Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Tell-tale Summer of Tina C and 80's paintbox make-up

Aww the superficial nature of make-up often viewed as a magical wand , the cure-all for facial imperfections , able to erase any glimmer of the uglies , and anyone who wore it seemed to have that magic touch as if they wielded the wand and , one drab drip would forever hope they would pass that sparkling know-how over them transforming them one , two , three. Pumpkin to Princess.

And how advertisements , articles , magazines pandered to everyones need!

Sylvie leaned closer to the mirror and smeared a little Vaseline on her eyelashes.
"What’s that for?" Rosie asked.
"It helps the lashes to grow," Sylvie said in her superior way.
"Does it work for bosoms?" Claudia asked , all fake wide-eyed.
Betty Wu giggled. "Let’s have some." She pretended to grab for the tube of Vaseline , but Sylvie frowned and dropped it into the little padded cosmetic bag that matched her pj’s.
* from - Sixth Grade Sleepover - Eve Bunting - Apple - 1986.

Her thick wavy hair hung to her shoulders. Lime green ribbons were woven into two little braids on either side of her face. From our window seat we were close enough to see the gold earrings that gleamed in her pierced ears - little hearts in the top holes and flowers in the bottom ones.
"Hearts and flowers and Perilous Peach lip gloss," Stephanie said gloomily. "I saw her buying it last night at Romanos."
*from - Sleepover Friends #23 Kate's Surprise Visitor - Susan Saunders - Apple - 1990

I adore the make-up themed book The Telltale Summer of Tina C - scarcely an 80's book it was written in 1976 but I’d read it in the 80's and some of those fast-read books of the 80's put out by Apple & others are rather like the series books anyway - you know just Fun reads! So they might pop up now and then specially now since I'm on an 80's make-up kick.

The book was written by the incredible Lila Perl she’d wrote lots of great books - Hey Fat Glenda , The Secret Diary of Katie Dinkerhoff , Beanpole etc. The language in it is colorful and snappy the plot is simple. Tina’s summer is going down the tubes. Her parents are separated. Her mother is dating a man who has shunned the -at the time popular male role , he cooks and has a little dog called Worrywart , her mother a beauty forsakes makeup and makes wire jewelry , her father is dating a rather exotic but silly Hungarian woman called Rosebud and Tina caught up in the trap of superficial suburbs just wants to be beautiful. She creates a club called the Saturday Sad Souls club ( isn’t that the most depressing name for a club - ever!? ) in the hopes of recreating the members into raving beauties. Each member has a flaw and decides to rename themselves in alliterations accenting their flaws as inspired by a local hunk Tiger Rawson ( whose nickname is inspired by tawny striped hair and rather pointed bicuspids ) he has dubbed Tina - Tina C. The Teenage-Twitch. For a habit of twitching her nose when nervous.
The other members are called Ina the Insomniac - who blames her weight on not being able to sleep at night and then resorting to raiding the ice-box. Cokie the curvature - for having braces on just about everything. But new member gorgeous Karla is let in for being a kleptomaniac only it’s later discovered Karla only lied about having a problem to get into there club ( how arrogant not to have one problem , just one , in need of fixing! )

There are wonderful passages of the girls talking about make-up or reading articles hoping some miracle cosmetic will transform them - perhaps all they need is - Yellow eyeshadow for that ‘sun-drenched look’ or velvet false fingernails in burgundy red , midnight black or deep purple , tissue thin transparent make-up that no one notices , fruit flavored lipglosses , or even an all purpose eyeshadow kit that resembled a paint box with colors ranging from bone China white to black denim. All of this has her mother muttering softly ‘I can see the suburbs haven’t changed.’

The highlight is when Tina after being dumped at her mother’s for the summer meets a boy from Holland named Johann in the museum and makes a date to meet him there the next day. However Tina is so caught up with what she looks like - taking off her glasses , and rushing out to buy the perfect shampoo before washing it - and then horrified when her best feature - described as butterscotch blonde with sharp golden glints in it snarls up and frizzes out of control that she almost spoils her afternoon. But by the end of the book she’s disbanded the
club not needing it anymore as the problems begin to resolve themselves. I wondered though if they were still gathering body oil samples and testing low-calorie drink recipes. Old habits die hard.

I was one of those buyers of the paintbox make-up eyeshadow kits - I still have a couple
left from the 80's - one is white - I think it was Barbie’s make-up or something it’s so old though - and the colors are bizarre army fatigue , tired mint , pixie moss green. The other one is a hot pink container with the words Sugar Baby written on the top - it came with purpley-pink blush , concealer , mascara , I think a lipstick , six little pots of eyeshadow only four colors have survived - pale lilac , dusty yellow , smoke grey , and dusty sapphire blue all of them sparkled. My most favorite little eye shadow paintbox however never made it very far after I took it to camp. It wasn’t one of those sleepaway camps and some one climbed up onto my bunk and knocked it to the floor popping out ( wouldn’t you know it ) my two favorite colors - aquamarine and hot pink. I was furious.

Don’t you just love the names of make up colors ( actually I’m a sucker for paint color names too I once painted my room light mauve just cause I loved the color’s name Love-in-a-mist ! )
Cover Girl offered up some perky blushes called Cheekers in 1986 15 shades. Cherry Blossom , French Toast , Cinnamon Stick , Rose Silk , Very Berry , Classic Pink , Soft Sable , Snow Plum , Roseberry , Pretty Peach , Ripe Peach , Peaches & Cream , Pink Icing and my favorite - Plumberry Glow.
Clarion offered the personalized colorsystem
1. The cool tones of mauve - lipstick - Victorian Mauve , Wood Violet , Plum Perfect , Sugar Plum , Wild Orchid , Plum Wine. - eyeshadow - Wild Plums , Night Violets. - blush -
Peony. - blush duo - Flowering Plums.
2. The cool tones of pink - lipstick - Rose-Pink , Geranium , Iced Pink , One Perfect Rose , Wild Strawberry. - eyeshadow - Blues in the Night , Racing Silks. - blush- Sweetheart Rose. - blush duo - Sweet Briar Pinks
3. The neutral tones - lipstick - Real Red , Bright Peach , Sweet Cinnamon , Heather Berry , Sweet Peach , Peach Blush , Pure Gloss. - eye shadow - Silver Sequins , Pure Earthtones.
- blush - Bittersweet. - blush duo - Spiced Apples.
4. The warm tones - lipstick - Angelskin Coral , Clover Honey , Amberberry , Terra Cotta , Sweet Sherry. - eye shadow - Sand and Sky , Seascape. - blush - Peach Blossom. - blush duo - Cinnamon apricots.
Bonne Bell in 1988 had some really fun sounding colors
- Iced Kiwi , Periwinkle , Pink Pizazz , Almond Frost , Aqua Frost , French Vanilla , Hot Canary , UltraViolet , Blue Skies , Silver Sand , Pearl Pink , Morning Glory , Misty Orchid , Peaches-n-Cream , Sunny Apricot , Real Teal , Antique Rose , True Blue , Khaki Frost , Electric Blue
- Sable , Wild Grape , Soft Black , Bonne Blue , Evergreen , Navy , Electric Blue , Charcoal , Khaki Suede , Blue Skies , Mountain Heather , Teal Shimmer , Plum Shimmer , Evergreen , Denim Suede ,
- Khaki Suede , High Voltage Violet , Denim Suede , Pacific Blue , Turquoise Lites , Electric Blue , Teal Brites , Really Green

What was your all-time favorite make-up color? It could be anything - lipstick , lipgloss , nail polish , mascara anything! I had two - a nail polish color that I’m not too sure of the brand but it was called Sky-blue Pink and when you turned the bottle you could see the color shimmer between this great airy-turquoise and bright pink it was fantastic an actual color change nail polish! My favorite lipstick was a tube of Fire Red lipstick that I only worn when I was feeling Madonna-ish you know dressing up more as play , the pigment in the lipstick was so strong if you didn’t apply it carefully you could get this awful clownish outline over your lips. I remember a boy once decided to make me laugh by grabbing the lipstick and reliving a scene from Wild at Heart - even before Wild at Heart came out - he just went nuts and slashed all these lipstick marks over his face. I was more annoyed then amused , him wasting the lipstick but I couldn’t help crack a smile knowing what was in store for him. It took three days of scrubbing for the red marks to come off!

Hope you like the make-up propaganda , I think they're from a 1986 magazine - I torn them out a long time ago.

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The real Bruce Patman

The real Bruce Patman
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The Real Lila

The Real Lila
Same soft , dreamy look!