Nowadays we are so lucky, with a huge choice in make-up available in stores and there always being some kind of offer on the table, we never really have an excuse to not be looking our best. This was much harder during World War II, however despite the shortages in make-up available, women did not give up. Make-up helped women feel more feminine and positive about the world around them. Wartime propaganda encouraged women to make the most of themselves, no matter if they were working in a munitions factory, staying at home or in the services.
Factual TV channel Yesterday (Sky 537, Virgin 203, Freeview 12), and its six specially commissioned shows all about the spirit of 1940, is providing some hints and tips straight from the 1940s, such as what to do if you have run out of lipstick, your tights have a run in them or you are out of shampoo!
Where rationing through WWII made make-up (and fashion) shortages normal, more and more often people heard the slogan ‘make do and mend’, encouraging them to be more inventive with products they already had at home. Below are some great tips on ration book make-up from the 1940s. What do you do when you’ve run out of your essentials?
Red lipstick was seen as a symbol of patriotism during the time, not only did it make women feel more feminine, it made them feel like they were defying the difficult times that were happening around them. In the absence of actual lipstick, beetroot juice was the failsafe way of staining your lips in a realistic fashion.
Stockings were in high demand during WWII and a lot of women were befriending American GIs to get their hands on a pair of nylons. If that wasn’t possible, the best way of looking like they were wearing tights was using gravy browning completed with a line drawn in eyebrow pencil on the back of the leg, acting as the seam. In response to the shortages and the obvious need for women to be looking like they are wearing tights, Max Factor actually introduced stocking cream!
We thought self tan was a more recent invention, our research shows that this has actually been popular for a while, and during the 1940s women used tea bags to give their skin that bronzed look!
Shampoo was always in limited supply which resulted in people washing their hair with Lux flakes (washing powder) or in the absence of that, they simply used normal tap water. When looking back at pictures from the time, you can also see that hats, headscarves and turbans were very popular as this was always a great disguise for a bad hair day. When needing to do their roots or dye their hair, women had to then rely on vegetable dye!
Soap was rationed (there were even adverts on how to make your Lux Beauty soap last longer), and for women that did not have a razor, they had to use soapy pumice stones to de-hair themselves.
These days we are bombarded with top makeup tips both online and in newspapers and magazines. Back in the 1940s a similar article would contain these top 10 tips:
1. Use gravy browning as fake tan
2. Blend lipstick on your cheeks for rouge
3. Get your friend to draw a pencil up your leg as pretend tights
4. Wear bright red lipstick for a touch of glamour
5. Blondes use lemon in their hair, brunettes use vinegar
6. Use a fine soap in your hair and massage into the scalp for sweet smelling locks
7. Make your own homemade face mask, just blend oats, lemon and milk
8. Do your own hair, you don’t need a hairdresser just some hair pins and creativity.
9. Use talc on your face, as a replacement for smooth face powder
10. Rag you hair – you don’t need curlers just old rags!
Tune in to Ration Book Britain exclusively on Yesterday: Sky 537, Virgin 203, Freeview 12, on 15th January 2010 at 5pm. For more information visit www.visityesterday.co.uk
December is a busy time of year for everyone, and that includes us!
Can’t Help but Be will be back in 2010 (scary or what?!) with some fresh ideas and shiny new content.
Watch this space!
Have a fabulous Christmas,
with love, Laura and Eloise
The Christmas beauty treats from organic beauty company, Green People, are literally good enough to eat, packed with naturally gorgeous, certified organic ingredients that give skin a delightful boost and tempting aromas that will set the senses alive.
So whether you’re looking for a divine luxury gift or the perfect stocking filler, why not treat your loved ones to Green People’s beautifully pure and indulgent gift sets:
Body Divine, £25.00 A divine duo to keep skin soft, supple, clean and fresh
Aloe Vera Shower Bath (200ml) is made with a high concentration of Aloe Vera to moisturise and soothe, and French Lavender for a relaxing shower bath. Nutrient-packed Aloe Vera Hand & Body Lotion (200ml) contains the perfect blend of Aloe Vera, Coconut and Berry wax to soothe chapped and dry skin.
Currently on Special Offer with £2.50 off listed price until 31/11/2009
Festive Fix, £24.50 A 3-step treat for the ultimate organic facial experience
Fruit Scrub (50ml) is made with Mandarin, Apricot and Bergamot to deep cleanse and gently exfoliate – enhancing the skins natural radiance. Vita Min Mask (50ml) is bursting with vitamins from Mandarin, Seaweed and Avocado to revitalize tired skin. Vita Min Fix (10ml) is a 24 hour day/night cream made with Evening Primrose, Avocado and Sandalwood to nourish skin.
Currently on Special Offer with £4.50 off until 31/11/2009
Pure Body, £24.50 The ultra indulgence for ultra sensitive skin
No Scent Shower Bath (200ml) contains Aloe Vera and Olive for a nourishing shower. No Scent Hand & Body Lotion (200ml) is rich in moisturising Omega-6, with Avocado, Olive and Hemp to nurture and regenerate dry skin.
Currently on Special Offer with £3 off until 31/11/2009
Merry Oy!ganic, £10.00 The perfect stocking filler treat for teenage skin
Contains three treat size products: Cleanse & Moisturise (10ml) a 3 in 1 cleanser, makeup remover and moisturizer; Cover & Clear (10ml) to cover up whilst mending spots and inflamed skin; Gradual Tan (10ml), a daily moisturiser which gently tans for the perfect all year round glow.
Green People’s Christmas Gift Sets are available on line at www.greenpeople.co.uk
with free delivery on the first order for your household, Can’t Help but Be think these will make perfect gifts for family and friends. There are also trial size products available, that would make fantastic stocker fillers for all, as well as cosmetics that are truly good for you and perfect for the upcoming Christmas parties.
Granddads can be hard to buy for- let’s face it they often spoil their grandchildren rotten; and trying to find a gift that shows how much they mean can, at times be quite a feat. However, here at Can’t Help But Be we have done some of the hard work for you, so you can be inspired when it comes to shopping for your Granddad this Christmas.
Is your Granddad the sort to spend hours pottering around his garden, or greenhouse? Well, there are lots of products you can buy to make the perfect present for his green fingers.
If you are on a budget then how about putting together a little gift bag of goodies. Include a new pair of gardening gloves to protect the sensitive skin from the elements (and accidents!) This pair are from www.gardensupplies.co.uk and cost from £3.45
If you live in the USA, then why not go for a pair of these nitrile gloves? They may look light but apparently fit like a second skin, available online at www.gardeners.com priced at $6.95 and in a wide variety of colours ,these are definitely a must have
Along with the gloves how about a packet of seed markers? Perfect for the forgetful gardener who loves to propagate his own crop. 50 seedling markers all neatly bundled together for £2.95 is the perfect gift
If you are in Australia then we rate these copper markers, they’d make lovely ornaments too. Available from www.greenharvest.com.au
Some packets of seeds are the ideal way to finish off his gift. Available from all garden centres and many online stores you could choose from his favourite plants, some fruits and vegetables or even a tree. A gift that will carry on giving for years to come.
If your Granddad isn’t quite as active in the garden as he used to be but still loves the great outdoors then why not treat him to a day out to a RHS or yellow book garden. The yellow book is produced annually with the National Garden Society- they open gardens for charity and you know you’ll be in for a treat as each garden is thoroughly tested and inspected before they make it into the book. http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/gardenfinder.aspx is your one stop call to find the garden that is either closet to home or specialise in your Grandpa’s favourite element. You can walk around the garden, take photos and chat and then stop for an afternoon tea- a lovely treat and an opportunity to spend some quality time together.
Head here if you live in Australia http://www.opengarden.org.au/ for the newly released 2010 guide and likewise you and your granddad will have a day to remember.
For the book loving Granddad there is a whole assortment of lovely goodies to spoil him with.
There are a lot of books that touch people’s hearts but how lovely would it be if you could treat your Granddad to one of his old favourites that he hasn’t read in years? Maybe a book from his childhood, or a new copy of a worn out favourite. He will be so pleased to have the chance to dive right on in again. And with www.amazon.com or www.amazon.co.uk listing almost every book you could ever want the possibilities are endless.
If he already has all the books he could ever need then how about some book accessories? Bookmarks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and price ranges and always go down well.
On a budget, then why not go for this adorable handmade bookmark that you can have personalised with one or two initials from folksy. We at Can‘t Help But Be love to champion independent sellers where we can and with good like this it‘s clear to understand why (just click on the link to buy)
For other handmade bookmarks check out Etsy, we especially love this bookworm design, priced at a reasonable $8.95 (click to buy)
If money is no object then this elegant silver page marker is our absolute favourite, see this and more at unique gift heaven www.notonthehighstreet.com (costing £38.50)
If books and bookmarks seem too ordinary to you, then don’t fear. There are allsorts of gizmos available to help make reading even more enjoyable- from flexible torches to magnifiers with lights and thumb turners.
Is your Granddad in a nursing home? If so it can be difficult to think of gifts to get him that would enrich his days, here are a few suggestions.
If the room he is in has a window then the ideal gift is a birdfeeder. Hanging one from the window will not only help the birds by keeping them fed through the winter months but will also provide a lovely opportunity to see the wildlife up close and personal, even if bed bound. Be aware that some areas are prone to the grey squirrel (like we are!) and so you should invest in a squirrel proof feeder, if you are squirrel free then choose whatever style takes your fancy. If they have a room on the ground floor then we suggest going for a standing feeder on a pole; that way it will attract a lot of birds as some can feed on the stand and others prefer to pick up the scraps- this is a steal at £9, again from www.gardensupplies.co.uk
If they are on a higher floor and you have a squirrel problem then I suggest going for a squirrel proof feeder like this;
also from gardensupplies
This design stops the squirrels from getting to the food and also allows a lot of little birds to feed together.
If they aren’t into nature then what about a colour changing light? They are perfect for those who can’t use speech and other normal ways of expressing themselves. As a collector of lamps I can honestly say that Mathmos provide wonderful lamps, and not just lava lamps. One of my favourites is the space projector- aim it at a wall or the ceiling and you get a projected image slowly rotating, you can go simple and opt for ink circles that, as the lamp warms up heat and merge and blend into one another, or you can put up pictures that you know they will like. The lamps are available from quite a few places. The Mathmos online store is international if you have trouble finding a stockist.
The one pictured is just one of many options for the projector.
Another favourite is the mood changing light by Phillips. It comes with a remote control and has an amazing colour wheel, light intensities and brightness. If your Granddad has lost the power of speech it can be a way for them to help display how they are feeling, and with the remote being touch sensitive and very simple it’s a winner all round.
Does your Granddad have a sweet tooth, or perhaps a favourite type of cheese, or wine? Well then our top idea is to make up a personal box, stocking or bag for them with their favourites in. You can be as creative as you like, and when it comes to a budget you can really bring a smile to their faces whether you spend £5 or £50. If you are shopping on a budget then don’t worry- your hamper can still look a million dollars, with a little bit of elbow grease the personal touch can go a really long way.
For example, if your Granddad likes sweets then why not buy his favourites online? most online candy stores have excellent offers- no need to pay extra for packaging just order what you know they like. Then, when they arrive make use of old jam jars, milk bottles etc (ensuring they are cleaned out well) and pour in the sweets, tie up with Christmas ribbon and make a personalised label for the jar- it’ll go down a storm.
Same goes for biscuits and other sweet treats- making your own and packaging them up in cellophane bags with ribbon really keeps costs down and gives you extra brownie points. There is plenty of time to get practising if you are a novice in the kitchen- if you’re more of a pro then go wild, from fudge to home made chocolates, let your Granddad be your inspiration. There is a whole array of cooking sites to help you in your baking quest, one of our recent favourites is http://www.mixingbowl.com/home/view.castle
As for the hamper- you can go as simple as wrapping a shoe box in paper, to a wicker basket or even a toolbox!
It doesn’t have to be sweet of course- how about spoiling him with a selection of the cheese that he likes and some crackers and maybe some pickles? Or a wine selection, ones that perhaps are produced in your local region.
If your Granddad lives alone then you can start to stock up on miniature items, such as jams, mustards, pickles, coffee and tea- spoil them by making life a little bit easier for them!
If you don’t want to make one up yourself, have no fear, there is a wide variety of products out there that look homemade!
This basket of lovely is £21.95
And this is a whiskey lovers dream, at £74.95 it’s packed to the brim with goodies
Both of these, and many more are available at hampers gifts.
If your Granddad enjoy making things how about a model kit that will keep him amused and out of trouble for days! You can opt for the more traditional boat kit, such as this one below
If your grandfather is young at heart this wonderful Wallace and Gromit airfix kit is guaranteed to make anyone smile!
available for worldwide delivery at the modeller, or try searching through eBay or Amazon.
The kits have all they need included so no need to worry about glue or tools.
We really hope this guide gives you some idea of what to buy for your Granddad.
Please get in touch with us if you feel we have missed something out, there is another hobby you want us to cover, or you have any questions or general feedback. We LOVE to hear from our readers.
Either leave a comment on the post, or drop us an e-mail.
Stay tuned for more gift guides.
“The Ginger People is the leading brand of ginger in North America. With state-of-the-art ginger factories in both California and Australia, we take pride in being the most innovative, quality-oriented and environmentally conscious ginger producer in the world.”
Their products are also available in the UK, from places such as Holland and Barret, Julian Graves and independent health food shops.
After getting in touch with the kind folks at The Ginger People after reading a press release from them, I was lucky enough to be sent a box of samples to review. Here are my thoughts:
Gin Gins hard candy was the first product I sampled,
From the website these are described as "Double strength hard ginger candies made with all natural ingredients. Enjoy as an after dinner digestive or a throat lozenge to both warm and soothe.”
Both the box (bright yellow with the ginger people logo) and wrapper are eye catching and attractive. The sweets are individually wrapped making them perfect for popping in your pocket or bag. The ingredients list is reassuringly short: cane sugar, glucose syrup, ginger and three sweets contain just 35 calories.
The taste? Fantastic. Strong, but not too strong ginger and not too sweet. I had a cold when I tried these and they really did soothe my sore throat and provided a warm feeling against the Autumn chill. I now keep a handful in my handbag for when sore throats, or nausea strike, or I just fancy a taste of winter.
Next up to be tasted was Gin Gins Boost “Gin Gins BOOST is a super-delicious, super-soothing candy packed with a whopping 30% fresh ginger – our most potent candy yet!”
Again these came attractively packaged and individually wrapped. The ingredients for these are: cane sugar, glucose, ginger, modified cassava starch, non-hydrogenated palm kernel oil (trans fat free), salt, soy lecithin and they contain the same calories as the hard candy.
Were they strong? Yes! But not too strong for this hardened ginger addict. These sweets are slightly chewy with a deeper taste than the original Gin Gins, a little reminiscent of some kind of toffee, without the jaw breaking stickiness. As promised, these were fantastic whilst travelling (I tested this by reading a book in the car, an activity that usually brings about much nausea) and again, I keep a handful in my bag.
Moving on to the Ginger Chews, I firstly tried the original version. These are bigger in size than the Gin Gins and the packaging is slightly more muted in it’s colouring. “America’s #1 selling ginger candy and winner of Fiery Food Association’s Scovie Award for "Best Candy," our Original Ginger Chews are natural, stimulating and delicious. Given ginger’s queasy-quelling properties, Ginger Chews are great to fight off nausea while flying boating or going on a bumpy road trip. Surprisingly and satisfyingly spicy. The only candy that bites you back!”
These chews are 20 calories a piece and just three ingredients: cane sugar, ginger, tapioca starch. They are also gluten free and all natural.
Taste wise, this have a good ginger kick and a fantastic stiff, almost jelly sweet like texture. Wonderfully addictive the box didn’t last long once opened and I am thankful that the Julian Graves near me keeps these in stock!
By far, my favourite variant from the range was the Peanut Ginger Chew.
”Like the coveted cashews in a bowl of mixed nuts, Peanut Ginger Chews are the first ones to disappear first from our company candy dish. Our delicious peanut ginger candies are reminiscent of those chewy peanut treats from our childhoods. Peanut Ginger Chews capture the gentle sweet heat of ginger and the nutty goodness of peanuts. Beyond yummy, ginger and peanuts are also rich in antioxidants. Satisfy your warmest and nuttiest desires with these exceedingly pleasing candies.”
Again, each chew contains 20 calories and the ingredients are: cane sugar, ground peanuts, ginger, tapioca starch. CONTAINS: Peanuts.
These were just fantastic, they had a richer, darker taste than any of the other products, and having never tried ginger combined with peanut, I was wonderfully surprised at how well the two worked together. These are definitely one to track down if you are a ginger fan, they make the perfect Autumn sweet treat.
Other products in the range include ginger drinks, cooking sauces and crystallized ginger.
They seem to be a bit elusive to track down in the UK, but I’ve done some searching and found the full range of Gin Gins and Ginger chews on www.amazon.co.uk by searching for “the ginger people”, you’ll also find products available here https://www.yourhealthfoodstore.co.uk. Hopefully other online retailers will soon start stocking them! For US readers, you’ll find these treats widely available online.