Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book of Model Beauty

Aren't these line drawings adorable? They are from "Eileen Ford's Book of Model Beauty". My friend Kay introduced me to the book when she brought it to my house and I borrowed it for three years.

It's not just written for models, although it contains a lot of advice for aspiring ones. It also contains good solid health and beauty advice that has stood the test of time. The first printing was 1968 and so, the illustrations reflect that time but they seem rather timeless to me. If you saw the film "Nine", you may agree that the girl on far right resembles Kate Hudson in the movie, as they were trying to capture the 1960's.

The chapter titled "The Maturing Beauty" really interests me. In 1968, most "over-40 beauties" looked really old to me. Recently, I have been in touch with a researcher whose focus is how women over 40 dressed in the 20th century. I had an excellent subject for her in my grandmother, whom I've written about more than a few times in this blog. Nana's style was chic and classic, but in my eyes, she was most certainly "old". I will post a link to my guest piece on this researcher's fine blog soon.

What I really love is the message in this book. Beauty care doesn't have to be done in expensive spas and salons. Most of it can be taken care of in your own home - the old fashioned way. As a teenager, I spent my beauty hours doing my own nails, hair, makeup, and more than once, put myself on a successful regimen of exercise and diet. I followed popular advice found in my mother's magazines or books like Eileen Ford's. Today, so many women spend a fortune on getting buffed with facials, threading, waxing, pedicures, manicures, massages, etc. And yet, with running water, a bathtub, some budget-friendly drugstore supplies, I really think we can become gorgeous right in our own homes. Constantly schlepping to a salon and trying to rearrange the family dinner hour, is not the way I want to spend my money or my time. After all, look at our cuties above. See how well-rounded they are? Gardening, dancing, and hanging the wash in the fresh air...They are do-it-yourselfers who have plenty of time to enjoy life. Self-taught self-care is fun too, and it gives you other things to think about than what silly design you want on your nails this week. So, how do you get your beauty on at home?

P.S.  The post about my grandmother:


  1. How interesting that this book had a section on "Maturing Beauty." I'm going to track down this source!

  2. I love that you borrowed the book for three years!

    I'm pretty sure I remember this book from when I was a teen. Back then if you had polished nails you sure enough did them yourself because there was nowhere in my little town that did nails at that time! I still marvel at how much time and money some of my friends invest in their nails!

  3. Reading this post brought to mind a book I bought from Scholastic Book Services when I was a young teen in the middle sixties: Secrets of Loveliness by Kay Thomas and illustrated by John Mecray. I considered my mother hopelessly old-fashioned and so I avidly read this book. The subjects ranged from emotions to clothing and styles to feminine hygiene and even how to behave on a date. It cost all of 45 cents but was a wealth of information for me during those tumultuous teen years. I'm sure it ended up in a donation box a few years later but I was elated to find a copy at a used book store some years back. I just now pulled it off my shelf, paged through it and was instantly transported back to that period of relative innocence.

  4. Thank you ladies! It's so nice to receive comments - I often wonder if I should convert my blog to Wordpress, where commenting is easier (I think). Judy, I have that book! I keep it by my bed and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the illustrator is the same in Eileen Ford's book. So cute and refreshing! Lizzie, my friend is so generous that she bought me my own copy after I mailed hers back.

    Lynn, let me know what you think of the book. The advice is very solid and still valid!

  5. We at know how hard it is to get good advice when you're starting out as a model. That's why we recommend the Let's Model e-bookMike Walden Review