1950s Morning Beauty Routine

Title image f a 1950s couple eating breakfast for 1950s Morning Beauty Routine by Mid-Century Modern Mommy

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Self-care is REALLY hard for me.

All those articles telling you to do things to take care of yourself, put yourself first — I am NOPING my way right out of there. Putting myself first just doesn’t work out right for me.

What DOES work is vintage beauty routines. All those 50’s housewife step-by-step lists and schedules –and it is a lot easier to make time for daily beauty routines when I am doing them to “stay pretty for my husband” — and using lots of rose-scented cold cream!

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Here is the morning beauty routine from the 1950s Handbook of Beauty by Constance Hart (affiliate link). From exercise (because health is beauty) to getting dressed, this routine gets your day started beautifully!

Your 1950s Morning Beauty Routine

(if you’re a housewife)

  1. While still in bed, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.
  2. Out of bed and in front of the open window, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.
  3. Dash cold water onto wrists (excellent waker-upper).
  4. Use mouthwash. (Go with the original flavor, if you want to be REALLY vintage.)
  5. IF you’re going to exercise, cream your face no matter what your skin texture.
    IF no exercise, cream face if your skin is dry; soap-and-water cleanse if it is oily; do either if your skin is normal or half-and-half. Apply astringent if you’ve soap-and-water cleansed.
  6. Drink a cup of hot water with or without lemon juice.
  7. Do 5 minutes of general and special exercises. This step is optional at this time; it will probably be impractical for you if you’re getting your family off to work and school. If so, reserve the exercises for later in the day of the evening.
  8. Take a shower or bath (optional if you haven’t exercised).
  9. Brisk-dry yourself; push back cuticles of toe- and fingernails.
  10. IF you’ve creamed your face, remove the cream, and apply finishing lotion, cold water or witch hazel.
  11. Apply talcum or dusting powder all over your body.
  12. Get into your house clothes.
  13. Brush hair at least 50 strokes.
  14. Comb hair and apply hair dressing.
  15. Wash hands and apply lotion or hand cream.
  16. Prepare and eat a balanced breakfast.
  17. Brush teeth.
  18. Apply Vaseline or brow and lash oil to lashes and brows. (You can also use plain castor oil from your vintage medicine cabinet.)

(if you’re a working girl)

  1. While still in bed, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.
  2. Out of bed and in front of the open window, S-T-R-E-T-C-H 10 times.
  3. Dash cold water onto wrists (excellent waker-upper).
  4. Use mouthwash.
  5. IF you’re going to exercise, cream your face no matter what your skin texture.
    IF no exercise, cream face if your skin is dry; soap-and-water cleanse if it is oily; do either if your skin is normal or half-and-half. Apply astringent if you’ve soap-and-water cleansed.
  6. Put on coffee.
  7. Drink a cup of hot water with or without lemon juice.
  8. Do 5 minutes of general and special exercises. This step is optional at this time; it will probably be impractical for you if you’re getting your family off to work and school. If so, reserve the exercises for later in the day of the evening.
  9. Take a shower or bath (optional if you haven’t exercised).
  10. IF you’ve creamed your face, remove the cream, and apply finishing lotion, cold water or witch hazel.
  11. Apply deodorant.
  12. IF you’re using toilet water or cologne, apply all over your body.
  13. Finish off with talcum or dusting powder (unless you’re wearing a dark dress).
  14. Apply foundation.
  15. Apply rouge.
  16. Eat a balanced breakfast.
  17. Brush teeth.
  18. Apply lipstick and blot it.
  19. Apply face powder if you use it with your type of foundation; remove excess.
  20. Put on all clothes except your dress.
  21. Apply a second coat of lipstick.
  22. Apply mascara and eyebrow pencil to lashes and brows. (You can use Vaseline or oil if you prefer.)
  23. Brush hair at least 50 strokes.
  24. Apply perfume if you’re wearing it instead of toilet water or cologne.
  25. Blot lipstick.
  26. Finish dressing.
  27. Comb hair and apply hair dressing.
  28. Wash hands and apply lotion or hand cream.
  29. Check up on your appearance in a full-length mirror.

Your Daytime Beauty Routine

As a bonus, here’s the daytime beauty routine from the same book. Except where a time is given, the book tells you to do these whenever it is convenient throughout the day.

  1. Take a 15-minute outdoor walk. (Note: this helps with depression, too, if you make a point of looking at the blue sky, not the sun, for 5 minutes without sunglasses.)
  2. Do at least 5 minutes of foot exercises. (There is a chapter on feet in this book.)
  3. Do at least 3 minutes of hand exercises. (Ditto.)
  4. Do at least 5 minutes of general and special exercises. This step is optional if you’ve done these exercises in the morning or are going to do them at night.
  5. IF you do any close work, do at least 3 minutes of eye exercises. (Yep, also a chapter on eyes.)
  6. IF you’re underweight, have a snack at 11 a.m.
  7. Before lunch, scrub your hands and nails, dry them thoroughly, and apply hand lotion.
  8. Before lunch, take a 10-minute rest period.
  9. Before lunch, IF you’re a working girl, completely remove your morning makeup application and put on new makeup.
  10. At lunch, eat a balanced meal.
  11. After lunch, brush teeth.
  12. IF you’re working at home, keep Vaseline or oil on lips, lashes, and brows; and if your skin is dry, apply a thin coat of cream several times during the day.
  13. Consciously practice better sitting, standing, and walking posture. At least once during the day check your posture in a full-length mirror.
  14. Deliberately take 20 deep breaths three times during the day.
  15. Practice all fatigue-fighting devices. (These are found in the chapter on sleep and rest.)
  16. IF you’re underweight, have a snack at about 4 p.m.
  17. Around the same time, take your second deliberate 10-minute rest period of the day.
  18. IF you’re a housewife and going out for a social afternoon, follow complete makeup routine.
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