Back in the day, you washed your hair over the sink, and Lustre-Creme was my shampoo of choice. Marilyn liked it too.
|Lustre-Creme shampoo ad featureing Marilyn Monroe|
Shaving your legs was no walk in the park. I wish I had a dollar for every time I sliced 'n' diced my shin or almost severed my Achilles tendon. Believe me, there was nothing safe about safety razors, except as they compared to straight razors. It's all relative, I guess.
|Gillette safety razor and blades|
Next came a generous slathering of Mum cream deodorant that came in a jar. No rolling or spraying or twisting up a solid stick here. You applied it with your fingers.
Once you got your hair up in curlers, you settled in for a long bake under the bonnet hair dryer. You'd better have a good book, because this took a while. And, unlike the girls in the photo, you'd better have wads of toilet tissue to put under the elastic of the bonnet, or you'd go out on the town with a crimped pattern on your forehead.
Putting on make-up was a little less time-consuming than it is today, because there weren't as many products to use. Generally, what you had at your disposal was Max Factor Pan-Stik or Pan-Cake, some Maybelline cake mascara and lipstick. Adults wore red or dark pink on their lips. Teens wore Tangee Natural, which looked bright orange in the tube but changed to a "natural color" when applied. (Germ alert: Ideally, you'd wet the mascara brush at the bathroom sink, but many a teenage girl threw caution to the wind and spit on the cake in a pinch.)
flickr.com - alsis35
After all this preparation, it was time to squeeze yourself into a girdle and fasten your nylons to the attached garters. Unfortunately, wads of toilet tissue weren't an option here, so garters caused indentations in your skin that couldn't be avoided, especially on the backs of your legs.
|Warner's girdle with garters|
|Nylons with reinforced heels and toes|
At last, it was time to don the darling gingham spaghetti strap dress that you had whipped up earlier in the day on your trusty Singer sewing machine. And off you went to the Dairy Queen and a movie with your steady. (I had that yellow dress, complete with the rickrack trim around the neck and the homemade belt made of the same fabric as the dress, which was called a "self-belt.")