Saturday, May 30, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

Concealers! Are They Necessary?

Makeup Brush, Make Up, Brush, Cosmetics  Every make up show I've watched, has the artist use concealer as part of the routine.  I've never really used it because I never knew what it was for.  To quote something out of Sound Of Music - "Start at the very beginning."

Concealers or color correction helps hide dark circles under the eyes, age spots, pores, and other. blemishes.  Concealers make your skin look better.  Furthermore, concealers are a bit thicker than foundation so they hide the imperfection better.

Concealers first appeared back in 1928 when Lydia O'Leary created a foundation to cover the port wine stain on her face.  It is said, she developed this new cosmetic because she could not get a job as a sales assistant when she moved to New York City due to the port wine stain on her face. She named it Covermark. Since the formula was easy to copy, she applied for a patent on it but was turned down, so she appealed.  Apparently during the appeal case, she removed the Covermark from her face so the judge could see her port wine stain and he granted the patent.  The other thing about Covermark is that it had to be purchased from a sales person so they could personalize the shades to make it more natural appearing.

Then in 1942, Helena Rubinstein created her own concealer with new shades designed to cover burns.  The early concealers were often pasty and looked a bit like a thin mask but over time, they became more natural. In 1952 this changed, when Harriet Hubbard Ayer released her product "Ayer Magic", a light cream based concealer.  This product was designed to be used to contour the face so shadows and hallows of the face disappeared.


In 1954, Max Factor created the first commercially available concealer called Erace which became quite popular through the 1950's and 60's. Erace came in five different colors Fair, Medium, Deep Natural, Tan, and Deep Tan.  Although it is said to be the first concealer in stick form, it was not because Covermark released their concealer in stick form back in 1938.  The big difference between Max Factor's Erace and the previous products was television.  Max Factor advertised his product on television, letting everyone know his concealer would turn a weary woman with dark circles, into a woman looking years younger.

Unfortunately, concealers only came in a few shades in the 1950's but since they were used with other forms of make up such as foundation and powders, the matches didn't need to be as precise as it had been with Covermark.  By the 1960's, most concealers were either stick, liquid, or cream form.  It was during this time, companies were able to create fine powders and soon women could purchase concealer in powder form.

Which is applied first - concealer or foundation?  The majority of makeup artists recommend you use the concealer after applying the foundation.  The reason for this is because the foundation is designed to even out skin tone while decreasing the appearance of blemishes, discoloration, or redness.  You don't really know how much concealer you will need until after the foundation is on.  Furthermore, if you use concealer first, you might move it off the intended area when smoothing the foundation on.

When using concealer, apply it to your dark under eye area by patting the concealer on all the way from the inner eye to just past the end of the eye and then blending it in with a concealer brush or a Beautyblender.  It is recommended you do not use your fingers to rub it in.  Finish with an oil free powder for all day wear.

On the other hand, for pimples, it is recommended you clean the pimple first with something like hand sanitizer or a blue light device, cover it with primer, then concealer, then foundation, your pimples will not show through.  If you have scars you are trying to cover, the type of concealer you use will be determined by the type of scar.  If you scar is flat, use a thicker matte concealer while a creamy lightweight concealer is recommended by raised scars.

Want to get rid of those dark circles under your eyes?  After you apply your foundation, cover the dark circles with a light weight peach toned concealer.  Once that is blended in, apply your normal concealer so the dark areas are well hidden.  Although fingers are easier, use a brush or Beauty Blender to make the blending more natural and better.

I hope this helps, let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The History of Prepared Mustard.

Mustard, Shell, Spice, Sharp, Food, Eat I am one of the first to admit that I really don't like mustard or at least that bright yellow stuff out of the squeeze bottle you put on hot dogs and such.  Didn't like it growing up and still don't like it but I have found a brand I don't mind.

Mustard is actually a member of the Brassica family which includes cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, and horseradish.  The seeds are cracked to open up the flavor and mixed with liquids to create the condiment known as prepared mustard.

The preparation and use of prepared mustard can be traced back to Roman times where they mixed the cracked seeds with fermented wine or vinegar to produce something similar to what we use today.  As the Romans expanded their empire, they took the seeds to Gaul where they planted them in vineyards, next to the grapes.  Pretty soon, the use of this condiment became quite popular

The Romans and Greeks used prepared mustard for more than eating.  They believed it could cure scorpion stings, get rid of aches and pains, clearing sinuses, eliminating toothaches and help you eat less.  Even today, mustard is advertised to help with certain conditions.

There are records indicating monks in French monasteries raised the seed and made mustard to sell.  The monks made it by mixing the ground seeds with unfermented wine known as must creating mustum Ardens  or as later became mustard.

Other records show that mustard was sold and used in Paris by the 13th century.  In addition, Dijon France became known as the center of mustard production which was nice because the Pope is said to have loved mustard so much, he created the position of Grand Master Maker to the Pope and bestowed the office to his nephew in Dijon.  Mustard making became so important to Dijon, that a law in 1634 was passed allowing only the men of Dijon the right to make mustard.

Dijon mustard as a type of mustard didn't come into existence until someone took and replaced regular vinegar with the acidic juice of unripe grapes in the 1850's.  Now that Dijon mustard is recognized as a separate type of mustard, it can be made anywhere in the world.

Of course, King Louis XI loved mustard so much, he always traveled with a pot of it so if he stopped and visited someone and they didn't have any, he could still enjoy the meal properly.  Then in the 1770's, Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon collaborated to create their famous Grey and Poupon mustard in their store in Dijon France.  In case you wonder, Mr Grey provided the recipe and Mr Poupon, the money.  Their original store is still in downtown Dijon and their product can still be found in stores.  You might know this brand of mustard from some television commercials that aired in the past.

It is said that Benjamin Franklin discovered mustard when he was ambassador to France and brought it back to the colonies when he returned.  In 1814, Jeremiah Coleman founded Coleman's mustard.  He developed a method to grind mustard seeds into a dry powder that kept the flavor from getting too hot due to the seed's oil.  This lead to England becoming the center for milling mustard seeds into a powder and to the powder being used in the food industry.  This lead to him becoming the Queen's official Mustard Maker in 1866.

The common yellow mustard that most of us are familiar with, was created by the French brothers and premiered at the1904 Saint Louis World's Fair where it was served with hot dogs.  They created this milder version because they felt the current mustards had too strong a flavor to suit Americans. They originally called it "Cream Salad Mustard" but became known as American mustard.  The reason American mustard is a bright yellow color is due to the turmeric added to the recipe.

There are several types of mustard.  We have the yellow found mostly in the United States, Dijon which is now made with white wine instead of unripe grape juice and can be made anywhere but is still considered the classic French mustard.  Spicy brown uses a coarser ground seed than many other types of mustard , has more heat and a deeper flavor and is used at deli's quite often.  There are wine mustards made with White Burgundy, Pinot Noir, or Champagne, very specific wines and each adds a different flavor to the mustard.  There are a serious of coarse mustards such as stone ground, creole, etc to provide a mustard with deep flavor.

As far as international mustards go, English mustard looks similar to American but it has way more bite, German mustard is said to have more heat than American mustard, Chinese mustard is so hot, you only need a little bit of it or you'll clean your sinuses out.  You can also find flavored mustards like honey mustard, Habanero mustard and so many other types.

I hope you found this interesting.  I discovered a local mustard maker, Moostards,  who makes a course ground flavored mustard I really like.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Decoration Day To Memorial Day

Memorial Day, Flag, Usa, AmericaToday is Memorial Day, the day we remember those who died while serving in the military,  It is a time of remembrance.  The actual celebration began just after the Civil War.

When the Civil War ended in 1865, more people had died while fighting than in any previous war.  This lead to the government establishing the first national cemeteries.

In the spring, people would go place flowers on graves and say a quick prayer to remember the fallen soldier.  As for where Memorial Day originated? That is lost in the mists of time because many places held ceremonies but nothing nationally recognized as such until 1966.

There is a reference to a group of freed slaves who held a celebration in Charleston, South Carolina as being the first celebration.  Records indicate that on May 1, 1865, over 1000 freed slaves, members of the U.S. Colored Troops, and several locals gathered to consecrated a burial site for those who died.  They sang songs, read things, and passed out flowers.

On the other hand, if you visit Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, they have a sign claiming they were the first to celebrate Decoration Day in October of 1864 when three women decorated the graves of three men who had fallen.  However, the federal government decided in 1966 that Waterloo, Iowa was the home of decoration day because they held an annual community wide celebration beginning on May 5, 1866.  The stores and business closed down so people could place flags and flowers on soldier's graves.

Two years later, on May 5 1868, General John A Logan who lead the Union veterans group the Grand Army of the Republic, decreed that May 30, 1868 should be the day the nation remembered the 620,000 soldiers who died during the conflict.  He stated that Americans should lay flowers on the graves to decorate them.  It is said that he suggested this date as it was not associated with any particular battle fought during the Civil War but some believe he chose it because the flowers would be in bloom.  When he died in 1884, his body was laid in state at the United States Capital's Rotonda.  He was only one of 33 who have been given that honor.

There are records that women in the South, even before the war ended, gathered to decorate the graves of those who died.  Many women gathered once a year to celebrate the fallen but this happened on different days across the south.  This tradition has continued even to today with an official Confederate Memorial Day in nine Southern States.

Records indicate that at least 27 states celebrated Decoration Day on that first May 30th including 5000 people who decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who are buried there.  Over the intervening years between the end of the Civil War and 1890, Northern states established their own official Decoration Day holiday.

Then in World War I, more Americans died and it was decided that Decoration Day should recognize all who died in any war.  This continued through World War II, the Korean War, and during the time of the Vietnam War, the holiday was officially changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day around 1964.

 For years, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th as proposed by General Logan but in 1968, the government passed a law to make holidays more uniform and in 1971, Memorial Day became the fourth Monday in May so workers could have a three day holiday weekend.  There are many veterans who are fighting to get it returned to May 30th because they fear people will associate the holiday with a long weekend rather than a chance to remember those who gave their lives in service.

In 2000, the government passed legislation declaring that the nation should observe a moment of silence at 3:00 pm to remember the fallen.  So if you get a moment at 3 this afternoon, stop and remember those who died.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.




Sunday, May 24, 2020

Tomorrow We Remember

Arlington, Military Cemetary, Memorial

Tomorrow we remember those who have given their lives to keep us free.  Remember them with a moment of silence please.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Friday, May 22, 2020

Where Did Ketchup Come From?


Tomatoes, Ketchup, Sad, Food, Veggie
Most people like to use ketchup on their foods such as hamburgers, fries, or onion rings.  When you go shopping, you’ll see it as ketchup or catsup depending on the brand and the part of the country but it’s the same thing.  

I began to wonder about ketchup when someone at the Farmer's Market was selling rhubarb ketchup.  I'd never heard of ketchup made from anything other than tomatoes so I decided to do a bit of research.

The condiment comes from China where it was known as ke-chiap or kicap.  Most people today would never recognize the original version because it was made out of fish parts, meat parts, spices, and soybeans and had no tomato in it. It was used to season foods rather than being used as a condiment.  The original Chinese version resembled Worcestershire sauce Europeans discovered it when they went to China in the late 17th century.

It arrived in Europe around 1690 under the name of Catchup. The British like it and tried to reproduce the taste and made it out of anchovies, shallots, white wine, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmeg, pepper, and lemon peel. At this time, ketchup was usually made by boiling down all the ingredients into a syrupy consistency or they were salted to pull the liquids from them.  

Throughout the 18th century, ketchups became quite popular and often were made with ingredients like oysters, mushrooms, mussels, celery, lemon, plums, and other fruits. One recipe, “The Prince of Wales” ketchup called for anchovies and elderberries while an oyster ketchup recipe involved oysters, white wine, lemon peels, mace, and cloves cooked together.  Jane Austin was known to prefer mushroom ketchup.  At one point, when talking about ketchup, people were talking about mushroom ketchup as that was produced the most often.

Although tomatoes could be found in Europe at this time, they were not used in cooking because people believed they were poisonous. It wasn’t until around 1800 that the first recipe calling for tomatoes was published in America.  The recipe required a person to squeeze and salt the tomatoes before boiling them and pressing them through a sieve.  The resulting mixture   was spiced, boiled some more thill thick and then bottled for later uses.  Unfortunately, early ketchups made with tomatoes did not use vinegar in the mixture so it didn’t last well before going bad.  

Heinz marketed the first commercial ketchup made with unripe tomatoes in 1857.  They bottled the condiment in see through glass bottles so people could see what they were buying. Heinz used sodium benzoate to keep the product from spoiling.  In addition, the descriptor tomato in tomato ketchup was dropped because that was the main type of ketchup made and sold.  Around 1900, the FDA outlawed the use of sodium benzoate so Heinz switched to using ripe tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar in its recipe.

When they switched to ripe tomatoes which have a good pectin, the mixture went from being runny and thin to a much thicker one.   The use of vinegar helped preserve the mixture so it didn’t go bad as quickly.  Over the following years, the use of tomato based ketchup spread and became the accepted variety of the condiment. Currently Heinz sells over 650 million bottles each year.  


In the Philippines, they began making ketchup out of bananas when tomatoes ran short during World War II.  It is quite popular over there now.  In Germany, they prefer their ketchup with curry powder added and they top sausages with it.  In Canada, they love making a ketchup cake that is sweet and red.  In Japan, they add ketchup to pasta dishes while people in other countries such as Thailand, or Poland add ketchup to their pizza.

I tend to only use ketchup on fries, onion rings, or occasionally a Japanese style spaghetti. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Types and Grinds of Flour

Flour, Cereals, Food, Nutrition, Bread Since the coronavirus hit, certain staples are much harder to find.  One such item is flour.  Just regular wheat flour.  I had someone look for plain, ordinary, unbleached flour.  She couldn't find it and ended up buying cake flour.  She said it had more protein but it didn't make a good bread.  I looked it up and found out why it didn't work.

So today, I'm looking at the different types of white flour you can buy.  I use white flour because I have a member of the house who cannot have wheat germ and wheat bran.

Flour is made from either soft or hard wheat or a mix of the two.  Hard wheat refers to a bronze colored wheat that is higher in gluten while soft wheat is  lighter colored and has less gluten with more starch.  In general, harder wheats are higher in protein and the gluten is much better for making bread because the gluten makes an elastic dough.  Soft wheat is used more often for making biscuits, pancakes, and sauces.

The flour most people use is an All Purpose flour made up of a combination of both hard and soft wheat with a protein level of 10 to 12 percent.  Although it is not the best flour for certain type of baking, it is used for everything from pie crusts to biscuits to breads.  It has a softer texture but it is able to provide structure for baked goods.

Next is cake flour, just like the stuff I tried to make bread with.  Cake flour has the lowest amount of protein, only in the 5 to 8 percent range which means it has less gluten, and it does not produce an elastic dough when used in bread.  In addition, the cake flour is treated so the gluten is further broken down so it is able to absorb more liquid and sugar.  When used in a cake, it produces a tender texture with fine crumbs and is able to rise well.

Then there is pastry flour.  This flour is made from soft wheat so it is also a low in gluten with a protein level between the all purpose and cake flours, coming in at 8 or 9 percents.  It is made so the pastry, pies, or cookies are more flaky and tender than when made with any other type of flour.  Furthermore, it is the best flour to use when using baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent.

Bread flour has one of the highest levels of protein between 12 and 14 percent.  This type of flour is able to provide the best structural support to hold the carbon dioxide that is released by the yeast.  This flour requires lots of kneading to release the gluten needed to help the bread rise more, end up with a chewier texture and brown better.

Whole wheat flours can be found in the same all purpose, pastry, and bread choices but it still has the germ and bran which has been removed for white flour.  Whole wheat comes in regular which means it is more processed than stone ground.  Stone Ground flour is less processed than regular whole wheat with more fat, bran, and germ because the bran and germ are not removed and then added back in like regular whole wheat flour.  To be classified as whole wheat flour, at least 51% of the bran and germ removed during the milling process is returned to the mixture.

Now you know why the cake flour didn't work when I tried to make bread with it because it was the only flour I had.  I'll have to make cakes with it and hope I find regular flour the next time I go shopping.  Let me now what you think, I'd love to hear.  have a great day.






Monday, May 18, 2020

Who Chooses the Seasons Fashion Colors?

Abstract, Art, Background, Paint If you look at fashion shows, or check out fashions at Old Navy, or Wal-Mart, you'll notice that only certain colors show up.  I prefer jewel tones and hate it  when the only colors I find are pastel.  I've always wondered who decided which colors will be seen each season.

In the United States, there is an association that makes the decision.  The Color Association of the United States or CAUS is responsible for influencing the shades in fashion each season.  They also influence the shades, hues, and tints found in home good stores and in makeup palettes.

The CAUS was founded in 1915 by several textile manufacturers.  At this time, department stores were just beginning and these people decided that there needed to be an association designed to guide trends so manufacturers would be able to create enough  cloth to meet the demands each season.  Over time, they now guide trends for women's clothing, men's wear, fashion for youth, interior decorating, and beauty.

The way it works is that the group begins deciding color trends two years before they are needed, so the colors you see on the runways in New York in 2020, were decided in 2018.  This two year lead time is needed so manufacturers have enough time to create all the material needed.

There are eight to ten experts who look at things from architecture to influencers to determine what the next trends will be.  They find colors that speak to them to share with others on the committee.  The colors might be from a rock they found on the ground, a flower, or anything with color.  Members meet, share their choices, and they choose five or six themes to develop further into 20 to 25 shades total.  They then work with dye companies to create the palette and color cards that will be available to members of the CAUS at least 1.5 years to 2 years in advance.

Then there is the international WGSN or World's Global Style Network, founded in 1998, which forecasts trends.  They have about 150 members who come together twice a year from all over the world to determine what colors they believe will be trending in about two years.  They look at what is happening in the world as influences for color choices.  They also look at trends in beauty, lifestyle, and decorations in addition to fashion.   As they get closer to the time, they use at new products being produced and pre collections from fashion houses for their trends.

Finally, there is Pantone Color Institute founded in 1963, which only looks at colors.  Since it's inception, the institute has created over 2000 shades.  They deal in color only because it can effect our psychology and well being. They also begin the process at least two years in advance and they've noticed that to images associated with certain colors have changed over time.  For instance, about 15 or 20 years ago, brown used to be associated with dirt, or earth.  Now, people think of coffee and chocolate or luxury.

Pantone is based in New Jersey and has ten people who meet twice a year in an all white room.  They develop colors that are later used in fashion and other places.  This is their only job, to select colors, make dyes and actually dye cloth to see how it works.  Their color system is also used in Latin America.

So the colors you see on fashion runways, in the store, or on the bolt has taken two years to get to you and could have been started by one of these three groups.  Let me now what you think, I'd love to hear you.  Have a great day.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Graduation 2020 Style

 Due to school being closed back around spring break, the normal way of holding prom and graduation had to change.  It required a certain amount of creativity and I believe the district I work for did well.

The administration worked hard to come up with solutions.  I wrote about the virtual prom they held and there is going to be a second one this weekend when the biggest city in the area is having one via their radio station.

As for graduation which was held this past Wednesday evening.  The counselor got together with the seniors and designated speakers to have each and everyone record their portion of the normal graduation and one of the local people spliced it all together to make a video.

The school posted the video on the school facebook page so people could watch it during the 6 pm time slot.  It opened with the principal welcoming everyone to the ceremony, followed by an elder giving the Invocation, etc.  It ran just like the normal graduation ceremony.

The whole ceremony ran for just over an hour and included the section showing pictures of the graduating seniors from babies to now.  I realize that is not something normally done in other states but in the bush of Alaska where graduating classes are small, they usually create a movie over each student's life.  This year, there were a total of 9 students.

Since, the school couldn't host the usual party afterwards, they substituted a parade. Each student decorated a truck or four wheeler (ATV) towing a flat trailer with signs, pictures of themselves, streamers, balloons, etc.

At 8:00, the local radio station began playing "Pomp and Circumstance" so people could turn on the radios in their parked vehicles along the route.  Shortly after, the radio announcer broke in to tell everyone there was a 10 minute delay.  The radio announcer would know because his window looked over at the school and he could see the lineup.


 As he finished the announcement, he said, never mind, they started.  He went back to playing "Pomp and Circumstance".  We watched the parade down the street heading for the transfer station (garbage) so we saw it as it crossed Main.

Since there were only 9 graduates in 8 vehicles, it didn't take them long before they swung past all the parked boats on the Slough, down by the DOT and in a short time, they were passing by my spot.

Everyone cheered as the graduates passed by.  They turned onto Main and went all the way across the town, past the Post Office, to the Covenant Church, and down around to the road going by the beach before arriving at the school and the radio station.

This is the year that everyone will remember.  I've included some pictures of the floats in this so you can see them.  After the parade, many people complimented the counselor on how great this was.  I gather people liked the event so much, they wanted to know if they'd hold another parade next year.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Lip Liner

Woman, Girl, Beauty, Blond, Face I remember my sister telling me that one should always line your lips before you apply your lipstick because it prevents it from bleeding over.  I've seen video that say the lip line should be the same shade as your lip stick while other say it should be a shade or two darker to add a bit of depth.  Lip liners are also called lip sticks.

Women began using lip liner back in the 1920's when Clara Bow made it popular. She used liner to outline the lips to produce the small doll shaped lips she was famous for.  The bow shaped lips only used a part of her actual lips so the edges were never painted and nude.  Her bow shaped lips gave her the ability to create a larger than life pout which the "It" girl was known for.

In the 1930's Marlene Dietrich used liner to overdraw her upper lips so the pointed parts were more defined.  She also lined the bottom of her bottom lip to make the overall shape appear larger.

In the 1940's Rita Hayworth used lip liner to flatten the pointedness of the upper lip so it looked more flattened.  She kept the full bottom lip so her lips appeared a bit more rounded.  This flattened upper lip was copied by others including Joan Crawford.  In the 1950's the two points on the top of the lips moved out a bit and the lines were extended a bit past the corners so the lips looked a bit more flared. By the 1980's women wore a lip liner that was darker than the lip stick so their lips automatically looked larger.  If the liner were down on the skin at the edge of the lips, on the skin, the lips looked more dimensional.

When you are outlining your top lip, start at the bow which is where the two points are and work from the middle out to the edges.  It makes it look much better and it is easier to make the arch.  Lip liners also help your lipstick last longer.  If you don't feel like using lipstick, you can cover your lip with lip liner giving your lips a matted finish.

Try to choose a lip liner that is about the same shade as your lipstick.  You can go one shade darker but not much more otherwise it looks weird.  If you are only going to only wear a lip liner, choose a shade close to your natural lip color.  It is important to keep the tip sharp if you want to draw a good line.

It is suggested that you put a lip balm on your lips 10 to 15 minutes before you put on your lip liner and lipstick so your lips are moisturized.  Use small strokes rather than a single long stroke for a better look while holding your lip liner at a 45 degree angle to the lips. When you've got the lip liner on,  move your chin to your chest, look at the coverage, before lifting your chin so you can see your neck.  By checking your lip liner from both perspectives, you can find any areas that need a bit more or better lines.

If you want, use a brush to smooth out the line so it looks more natural.  Do not overdraw the lip trying to make bigger lip area because it doesn't look right.  Draw an X at the bow to make the edges proper.  If you do not want to use a colored lip liner, choose a clear one to keep the lipstick from bleeding but does not stand out if the lipstick rubs off.

If your lip liner is not going on smoothly, warm the tip between your fingers and try again.  This bit of warming often makes the liner go one smoother.  Wipe the lip liner off between uses to keep it clean.  If you see white particles on your lip liner, throw it out because it indicates your lip liner might not be off.  Now you know why you should wear lip liner.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Monday, May 11, 2020

History of Fake Eye Lashes

Woman, Color, Make-Up, Eyebrows, Eye Everyday, I read various news feeds and on one, I found an article listing among other things, some magnetic eye lashes.  I'd never heard of them but they sound a bit easier than trying to glue strips onto the eye.

I know some wear them all the time while others wear them occasionally but how did they become a part of people's beauty routine?  Where and when did they start?

In Ancient Rome, Pliny wrote that long lashes meant the woman was chaste.  This thought combined with the already established belief that as you aged, your lashes grew shorter.  Women of the time wanted to keep their lashes as long as possible.

By 1899, women improved their lashes by having lashes implanted onto the eye lid via a needle.  This common operation happened all over including in Paris.  Some women who didn't want to undergo the needle, tried glueing lashes without much success.  It is said that a Canadian woman patented fake eyelashes in 1911 when she created a crescent shaped fabric with implanted pieces of human hair. She designed them to attach to the upper lid with a bit of glue.

Then in 1915, Karl Nessler opened a hair salon in New York City.  In addition to his permanent waves, he also offered fake lashes to help protect the eye from the glare of electric eyes.  He hired chorus girls to wear them while batting their eyes at people to advertise this product.  However, fake lashes did not become popular until 1916 when movie director D.W. Griffith demanded that one of his actresses in the movie Intolerance, have lashes that were so big, they brushed her cheeks.  One of the wigmakers attached human hair to her eyes using spirit gum. It worked but she ended up with such an allergenic reaction, her eyes swelled closed.

Karl Nessler also known as Charles Nessler began marketing fake eyelash kits to women. He named his lashes "Nestolashes" which came with glue and directions so that every woman who desired could achieve the same Hollywood look.  Originally, fake eyelashes only lashed a few hours but as time passed, they became better and could last a lot longer.

The use of eye lashes gained popularity to the point, columnists were suggesting that young men carefully check women out because the long curling eyelashes they saw, might not be theirs through the 1920's and 30's.  Other columnists called any woman who wore false eye lashes "a temptress".  In fact, Vogue magazine featured adds for fake lashes topped with gold and platinum beads in the 1930's.  At this time, fake eye lashes were still being made of human hair and fabric.

Then in the 1940's and 50's eyelashes gained popularity because Hollywood stars wore them all the time.  These new fake lashes were made out of plastic rather than human hair and made the eyes of the stars larger and more eye catching.  It was all about glamour but in the 1960's fake lashes became more about innovation and youth.  The poster girl for the fake eyelashes during this decade was Twiggy.

Fake eye lashes fell out of favor in the 1970's and 80's before they came roaring back in the 1990's with the glamor look.  When the 2000's hit, it became popular for stars to wear fake eyelashes out of animal fur and diamonds. Now they are magnetic eyelashes which are much easier to apply.  You simply use a special magnetic eyeliner first.  Let it dry and then attach the lashes.  I'm told they work quite well.

I've never used eye lashes because I didn't want to use adhesive but this new type might make it worth using.  Let me know what you  think, I'd love to her.  Have a great day.

Friday, May 8, 2020

History of Hair Combs.

Combs, Hair, Yellow, Plastic, Accessory  I love these but seldom use them because I've never figured out how to use them with my hair.  My hair is down below my rear and they don't stay well.  These types of hair combs have been around for a very long time but do not seem to be in use as much as in the past.

There is evidence that these types of combs have been around since the Stone Age.  The first combs were made out of fish bones, Ivory, or wood and people used them to remove lice, insects, and dirt from the head.  

As time passed and civilizations developed, people began making hair combs out of horn, alabaster, walrus, onyx, and ebony due to the invention of metal tools.

The evidence found indicates that each civilization developed its own version of hair combs because they tended to be quite similar with 5 to 10 teeth and shaped like the human hand.  It wasn't until the Egyptians that double sided combs with either thick or thin teeth.  These double sided combs were used both for styling and cleaning and soon became quite popular in other cultures both in Asia and Europe.

Back in ancient China, the type of hair comb worn in the hair indicated the a person's social status.  In addition, Chinese hair combs were often made into the shape of phoenix, butterflies, birds or flowers worn at the top of buns.  Later on in China, women began wearing a cornet comb which was extremely elaborate and made up of painted yarn, pearls, gold, silver, and jade with a one foot long comb made of white horn on top of it all.  This comb has two flaps that hung over the shoulders and the woman had to turn sideways to get through doors.

Then in the 1600's, women in Japan used tortoise shell or lacquered wood combs decorated with gold or pearls.  These were often worn by courtesans in Japanese society.  Then New England Farmers began making their own combs during the late 1700's.  During 1800's hair combs made out of Tortoise shells became popular in China.

 In the late 1800's hair combs companies began to make hair combs out of celluloid because the demand for ivory continued to be high but the supply dropped.  Celluloid could be made to look like ivory or tortoise shell but celluloid proved to be quite flammable and was prohibited.  At this time, hair combs were often decorated with real or fake gemstones or pearls.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Oyannox, France became the center of decorative combs during the late Edwardian period and the 1920's.  Oyannox is the home to Auguste Bonnaz who used celluloid to create decorative hair combs in new colors and patterns rather than just tortoise shell and bone.

 When plastic was invented in the 1930's, manufacturers changed over to making hair combs out of plastic.  This material allowed the cost of decorative hair combs to drop.In addition, the upswept hair styles of the 1930's and 40's often used decorative hair combs to secure the hair.  Then in the 1950's, fashion used hair combs in small hats and veils to secure these to a woman's head.

One of the most valuable combs dates back to the fifth century B.C and was found in the tomb near the Black Sea.  The 10 ounce pure gold comb was found in 2016.

The Sea Holly Comb created by Rene Lalique around 1900 later sold in 2015 for $170,000.  The comb measured 3 3/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches and was made of horn, silver, gold, and glass.  The creator signed the comb which was what made it so valuable.

I think I'm going to invest in decorative hair combs to help hold up my hair.  I have time and want to get out of the rut I'm in.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

6 Facts About Graduation.

Graduation, Teen, High School, Student, Graduate Here in Alaska, both high school and college graduations are beginning to happen.  The seniors are due to graduate next week but due to the restrictions of the coronavirus, they won't be able to have a ceremony at the school.

So one of the local churches is hosting something with proper social distancing while the school is organizing a parade so the students will be able to drive through town and be recognized.

Rather than looking at it's history, I'm going to share some interesting and odd facts about graduation.

1. Graduates wear long gowns as they walk across the stage.  The gowns are known as full academic dress or regalia and this tradition began about 700 years ago when universities were just starting out.  At this time, universities didn't bother heating buildings so these gowns were worn to stay warm.  Later on, the full academic regalia became the mandated dress to keep students from going over the top with their regular outfits.

2.  The tradition of tossing caps at the end of the ceremony is a recent one.  It began at the Navel Academy in 1912.  Up until 1912, graduates from the Naval Academy were required to serve two years in the Navy before they could be commissioned as officers.  In 1912, that requirement was changed so they were commissioned immediately upon graduation, so this class no longer needed their undergrad caps and threw them to signify they were done with it.

3. The standard tune of Pomp and Circumstance that plays at most graduations was not written for that purpose.  Edward Elgar wrote the song in 1901 to honor King Edward VII and when Edward received an honorary degree from Yale in 1905, they played it in the background. Princeton adopted it in 1907, Chicago in 1908, Columbia in 1913, Vassar in 1916 and so on until it became the standard graduation song.

4.  Pomp and Circumstance is also known as "Land of Hope and Glory".  The title comes from a line in Shakespeare's Othello play referring to the glories of war.

5. Diplomas were originally made of sheepskin, thus the saying about receiving a sheepskin.  Universities hand wrote the information in ink on paper thin sheepskin that were rolled up and tied with a ribbon.  Once paper making techniques improved, they began making diplomas out of parchment but people complained about diplomas being rolled up and secured with ribbons because they were hard to flatten out and frame.

6. The cap's nickname "Mortar Board" comes from the fact it looked like a masonry tool used when the cap was originally created so it looked like the headgear worn by church officials in the 16th century.  Although the design changed over time, it's nickname did not.  The tassel was added in the 19th century.

This year, many of these traditions will not be happening but it is nice to know how certain traditions evolved across the centuries.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


Monday, May 4, 2020

The New Way of Proms

Teenagers, Prom, Formal, Young, Fashion
Unfortunately, with the coronavirus still quite active, life has changed and could remain changed for the rest of the year and possibly into 2021.  The governor closed down all schools, shifting them from being held in buildings to being done via the internet.   He made this rule go to the end of the school year, which means proms and graduation cannot be held as normal.  Around here, the junior class is responsible for earning money to host the prom at school.  It is usually held in the cafeteria or the gym depending on the school.

The proms we have today, are quite different from the original ones.  The term "Prom" is short for promenade or a short formal parade of guests as they enter.  This started back in the 19th centuries in the Northeast when graduating seniors entered coeducational banquets held in their honor at colleges as a way of teaching them manners and recognizing their upcoming graduation. Researchers have found references to Proms dating back to 1879.  Furthermore, colleges often held proms as part of a dance and dinner,

Eventually younger high school students wanted to do the same thing so they soon held them for their graduations.  High schools proms were often held in gyms decorated with crepe paper.  Every dressed up in their best clothings, enjoyed a light meal, and spent the evening dancing to music while being watched by chaperones.  By the 1930's and 40's most proms provided real dinners, bands, and entertainment.

Then after the war with a growing economy, high schools soon held proms in hotels or country clubs.  Proms were so popular that President John F. Kennedy rescheduled his $1,000 a plate fundraiser booked at the Beverly Hilton so the prom scheduled there at the same time could be held. Then in 1975, President Ford allowed Susan's high school to hold their prom in the White House while he was in office.  It is important to note, that proms have always undergone growing pains as societal views have changed over time.  Often proms are the last to make changes such as when interracial dating became more normal. 

Now most high schools have to figure out how to handle the issue of schools being closed and rules that limit the number of attendees to any event.  Where I am, the junior class had already ordered the prom decorations when school closed.  So the teacher in charge of the juniors decided to have both a virtual prom on the actual day and then plans to have an unperson one later in the year.  For the virtual one, she arranged for a special snap chat filter to be there from 5 to 12:00 this past Saturday night.  The radio station agreed to play music for the prom from 9:00 to midnight so students could still have a prom.

She asked them to send their pictures to her so she and I will spend this week turning those photos into a memory book we will send out both in digital form and in hard copy.  She has a color printer.  Then on Monday May 11th, we can pass out the hard copies when students come by to pick up their weekly packet of work.  

We know this is to the same as attending the prom in person but it is what we can do.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great week. 


Friday, May 1, 2020

Blush Has Been Around Since Egyptian Times

Beauty, Blush, Skincare, Cosmetic Blush is something I didn't learn to use as a teenager.  When I began using makeup I didn't understand you needed a color that added just a bit to highlight your cheeks.  I thought you chose the color you liked.  I finally got the hang of it.

In case you might be confused, blush was originally referred to as rouge and most of our grandmothers wore it.  I remember my grandmother who would use a bright red rouge on her cheeks.  It was just two spots on her cheeks.  The term blush has become more common over the past few years.

As far as anyone can tell, the Egyptians were the first ones to make and use blush.  They'd take a red ochre ( a red pigment made from earth) mix it with fat and use that on their lips and cheeks so they stood out against the eyes ringed with black kohl.  It conveyed an image of health so even the sick could appear healthy.

The Romans used a red vermillion (made from cinnabar which is a form or mercury and is highly toxic) on their cheeks while the Greeks preferred to use crushed mulberry to obtain the red color.  Unfortunately, the Greeks often wore lead face powder under the crush mulberry stain which could lead to their death.

By the Middle Ages, only the upper class continued using lead and other dangerous substances to keep their pale skins.  They might have slightly pink cheeks from natural juices but they stayed away from red because prostitutes wore heavily rouged cheeks to advertise their profession.

Then when Queen Elizabeth took the throne, she promoted the pale skin though use of lead based foundation but she used rouge to make her cheeks red and women tried to emulate the same look.  This continued through the 1500's all the way to the 1800's.  Women wore blush because they thought it made them look younger, healthier, and it was recognized as actual makeup by the mid 1700's.

Furthermore, They had a choice of colors based on what it was made from.  If the blush used carmine (an insect), the rouge had a bluish undertone while if it used a reddish mineral, the rouge was more orangish where as rouge based on vegetables was more of a transparent reddish.

Then when Queen Victoria took over in 1837, she pushed for the more natural look by ruling that wearing heavy makeup including rouge and lipstick was extremely rude and was only worn by prostitutes.  She allowed a light blush made of red juices from beets, strawberries, etc because it made women look younger and more innocent.

The reputation of makeup changed beginning in the 1900's when industrialization made it possible for cosmetic companies to mass produce blush and other items.  This meant that makeup was made out of safer ingredients. One of the first rouges created during the industrialization was made of grapefruit and butter with alkanet (a plant) for the red coloring.  In addition, blush came into popularity especially by flappers in the 1920's.

Women continued using blush over the decades but in the 1990's or so, blush went from the redder tones to the more natural tones and became known as blush. In addition, rouges could be found in powder, liquid or creme forms  Recently, the use of blush has decreased due to the increased use of bronzer or highlighter.

So. now you know more about blush, it's use, and it's history.  let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.