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( Originally Published Mid 1800s )
The business woman's good looks are, as important and essential to her success as beauty and wealth to a society woman. We may dodge the issue for a time, and we may prate about brains and capacity and all that, but when the opportunity offers for a place, other things being equal, the best looking of the business applicants will get the position every time.
The woman who dresses plainly will have more time and money, also, to care for her actual self, both physically and mentally. The business woman of moderate salary cannot indulge in massage, or even visit a manicure. She can, however, do much by exquisite personal neatness and a nourishing diet, to ward off the ravages of time and care.
First of all she should cultivate a contented spirit. Recollect that nothing so soon fixes disagreeable lines upon the face as habits of scowling, or facial contortions of any description.
Keep your soul above the petty trials of life. Look up, my dear friends, and forward. Above the roughness of the earth you will always find a bit of blue somewhere in the firmament, and if you watch patiently you will find a little star of hope trying hard to send you a loving little twinkle of encouragement out of the blackest night.
Don't waste your strength in losing your temper over small things. We have just so much vital force, each one of us. If we waste it over trifles (and a lot of strength escapes in each angry word) we will not have it for our work or our diversion.
The business woman of necessity makes but the one toilet for the day. She should, on rising, take a full sponge bath,carefully washing her face with hot water and soap if she has used a cream or lotion before going to bed-in clear, tepid water otherwise. Every particle of soap must be washed out and finally the face rinsed in clear, cold water. Where a woman is strong enough I heartily advocate the cold plunge. Draw the water the night before and there will be no shock, and the stimulant of a cold morning bath gives tone to the system and stands by one like a tonic whose influence is felt all day. A little Lait Virginal in the plunge or the rinsing water for the sponge bath is also refreshing and invigorating. Five minutes' exercise with a pair of light, wooden dumb-bells will mean an appetite for breakfast and will cure any disposition to morning headache.
The teeth should be brushed twice before leaving home for the day; once on rising and again after breakfast, which should be a substantial meal with a cup of good English breakfast tea instead of the complexion-destroyer, coffee.
Brush the teeth always up and down. I suggest a simple antiseptic dentifrice easily made at home for the first brushing, and a very delicious tooth wash for the second. Pass a bit of dental silk between the teeth to remove every stray particle of food. A business woman's whole future may be made or marred by the appearance of her mouth when she opens it to speak or smile.
The business woman should take at least an hour for her night toilet which positively requires a full hot bath with a brush scrub from head to foot, ten minutes at least for brushing and braiding the hair, and a careful examination of the skin. If the cuticle be inclined to be rough a good cream should be gently rubbed into it; if the wrinkles are crowding themselves into prominence they must be kneaded and smoothed and coaxed away; if there be an ominous little patch of brown just above one cheek or a queer discoloration resembling the tiny prints of a little brown hand across the tired brow, there is no time to lose in applying a lotion which will turn these intruders pale and banish them after a little; if there be other blemishes they should be taken account of now, The gown should be brushed, collar and cuffs laid out and everything put in readiness for there will be no time in the morning; and far from least important of all rule: for the business woman to rigorously adhere to is a well - ventilated chamber and a scrupulously clean, comfortable bed to sleep in. Every working woman that can possibly do so, even though it costs her a denial of luxury, owes herself a sleeping room quite apart, where she can each night rest mind and body, and undisturbed for ten long, sweet hours refresh her exhausted forces through that deep well-earned sleep that is the Heaven-sent reward of honest toil, the sleep that does indeed " knit up the raveled sleeve of care."