New Trends In Beauty
With a new year before us, and the promise of wonderful things in store, what could be better than to talk about the ways to beauty used by six of the lovely girls you have chosen as your stars for 1950. You know their names, of course—Allene Roberts, Cyd Charisse, Barbara Lawrence, Arlene Dahl, Betsy Drake and Patricia Neal.
They are, among other interesting things, six of the most widely divergent personalities in Hollywood. Only one of them, Cyd Charisse, is married and a mother. And each of them might be chosen to standard-bear a different type: Allene, the most girl-next-door of them all. Sweet, unaffected, naive; Cyd, the sophisticate, cool with vibrant undertones; Barbara, jazzy, gay, the hoyden; Arlene, a man’s woman, definitely, in appearance and manner; Betsy, the crisp, Eastern-college, Hepburnish type; Patricia, suave and intellectual, but fiery in a well-bred way.
Allene Roberts lives with her mother and grandmother, helps with the housework, even mows the lawn. Right now, she looks too young or too old for almost every art she wants. She insists she’s twenty-one, although she doesn’t look a day over sixteen, and her soft little voice doesn’t help to make her seem older, either.
Allene’s cut herself a bang. But she keeps it cropped close to her forehead and gently waved, and it’s naturally curly. She has lovely, rich brown hair which looks infinitely clean and well-tended. No wild curls, no huge puffs, no frizz. Her eye-brows are brushed and shiny (she uses a mascara brush for the purpose), and since she wears them unplucked, she feels they need extra care. Her lashes are long and curly and she never wears mascara, except at night; then she’ll even add eye-shadow. Her skin is of baby quality and she keeps it that way by cleaning it two or three times a day.
Wears fingernail polish, which she applies herself, but never toenail polish. Wears quiet, unobtrusive clothes which tend to make her appear even smaller than she is, which is mighty small, anyway. She’s five-feet-one and weighs 101 pounds. She’s gained four pounds lately and is delighted about it. “Did you ever go into a shop, ask for a size nine, and find it miles too big?” Well, that’s been Allene’s trouble. Now she fits into size nine nicely.
Next, Cyd Charisse. She moves like a dream, gliding as she walks, with more grace and motion than any one woman should be allowed to have. She never diets. Dancing, and she still practices every day of her life, takes care of her figure. She’s mistress of a beautiful new home in Bel-Air, and she’s decorating it herself (the den is papered in sheet music, Cyd’s own idea).
Her clothes are always in good taste, mostly suits, no ruffles, never an extra pleat. She loves luxury and buys the finest of negligees and lingerie, all hemmed and smocked by hand, and trimmed with imported laces. She takes long scented baths, then covers herself with delicate talcs and flowery colognes. She’s probably one of the cleanest, most perfectly groomed girls in Hollywood.
She’s shoe mad. She has to hide the new ones she buys from husband Tony Martin, who’s decided to call a halt to her shoe buying mania. Appears stockingless frequently, due to her magnificent tan, which she keeps almost all year. A soap-and-water girl, she depends upon utter cleanliness to keep her skin lovely. Probably the happiest girl you’ve ever seen.
Thirdly, there’s Barbara Lawrence, the big fun girl of Hollywood; an untroubled, uninhibited nineteen, who loves everybody in the world and is loved by everybody. She’s got that wonderful quality of bubbling friendliness and complete unaffected-ness that has everyone calling her darling five minutes after meeting her.
A tail, five-foot-seven-and-a-half-inches girl, she’s a substantial 130 most of the time, although she’s ten pounds underweight now. She gives the idea of a seventeen-inch waist and no hips, yet she insists her waistline’s twenty-four (and she takes off her belt to prove it) and her hips are an incredible thirty-six inches. She’ll skip breakfast if someone doesn’t remind her about it, have a marshmallow sundae for lunch, and a sardine and raw onion sandwich for dinner at some spot where the pianist is terrific. On such a hit-or-miss routine, the girl’s complexion is divine, her eyes are wondrously bright, her spirits indomitable.
She’s a natural blonde, the softest ash- blonde you ever saw. She used to bleach her hair to platinum for pictures but she’s let it go back to its natural color. Ask her what she does to keep her skin in condition and she’ll howl with delight. “Who’s got the time for such stuff?” She has a lot of fun with her hair, though, and gave herself a shampoo the other day and a beer rinse. “After I combed it out it looked very soft and fluffy,” she says. Now she uses beer regularly. Stuff right out of the bottle.
Kind of a Broadway character, a snappy conversationalist, devil-may-care attitude. She’s young, she’s in love (with Murray Hamilton of the cast of Broadway’s “Mr. Roberts”). She’s even divorced, but she can’t let that get her down. Too much in life to waste time fretting.
Wears lots of off-the-shoulder blouses, dresses and gowns, flat-heeled shoes. Sleeps in nothing at all, summer or winter. She never remembers to buy herself perfume, but is happy to use whatever anyone gives her as a present.
She’s sweet and sensitive under that “hi ya pal” exterior, and has enough temperament to take her far in Hollywood.
Let’s take Arlene Dahl next. She’s all woman and she works at her job twenty- four hours a day. The results don’t always please other women, but the man who wouldn’t like to date her. has yet to see her. Arlene knows she’s beautiful now but she worries some about being beautiful twenty years from now. Consequently, she never just slaps her make-up on and dashes cut. She allows herself plenty of time to cream her face properly, apply her make-up carefully, arrange her hair perfectly (and people have been known to rage as Arlene has spent twenty minutes or so over just one curl), then dress with utmost care. She designs her own clothes, even makes some of them herself, and though some of them are fussier than most of the other girls are wearing, they are perfect for Arlene’s personality.
She entered the Metro commissary, one day, dressed in a three-quarter-length belted fur coat, with push-up sleeves, Mary-Jane shoes, a natural straw bonnet with velvet bow-ties under her chin and a few other accessories which other girls might have been tempted to leave off. “Oh no!” gasped another actress on the lot, deploring what she thought was Arlene’s utter lack of fashion sense. Then Don Loper, the designer, who knows a great deal about women’s clothes and their effect on personality, calmed her down. “You think she’s overdressed?” he questioned the unbelieving actress. “She’s not, really. Look around at the men in this place, every man has his eyes glued on her, wants to know who she is, can he meet her? No, Arlene isn’t overdressed. She knows exactly what she’s doing.”
Arlene probably wears more make-up than any of the other girls, but it’s always applied so skillfully you see nothing but the total effect. Cyd, for instance, never wears much more than lipstick; her own coloring is so bright. Arlene, on the other hand, uses foundation base, powder, rouge, a little mascara and eye-shadow—but all so daintily, so perfectly, that you’d swear she used nothing at all. That’s cosmetic application at its best. None of the other girls uses any eye make-up, with the exception of Barbara Lawrence, whose long lashes are so light she needs mascara to make them noticeable, even in the daytime.
The freest soul is Betsy Drake. The most independent, the most unconventional. Even in a town full of beautiful women, she refuses to use make-up and wears her hair short and uneven. You have to take her as she is or not at all. And since she has the best-looking man in town as her exclusive boy friend, and since her career is going great guns, Betsy’s policy of being natural is paying off.
She’s a tight, wiry, slim young thing who wears sweaters and skirts most of the time and the simplest of dresses when she goes out.
She’s direct and outspoken, even though she stutters a bit when she talks. Her voice sounds a trifle affected, but since it’s always the same, it’s undoubtedly natural.
Betsy lives in a small house she rents. She has a maid who keeps her in clean laundry, although the only one of the whole group who does everything for herself is Allene Roberts. The others have their mothers or a cousin (Arlene) keep up their intimate wardrobes.
Betsy’s hair is straight and she never has it curled, except when it’s necessary for a picture. Otherwise, she has it trimmed once a month, then washes it herself. As for oil massages or any other “extra” beauty care, she says she really should, but she never remembers. Betsy, like all the other girls, can t stress personal cleanliness enough as the first and foremost rule of beauty.
Pat Neal is the most worldly of all these girls. She, too, lives alone in a hilltop house with her books, her records and her really fine paintings—one, an original that she gave up a fur coat to own. Her skin’s dreamy, so she uses very little on it, just a light foundation cream and lipstick. She believes in short hair, but has to keep hers long for pictures. Her bosses insist.
Pat’s features are small, surprisingly enough, although they photograph considerably larger. Her eyes are great and deep and meaningful. And those eyebrows are all hers. She has the real old- time consuming-fire attitude toward her career, the stuff of which stars are made. At thirty, she’ll probably be the greatest of them all.
The lipsticks of all these girls are softer and lighter. Nail polish is pinker, quieter, in line with the clothes colors. And everybody has gone all out for black. It’s a black year—even for the very young girls—for the first time in years.
These girls can’t afford designer-styled clothes (probably wouldn’t want them if they could; too faddish, too transient) but they love the rich materials, the brocades, the metallic threadings, the satins. These girls are normal, natural, young—and very personality conscious. Everything they wear must make their personalities more understandable, more definite.
When I say that none of our lovely young stars-to-be goes in for custom-made originals, I must exclude Pat Neal, who’s suddenly gone completely clothes-mad. She was in Europe for “The Hasty Heart,” you remember, and while there she made a trip to Paris and bought several breathtaking Dior originals. Pat’s so tall that she can wear anything and look divine in it. Side swishes, pencil-slim sheaths, velvet profile berets; she gives them more dash and color than any twenty- two-year-old Kentucky belle has the right to impart. And she rarely wears flats; neither does she wear platforms. Just good solid heels that seem to melt into the rest of her costume with no undue attention attracted to them.
All of these future stars, with the possible exception of Barbara, who can bounce with energy and vitality even with four hours of sleep, are careful about plenty of rest and a good balanced diet. They’re grand girls and in looks, they put those who still abide by the elaborate, old-fashioned beauty routine to shame.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1950