Hey, LookI'm Beautiful!
IF ANYONE is ever going to accuse me of beauty, today is the day. I have just been labored over by Wally Westmore, and I’m pleased to say I am practically ravishing.
I say “labored,” advisedly, for my runof-the-mill puss was a distinct challenge to Mr. W. after the visages of Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, Betty Hutton and the others on whom he plies his trade for dear old Paramount Pictures, Inc. However, I’m happy to note that he bore up nobly. Outside of a few manual tremors, he showed no outward ill-effects.
Mr. Westmore is one of the fabulous family which dictates the laws of loveliness in Hollywood and, both directly and vicariously, to the world. His father, an Englishman, who once ran a wig shop in Toronto, actually created the art of motion picture make-up, having winced visibly at the sight of Theda Bara making like a vamp with circles under her eyes.
He decided then and there, with justice, that something should be done, and, of more importance, realized that the brilliant lights under which movies are shot demanded an entirely different technique from those of the stage. He therefore invented a thing called “panchromatic make-up,” which killed the glare on people’s faces, and the Westmores have lived happily ever after.
The sons of the father are a busy bunch. Perc holds down the fort at Warners, where he touches up such idols as Bette Davis, Alexis Smith and Joan Crawford. Ern does the same for Hedy Lamarr, Janet Blair and the others at General Service. Bud lends his talents to Sylvia Sidney, June Lockhart and the batch of newly signed beauties at the just-formed Eagle-Lion Studios, having been lured away by the company’s president, Bryan Foy, from 20th Century-Fox. And young Frank, the baby, helps his elder brother, Wally, in an apprentice capacity at Paramount.
You who have ever read a fan magazine know they maintain a commercial beauty establishment on Sunset Boulevard, where both tourists and natives can get a complete working over. ’Phis
temple features private “consultation rooms,” complete with telephones to the outside world, soft lights, and equally soft drinks. There is a secluded portion wherein courageous males may be attended to, and a bevy of ultragorgeous operators.
And any client who is caught wearing a lipstick by Max Factor or Helena Rubinstein into the sanctuary immediately feels like a Conservative at a Labor-Progressive convention, for the Westmores also manufacture an extensive line of cosmetics guaranteed to make your husband give up his blonde. These are sold even unto the pygmies of darkest Africa, according to their publicity department, and bring the brothers something very fancy in the way of yearly pocket money.
Bottles and Braids
THUS, as you can readily understand, it was with some trepidation that I approached Wally Westmore on this story. Talk about Stanley’s little trip to find Livingstone! He didn’t suffer half the pangs that I went through to bring you the inside dope!
At quarter of one this afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I was led trembling through the streets of the Paramount lot, up two flights of stairs, and into the holy of holies. I entered a room filled with cupboards, a pair of soft chairs, a desk, and a thing which looked like a combination barber and dentist
chair. This was set uncompromisingly before a large three-way mirror lined with fluorescent lights. (You could tell at once that every flaw would be magnified 78 times.) Under the mirrors was a long counter squirming with bottles, big and little brushes, lipsticks, bowls of powder, tiny containers of rouge, and so forth.
If all that equipment couldn’t do the trick, nothing would !
I was planted in the chair. The lights were turned on. Mr. Westmore, a youngish man with a good grin and the bright manner of a guy who pulls teeth for a living, stepped behind me and gazed at me through the mirror. There was a moment of intense and painful silence, as if Mr. W. was calling upon each and every one of his gods, individually and collectively.
At last he spoke. “We must do something about her hair.”
I had not noticed that we were not alone. A round, jolly-looking woman, who was introduced to me as Nellie Manley, high priestess of Paramount hair, was also behind me.
It was hot. I’d put my hair in braids on the top of my skull. That, from the expression of the bystanders, was the very worst thing I could have done. Gently the pins were removed. I was led into an adjoining cubicle and again submitted to the appraising eyes. Finally Miss Manley summoned an assistant.
“I want a braid, a big braid. No, bring me two,” she added, casting discretion to the winds. After all, Paramount was paying for it.
The assistant vanished, and Nellie began combing me like mad. (I learned then that the hair is set before the make-up, and brushed into its full glory only when the face is perfect.) The idea was evidently to dream up a simple top (with the aid of some lacquer which she blew at me from a bottle) and then add the braid at the back of the neck. This was done, with Continued on page 61
What makes Hollywood stars look that way? Finding out, Kate became a glamorous stranger—even to herself
Continued from page 12
the result that I was unable to turn my head for the next three hours.
I was then returned to the presence of Mr. Westmore.
Before he began his gigantic task he gave me a few generalizations which I pass on to you.
“The ideal face is oval,” he commenced. “Thus, every woman should strive to create the illusion of ovalness in her own appearance. She should take into account the width of her jaw and chin, the width of her forehead, the width of her cheekbones, and correct any faults she finds by make-up and the manner in which she dresses her hair.
“Few women—even on the screen are born with the oval. You were,” he added, parenthetically. (I felt as if I’d just received the Victoria Cross.) “So we have ascertained the types of faces and discovered what sort of make-up is best for them.
“Besides the oval, there is the round face, for instance. Olivia DeHavilland is an example of that, and for her we clear the forehead of hair, arch the eyebrows slightly, and make up the mouth delicately but as wide as possible, in order to reduce the distance to the edge of the cheek.
“Then there is the oblong face, exemplified by Loretta Young. The point here is to get as much width as we can into the face, by dressing the hair loosely at the sides, by widening the upper lip and making the lower full at the corners, by applying rouge at the centre of the cheeks. The square face, which Joan Blondell has, for one, demands soft hair again, and a diagonal part to counteract the straight lines present, a higher arch to the brows, and a widish mouth.
“The triangle, which Alice Faye possesses, features usually a broad jaw line, so the hair is built out at the side of the forehead to balance that, the eyebrows are arched slightly, and the natural outline of the lips is followed.
“For the inverted triangle exactly the opposite prevails . . .”
I was slightly dizzy by this time.
. . And for the diamond face, such as that of Claudette Colbert, where there are wide cheekbones between a narrow forehead and chin, the hair is built out at the sides, the brows are
kept natural, and the lips are made full in the centre.”
I was getting writer’s cramp.
“Every woman should pick her best feature, however,” Mr. Westmore continued, imperturbably, “and attract the eye to that. She should never try to copy anyone, and she should wear the minimum of make-up at all times to create a natural appearance. Make-up
is, after all, an illusion. Too much will spoil that illusion as much as none at all.”
Playing Mud Pies
Having delivered himself of these commandments, Mr. Westmore proceeded to the task at hand. I followed orders like a dumb thing.
“Remove your present make-up,” he began, handing me a piece of tissue and some mineral oil.
“Are we going to make a salad?” I enquired.
Levity was not allowed.
“Mineral oil is the best element for removing make-up we know. It cuts faster than cream and doesn’t grow hair. Albolene is also good, and baby oil, which is wonderful for a night cream.”
If you don’t slide out of bed wearing
I used the tissue as he continued, “Never take off make-up with a downward stroke.” I rapidly changed my stance. “And if you like to wash your face afterward, and your skin is sensitive, try a man’s shaving soap in cake form. It’s very mild and won’t burn your skin.”
That finished, there was little more discussion. I lay back in the chair, my carefully done hair resting gingerly on some rubber gadgets behind my head, and he—to coin a phrase—worked himself into a lather.
First, when my bare face was definitely hanging out, he took a tiny brush and some white paste and meticulously painted out the circles under my eyes. This could be useful, I thought, meanwhile burning slightly with shame that I wasn’t the picture of youth. Powder was then applied to the area, and I took a gander. I’d lost five years.
Then we played mud pies. With his hands he patted onto my puss a tannish, almost liquid goo which I learned was a powder base. This went on in tiny dots and was then smoothed all over the cheeks, chin, forehead and even eyelids with the fingers.
“Always put it on the eyelids too,”
said Mr. Westmore. After that he seemed to go slightly mad. Suddenly he began slapping my face with wild abandon. I drew back. Fie pursued me.
“What in the h . . .?” I managed at last.
“This tones the muscles,” he gasped between slugs, “and prevents streaking of the base. Every woman should do it.”
Knock yourself out before you even leave the house, ladies!
When he had whacked me to his satisfaction, I looked again into the mirror. I was covered with a sticky grease, and was the most horrible sight I had ever seen.
I glanced at my tormentor. He seemed .sane!
Happily, he then mixed some of the grease with some eye shadow.
“Always do this,” he said, tersely. “The addition of the base gives a more na t u ra 1 a p pea r; i n ce. ’ ’
With his little finger he darkened my eyelids. Grease or no grease, my eyes suddenly were the size of dinner plates.
He took more of the base goo and mixed some paste rouge with it. “Always do this,” he repeated. “The addition of the base gives a more natural appearance.”
I nodded, hypnotized.
The rouge went on in little dots, too, after which he blended it into what is called a perfect blush. 1 was rosy as a newborn babe. And as flustered.
Then we played let’s-blow-into-aflour-barrel. For, according to the Westmores, powder should never be applied either sparingly or with a rubbing motion. The idea is to fili a puff to capacity and pat half a pound or so onto a small area, working it in as you do so.
Getting the Brush-off
A powder brush with soft bristles next came into play. I had always used these (if ever) gingerly, but Mr. Westmore really gave me the brush in no uncertain terms. The result, I must admit, was slightly terrific, for the mudpie effect completely disappeared and my skin had what is known as a “matlike finish.” (Not bath mat, friends.)
Then came Operation Lipstick.While I held my mouth slightly open like a lovesick guppy, Mr. Westmore took a small brush, dipped it into the red paste he had placed on his palm (his palm was rapidly becoming unrecognizable by this time), and began to sketch me a new mouth.
He didn’t like my old one evidently, for he started drawing lines at the outer edge of my upper lip, standing back to stare at me through the mirror every few minutes. When the outline was finished to his satisfaction, and little upward quirks had been added at the corners of my mouth so I beamed whether I felt like it or not, he filled in the rest of the lip with color and repeated the process down below.
The upshot, because the powder base was slightly dark and the lipstick ditto, made my teeth look like the unsullied whiteness in a Painless Parker ad, so I grinned.
Next, my eyebrows (which he had previously plucked out by handfuls, claiming they were too heavy) were brushed and shaped with a pencil. He was careful only to apply the color with tiny, parallel strokes, so the end-product would look natural.
And then he did something that sounds ridiculous but was so miraculous 1 gasped. He took a brown eyebrow pencil (“No one should ever use black, only brown”) and drew a thin line all across my eyelid just above my eyelashes.
How one does this at home, I have no idea, for it demands standing on
your head with your eyes closed, but there must be some way of managing it. And it’s worth the effort. You can’t actually see it, you understand, but it makes your eyes look bigger than dinner plates.
This was followed by mascara—only applied to the upper lashes. And theoretically we were done.
But Mr. Westmore had another short lecture to deliver.
In the middle of the production he had suddenly started painting my cheekbones with whitish paste. When I’d enquired as to his motive, he had answered that he’d explain later. Now was the time.
“As you know,” he began, “we do a lot of corrective make-up for pictures. All stars are not completely beautiful, to put it bluntly. And by the use of shadows and highlights we bring their faces closer to perfection than nature made them.
“The axiom behind corrective makeup is this: Highlights reflect the light; shadows absorb it. Thus, by the use of two tones of make-up which promote this reflection and absorption, we are able to create almost structural changes for the sake of the camera. The darker of the pair is used for things we want to leave natural or underplay; the lighter for portions we want to emphasize.
“I painted your cheekbones to bring them out. And any woman can do this with the features she wants to make more prominent or minimize.
“First, she buys two consecutive shades of powder base. If she wants to hide a certain feature, a too-prominent nose, for instance, she applies the darker shade to that part of her face, and the lighter to the rest. Then, with the patting I used a few minutes ago, she blends the two colors so there is no dividing line. When she puts her powder on she does her nose last, when there is less powder on the puff, so that it won’t catch the highlight.
“This works conversély, too, of course. If she wants to bring out a short chin, she puts the lighter tone on that and the darker on the rest of her face, and powders the chin to begin with.
“It sounds difficult. It’s not. Any woman can do it. The only trick is to be sure that there is no definite line of demarcation between the two bases.”
I took down his words of wisdoim When he finished it dawned on me that I was ready for unveiling.
Nellie Manley appeared again in answer to Mr. Westmore’s summons. Gently she combed the stickum out of the top part of my hair and put a few more pins into the braid. I kept my eyes averted from the mirror while this was going on, wanting the full glory of my appearance to blaze forth all at once, completed.
“Now,” Mr. Westmore said, at last.
It wasn’t Me. Not as I had thought of Me. It was someone with lovely cheekbones, huge eyes, a warm, inviting turned-up mouth, a matlike skin, white teeth, and a braid which emphasized the perfect oval of her face. I stared— and the lady stared back, so it had to be that I had something to do with her. There was no one behind me.
“Like it?” Mr. Westmore asked.
“LIKE IT? You’re a genius!” I replied. “If Cecil B. DeMille could only see me now!”
I walked around the lot for two hours after I’d left him, positive that some breathless man would rush up with a contract in one hand and a flowing pen in the other.
But no one did.