[ Newspaper throwback ] Olivia de Havilland believes in simple beauty aids

Their adoring public associates the screen beauties with grand cosmetics - lovely soft creams, lotions, and all that goes to make up a complete toilet outfit. They have all these lovely things and use them, too, but individually their daily use of soap and water is the most important rite.

The exquisite Olivia de Havilland whose beauty is rated as the most perfect for Technicolor photography has her regular soap and water facial baths every day. Says Olivia: 

"The thirty minutes before bed are the important ones if you crave a lovely skin. I use creams only after two generous soapings followed by cold water rinses. Watch out particularly for the small crevices around the nose. Scrub twice as hard on these areas. For enlarged pores I have a little trick that I believe will prevent blackheads. The first application of soap and water is rinsed off, then the second soaping I leave on for 10 minutes. Remove with tepid water, rinse again, and pat dry. After this comes the soothing spread of nice massage creams."

Another of Miss Havilland's beauty rules is to keep the feet comfortable. According to Olivia, no girl can present a shining countenance when her feet hurt. She thinks the girls of the "Strawberry blonde" (note: victorian era) age must have had a miserable time with the pointed toes and buttoned up tight shoes. It is fortunate to have been born 40 years later when pinched feet are no longer smart.

While working on the strawberry set, Olivia took the time in her dressing room to relieve foot fatigue. A warm foot bath in which a handful of epsom salts has been dropped will relieve swelling from standing about in little fancy shoes. The feet are dried thoroughly between the toes, then massaged with wintergreen oil. After that, powdered with infant's bath powder. This, she reminds us, is always 100 per cent pure.

Good brisk hair brushing is always a part of the night beauty routine. Olivia thinks the little scrubbing upward strokes best for stimulating the scalp.

For shining eyes, complete rest is necessary so when she takes her afternoon nap, her eyes are covered with the black night shades. This is a little eye relief that should be used by every girl or woman during the afternoon rest. Open the eyes after they are completely covered with dark shades. This relieves the strain and when the eyes open on complete darkness, close them again without any reflection of light, and eye strain will be relieved.

© The Milwaukee sentinel - 1941
Donna Grace


  1. She is so absurdly beautiful!! And she's dead on about aching feet. For my high school graduation ceremony there were many girls tottering around the stage in ridiculous horse hoof-like heels, you could see how uncomfortable they were! (that's part of the reason I absolutely hate modern-style high heels! Giant platforms and tall, thin, ice-pick heels, oy. So uncomfortable!)
    Whenever my feet hurt, I always use Epsom salts, like Olivia recommends. Maybe I'll give the wintergreen oil a try!

    1. Fashion these days is not made to be comfy (stupidly). No pain no gain seems to be everyone's motto I believe.

      When I am walking on heels from the 1930s or 40s, it is so much more comfortable when walking on modern shoes (which I almost never do). Care was put into it back in the day. These days? Just to look pretty.

  2. I love her suggestion of washing your face twice and leaving the soap on your skin for 10 minutes the second time around. I'm going to start giving that dry beginning tonight. I have, thankfully, pretty clear skin, but it's always dry and perhaps leaving more moisture on it like that for a while could help a bit there. We'll see! :)

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Did it work? I am curious. I want to try it, too, but I don't have the right soap for my face. Only regular soap and that is known to make your skin even more dry. Mine is very dry, too.

      You have a beautiful skin!


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