|HARRIET HUBBARD AYER
We're certainly mindful, as we dispense bits of advice each day, how foolish-sounding some of it may turn out to be in the long (or even short) run. There was a highly successful society doyenne/entrepreneur named Harriet Hubbard Ayer (1849-1903) who marketed a face cream into a successful business (the offices were at 317-323 East 34th) at least until a vicious family member/business partner had her institutionalized for over a year. After that, she wrote a beauty advice column for the New York World and penned the bestselling A Complete and Authentic Treatise on the Laws of Health and Beauty (1899). Here are a few selections (sited from 20-20):
The Sin of Dowdiness
The dowdy woman may be born so, in which case I think she should never marry. All of us see women who never look well dressed, whose hair is always coming down, and whose faces even are "dowdy" looking, showing an utter disregard of the art of grooming, as well as a total lack of discrimination in the selection of apparel.
How to Read Character from Features
A woman with fairly harmonious features and a double set of perfect, regular and pearl-white teeth freely and frankly displayed in laughing, is fairly certain to be a creature of remarkable mental balance… Irregular teeth that look like tangled kernels of an ear of corn are the index of a badly balanced nature.
At the very best, a bleached blonde is never easy in her mind for a moment. Either she has just applied the peroxide and feels sure that it is unevenly done, and glaringly metallic in color, or she is conscious that she needs touching up about the temples and at the back of the head — one or the other of the telltale spots. She is tied down to a bottle of peroxide of hydrogen for the rest of her life, and if, as is devoutly to be hoped for all women, she is some man's idol, ten to one she has deceived him as to her lovely golden hair, and her slavery is more unbearable from the awful fear of discovery.