probably something really wrong with you and you should see a doctor. These instructions are meant for over 25s though and were given in a time when women lived a completely different lifestyle and didn't consume as many chemicals in their food.

One cool thing about the books is getting to see things from these eras that you don't get to see usually. Things like the rouged fingers in the early 1930's, Things like putting rouge on the inner corner of your eyes if you have wide eyes, And, the 1940's manicure! I think it's cool to see the different shapes and colours that were popular in makeup during those eras as well as instructions for waved or curled hairstyles/cuts. The skin care routines were also quite elaborate and if you have bad skin maybe they might be a good idea.

Overall, I really enjoyed this Bundle and don't mind looking through it from time to time. I don't use it as a reference book and I don't think it's a necessity for your vintage beauty guide collection, but it definitely is insightful and if you are a make-up addict or a bit of a vintage geek (or both like me). If that is the case, then I would totally recommend it. For me the price was worth it just for the pictures.

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