Because Barbara Gould said so.
Barbara Gould cosmetics were popular in the '30's and the '40's. Fast forward 60 years: I am at the Ventura Flea Market, doing what most ephemera collectors do, sticking my hands into boxes full of old papers and shuffling them about.
I came up with this booklet, published in 1932…it was probably handed out free of charge at the cosmetics counters of Bullock's, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc.; I bought it for fifty cents.
Such a pithy littlte tome…inside it begins with a brief history of Barbara Gould. It states that she is 'an ardent devotee of out-door sports', but I always read it as 'an ardent divorcee'. Oh well.
The booklet goes on to describe how a woman's complexion alters with each decade, and how her facial needs change. I always found the caption for each decade kind of amusing. As amusing as the magazine I leafed through years ago which told me that a woman marrying past forty should wear a pantsuit.
Anyway. Here we are in our teens – our faces smooth and toned, but still with that edginess that makes us look like an evil bobby-soxer. Barbara would like us to use some Skin Freshener on both face and neck. Shall we begin, ladies?
We are now in our twenties. We are, in case you haven't noticed yet, glowing, and have a acquired a 'look to the future, young graduate' serenity of expression, as well. Our faces now require 'the merest touch' of the Barbara Gould Finishing Cream:
Uh-oh. Warning. We are now heavily marcelled, peroxided and, judging from the portrait provivded, rather fabulous looking. But don't let that fool you. We're in our thirties. Danger. Use the Tissue Cream around the eyes, ladies, as well as Muscle Oil for dry or sallow skin. Which you no doubt have. Because you're thirty.
At last. We have reached the snow-covered summit of our lives. We have looked Death in the eye, and spat into his hooded cloak. We are forty. We are triumphant. We are not dead. Look at the portrait here – no glow (oops, sorry, that was two decades ago), the hair is straightened, the dye has been washed out, the eyes are lowered and demure – and I think we are now wearing hair shirts.
Yes; clutching our Barbara Gould Astringent Cream, Skin Freshener and Cleansing Cream in our hands, we are being sent to a nunnery:
It's been a fun ride, ladies. Thanks for playing.