It happens time and again - that last minute invitation. You've hoped for it, you've prayed for it, planned for it, and here it is. If you're at your office, you remember that in your closet hangs that lamé blouse, perfect with your suit, or that new tulip frock, as yet unworn. You want to get dressed-up and it always pays to do it. Business girl or home girl, you may both be up against the same problem - about twenty minutes to dress - when Fate offers you a rich plum via the telephone, that unplanned date.
You can do a lot in twenty minutes, in fact, the whole works. Twenty minutes can be stretched to cover an hour, if you know how. That's why I have taken unnecessary baths, arranged my curls, all for nothing, but to prove it could be done. Here is the result of my homework for you, executed step by step, with an eye on Big Ben.
Get hair out of the way first. Comb it out, press back into place, using a pin or two to hold it even if you're fluffing it out later. If your permanent is straightening out, or if you have contrary wisps, the Aurora Bobbed Hair Pin Curler saves the situation. It's used cold. It clamps your hair, rolls it, catches it with a pin and in a short time you have a neat curl. By the way, it will give you a lovely all-over head of curls when you have more time. I hope you have one of those Donna net sleeping caps that keep heads in good form, because it's ideal to slip over your hair now to mould it into smooth lines and to keep it away from your face while you make up.
Next, brush your teeth before cleansing your face, so you don't have that paste or powder line to remove afterwards. Slather on some cleansing cream, remove and apply some fresh. Creams like Lady Esther, Pond's or Woodbury's are suggested because their light texture makes them go on and off easily. There's a reason for this double use of cream. The first takes off all make up and soil; the second should remain on while you shower. That gives time for more cleansing, softening and stimulating effect. A good idea for all cleansing cream.
Hop under your shower - no tub now. If you speed up, you can do it in two minutes. Dry and splash on some perfumed eau de Cologne, especially over the chest and arms. Body warmth releases its soft fragrance and here it is particularly lovely. A mist of dusting powder and a dab of Mum to each underarm, and you're fresh as a flower.
The Mum is very important, because you know what excitement, hurry or dancing will do to any of us, even just after a bath. Slip into underthings and do your face.
Remove all cream carefully, followed by a skin tonic. If you haven't one, splash on cold water. An eye wash will refresh your eyes, make them clear and sparkling. Now a very little foundation, cream or liquid, smoothed or patted or until the skin is just slightly moist. Use cream rouge, touching up later from your compact, if necessary. If your face is thin, keep rouge away from the temples and cheek hollows. Under night lights, rouge there creates shadows and make your face thinner.
Eyes need special attention, because you're probably wearing a veil. Apply shadow. Spring green is lovely on blondes and semi-blondes. Over your favorite shade, however, you can create a lovely effect by using a little gold or silver shadow. Choose according to the gold or silver lamé, sequins or jewelry you may be wearing. Press on plenty of face powder, well over your neck, too, and remove surplus with powder brush or fingers. Concentrate your mascara on the upper lashes, especially if you are blonde. Marlene Dietrich's eyes are done in this manner, and so are Toby Wing's. Anna Neagle, who is naturally blonde, leaves brows like her hair, but accents the upper lashes. Too much mascara on lower lashes is aging and hardening.
Helena Rubinstein has a blue-violet, very effective with the new pinks, purples and deep blues. Brush all powder from brows and accent with crayon, if necessary. Get your evening lipstick. It should be darker and richer in tone than your day-time one. If you will part your lips while rouging, you will get a softer curve to your lips. Outline first with the edge or point of your stick, then fill in. This is the Hollywood way and a good one. Apply your stick heavily, then do this. Press a tissue over your lips to blot up surplus. Then apply your stick lightly for lustre. The chances are you will not have to replace it the whole evening.
Slip into your frock, remove your hair cap and soften your curls. Spray on some perfume about neck, ears, wrists and the fur of your coat. Set your hat at a jaunty angle. Then pause and give yourself one good, long look in the mirror. You've done a fine job on yourself and you've done it in about twenty minutes. Your eyes shine and you feel like smiling. The evening sure's going to be a success. If any of the girls ask you how you manage always to look so fresh and groomed, tell them it is done with mirrors. That's partly true. The rest of the truth is, knowing the steps that save time.
Radiant Fay Wray is one of the best groomed women of the screen. She knows the value of the routined toilette.
© Photoplay. Written by Mary Lee. 1937.