Beauty And Sleep
( Originally Published 1924 )
The third beauty prescription is plenty of sleep. A certain multimillionaire who had a little daughter whom he adored as King Midas loved little Marigold, once called in a famous interior decorator to furnish a sleeping room for his little girl. When the work was completed, the father went to see the room when the child was asleep. What was his surprize to find a room with plain putty-colored walls, bare floor, and shaded but uncurtained windows. In the center of the room, placed with its head to the window, was an iron bed like those used in hospitals. There was no pillow. The child was quietly and healthfully sleeping.
The decorator knew the restfulness that came from such a simple room. No child should go to sleep at night with teddy-bears, waddling ducks, and Jack-and-Jills staring at him, nor should he awake to stimulating pictures. His sleep should be tranquil, and the waking-up times never too exhilarating.
Every one should assume a good position before settling down to sleep. The face should rest on the pillow, so that its muscles are in place rather than pulled down, and the hand should never be under the face. Warmth without weight should be the desired quality of winter coverlets. Nature gives us an example of this as she covers the violets with snow. A plentiful supply of fresh air will purify the blood and give color to the skin.
There is a difference of opinion as to the required amount of sleep for the individual, but every one should awaken with the joy of Pippa in her soul. Do you remember Pippa's song?
"The lark's on the wing,
"To bed, to bed, says sleepy-head; tarry awhile, says Beauty."
You have heard many references in your child-hood to the value of "beauty sleep." But this same charm-inducing slumber should be preceded by certain evening rites to the goddess of Beauty.
You remember how some good fairies spun while others slept. The one who wants the good fairies to weave a robe of enchantment for her must make ready for them and never just "pull off her clothes and pop into bed." Fifteen or twenty minutes of preparation will keep a woman looking like thirty-five when she is really nearer fifty. This little routine can be followed easily, and it is like the proverbial ounce which was, you remember, worth a pound of cure.
Undress, relax (a tepid bath will assist in this), put on your night-dress or pajamas and over it wear a comfortable dressing-gown. A pretty one will radiate beauty which you will unconsciously absorb. Sit down in front of your toilet-table and close your eyes; keep them that way for a minute or two; they will burn and then feel rested.
Now dab your face and neck with cold-cream ; a professional cream which you can buy in half-pound or pound tins will do. Actresses who have good complexions use this cream for cleansing and removing grease paint. Do not rub the cream into the skin lest you rub in the dirt. Wipe off the cream with a gentle upward stroke, using a soft towel or cloth or tissue-paper. Now wash your face with the cream, patting and smoothing upward with a circular motion. Give attention to the neck, for that first shows signs of age; then around the mouth and nose give special attention. After re-moving the cream, make faces at yourself in the mirror, meow like a cat, twist your mouth to right and left; now your face is relaxed and wrinkles averted. An astringent follows, then a thin film of cream over the face, neck, and hands. You may use a bleaching cream one night, a pore cream another if needed; no cream but a wich-hazel face-bath the next night. Now apply a little castor-oil or some prepared lash grower to the eyelashes and eyebrows if they are thin. Hair should be given one hundred strokes, hands should be dipped in olive-oil and loose gloves drawn on. Then the prayer, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit," and a beauty sleep.
We are now going to give a little more detailed attention to the various parts of the body, with the view of bringing out their greatest beauty and efficiency. It is most fitting, of course, to begin with the face.