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Putting Beauty To Use | Turning Useless Beauty Into A Useful Masterpiece | Time Honored Tips

Putting Beauty To Use | Turning Useless Beauty Into A Useful Masterpiece | Time Honored Tips

Putting Beauty To Use | Turning Useless Beauty Into A Useful Masterpiece

As a general rule, the man of brains and good sense—and he’s the only man worth considering seriously—heartily despises the useless beauty. By this I mean the woman who is always togged up and crimped and curled and looks as if she were not worth a row of pins except as a means of livelihood to the modistes and the milliners and the hairdressers! 

The kind of beauty that I like is the sort that is active, doing, achieving, and working for some good. I believe, and fully too, that we can all appear at our best and yet not look as if we were made of cut glass and Dresden that would crack or break or peel off if the lake winds happened to take a fancy to blow our way. 

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It may sound at a frightful variance from the general preaching of the beauty teacher, but—between you and me and the ice cream soda that we do not drink because it upsets our stomachs and ruins our complexions—

I have simply no use whatever for the little girl who puts in the entire day (and half the night) fussing over her complexion, kinking her hair into seventeen little twists and curlycues, and dabbling lotions and things on her nose till you can’t rest. 

A certain amount of all this is necessary, but don’t give your life over to it. The waste of time is enough to make one want to be a Patagonian lady whose sole adornments in the beautifying line consist of a necklace of elephant’s teeth and a few Patagonian babies. 

When beautifying gets to the stage where one has no time for mental refurbishing it ceases to be beauty culture, and is simply nonsense and loss of time.

I can spot this class of women a block away. In my mind’s eye I can see them fussing and primping for hours before they are ready to don their street clothes and get down into the shopping district for the day’s work of pricing real lace and buying hairpins. 

And I always look around me and think of what a vast deal of work there is in this great, big, sorrowful old world, and what direful need there is of every one pitching in and helping. 

To me, the useless woman is not a pretty woman. She is an ornament, like the shepherdess on the mantelpiece or the Spanish lady in the picture frame that hangs in the hallway. But the other woman—the pretty and the useful woman—oh, but she is a sight to make old eyes grow young. 

Her gown is spotless, her hair all fluffy and lovely, her hat just at the correct angle. She steps along quickly, and you know by the very air about her that she is a worker, be she of the smart set or of the humdrum life that toils and spins from morn till eve. 

Her eyebrows are not penciled, there is not a trace of rouge on her cheeks, but she is a healthy, well-built, active woman, whose very appearance of neatness, sweetness and buoyancy tells all who see her that she is a devotee of the daily bath, the dumb-bells, the correct and hygienic life.

In half an hour any woman should be able to take her plunge, coddle her complexion, dress her hair, manicure her nails, and attend to her teeth. If more time be needed, then the work is hardly worth the while, for life is mighty short, my dears, and things that must be done pile up as the years go by. 

At night in fifteen minutes the face and hands can be well washed, the hair brushed and combed and plaited, the teeth well cleaned, and the complexion massaged with a little pure home-made cream. 

Of course, when the hair is shampooed or the nails manicured with particular care, or the complexion subjected to a thorough cleansing by steam or massage, then more time is necessary.

But the gist of it all is this: Let us not spend so much time on the exterior effect that we will forget that which is most necessary to a beautiful woman—the bright, interesting mind, the love of learning things, the desire to be keeping apace with just a little bit of the world’s progress, and, best of all, teaching oneself how to live wisely and well. 

There never was—to my way of thinking—a brainless, silly woman who was beautiful. It takes the light of intellect, the splendor of sweet womanliness, the glory of kindness, unselfishness and goodness to complete a perfect picture of “the woman beautiful.”

Excerpt From – Woman Beautiful By Helen Follett Stevans

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