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1870s- 1920s Beauty and Cosmetic Timeline ARTICLE by Lisa Schnapp on 01-14-2009
Theda Bara, seen around 1914, the exciting new exotic "vamp" considered by many to be "first" to help bring on the oncoming "flapper" era enthusiasm for mysticism. By 1916, ladies were beginning to imitate the new silver screen movie stars styles brought to theaters with eagerness. Theda Bara was a mid Edwardian silent star vamp with a new look- a cool, sophisticated suggestion on an exotically pale skined face, with raven-hued, corkscrewed tressed hair.
Notice Theda's mezmerizing and hypnotic, kohl-rimmed eyes. The paint extends past her lashes in two upturned sweeps of cake eyeliner. Blockish, coal black brows drawn in with old theater cork blackening solution.
Theda's dangling earbobs, brushed, cake-on mascara, and dark cupid bows lips, with her slim, corset-less figure, wearing Cleopatra's harem style outfits made Theda instantly one hot number.
The growing movie industry grabbed hold of the public's imagination and never let go!
Only a few brave women cut off their crowing glory before 1920. The first bobs were bluntly cut straight across, not displaying the hairline at the neck. By 1924, women in droves were bobbing, or "shingling" (the graduated show of the neck hairline) the back of their hair in defiance. Ladies now wore short, sheer, diaphanous beaded tubular gowns, often with waist/hip combo corsets, or no corsets at all, often with sheer, flash toned or sheer slips, camisoles or shifts. By the 20's, most "modern" women either wore or at least accepted the wearing of colored facial powder, with dark, straight or down-turned, tweezed penciled brows, dramatic, strong strokes of kohl eyeliner, plus sophisticated lip rouge that now had holding power for day or evening, and even rouged the knees.
America's Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, a married, "innocent" looking ingenue, with large girlish curls had her reining crown of America's newest sweetheart, Clara Bow, the first "It Girl." A newly shorn bobbed bombshell of the early 20's ("It" meant sex appeal!) Clara ensconced the public's adulation with her sultry "come thither" saucer eyed glances with a fresh, sexy, made-up, girl-next-door appearance with her bow shaped painted lips.
In 1923, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel popularized a luxuriant, golden sun-kissed suntan, after returning from a relaxing trip to the French Rivera. Changing the look of a pale, sun deprived world to a healthy looking glow of tan overnight, Coco forever changed the attitude way women wore their clothing, hair and make-up.
Q and A Article, opinions by Lisa Schnapp (bonnet) of Bustledress.com. All original, written content/ text/ photographs/ ect. are all copyrighted personal property of Lisa Schnapp, and are not to be reused without permission. Thank you.