Ready for another time-tripping post? I have no news, no new swatches, and am in one of my nostalgic moods. So I make you all suffer along with me.
Some of you may remember the post I had well over a year ago about the December 1972 issue of Seventeen magazine. I’d bought a bunch of issues on eBay for fun, and fun they were. Are. The August issue, the annual back-to-school one, is heavy enough to knock someone unconscious. Who else remembers pouring over these back-to-school style Bibles and bugging our mothers for this blouse or that purse, Please please please, Mom, it’s so far out!
The July issue was not a particularly fascinating one compared to the others, but had some fun ads and a makeover that you have to see. And I don’t know if you’ll believe me or not, but I can remember a lot of this issue from its actual time. My sister and I must have poured over it, time and time again, in those hot summer days. I was getting ready to enter high school in a couple of months and was no doubt pathetically desperate for sartorial salvation.
For the following photos, click on any of them for nice big views.
Here’s the model who was on the cover, although the actual cover is missing from my issue. Her name was Mona Grant and isn’t she pretty? Freckles, great but not perfect teeth. This was when a “smoky eye” was done with kohl.
She’s wearing a halter top made by folding a very large polyester square scarf in half then tied around your neck and behind your back. I vaguely remember trying to recreate the look. Considering I had no bust, the resulting look was…. unfortunate.
In the early ’70s, two very popular scents for loads of products were lemon and baby powder. Which led to Lemon Overload.
This had everything: the brand name “Love” (can’t get much groovier than that), dozens of items to layer lemon scent all over you, a monster mutant lemon lurking in the background, and even a scratch ‘n’ sniff strip in case you, y’know, don’t know what LEMON smells like.
Want a real hoot? Forty-three years later, this strip still smells like lemon! No kidding.
In case that wasn’t enough, later we see another brand with MOAR LEMON.
Remember Lemon Up, with the corny plastic lemon cap?
This July issue had very little as far as nail polish ads. But here’s a good one from Almay.
Ah, those pointy ovals. Those pointy bottle caps. The limited shades.
Bizarrely — well, maybe not so bizarre for the times — this issue had an entire wedding section. Yep, a magazine devoted to pre-high-school-graduation teens had a wedding section. Back then we all knew people who dropped out of school to get married or got married right after graduation. These days… not so much.
The photo to open this wedding section is, pardon my old-fashioned ideas, gorgeous. Except for the short curly hair and the thin eyebrows, she’d be considered in style now, what with the smoky eye and lovely lip look. Actually this photo kind of has a 1930s vibe to me.
Finally, the makeover I mentioned. This was and is the best part of the whole issue to me, for very different reasons now than in 1972. Back then, my sister and I hooted with laughter at the model’s “before” look, and we wanted to look like the “after” picture SO BADLY.
Really? REALLY??? What’s to change, you think? She — Isabel Grandin by name — has fantastic smooth pale skin, huge gray eyes, lovely expressive eyebrows, and a lip shape to die for.
Well, we thought she looked awful. Get ready for the “after” picture, and honestly, I’m kinda sorry to do this to you.
OMIGOD. Clown makeup. Butchered eyebrows. Sob.
But here’s the thing. In 1972 this was the idea of beauty — bright circles of blush scrubbed on cheeks, eyebrows tweezed into oblivion, slanted sides for the hair, and heaven forbid you should appear pale. In case you want to duplicate this look right now, here’s the blurb:
We can all have a good laugh over this, but I can guar-an-damn-tee you, years and decades from now, we will be screeching with horror over the styles from 2015. That contouring. Those Sharpie brows. The hair styles. The squoval nail shape.
I do have some good news when it comes to Ms. Grandin. I didn’t remember her name but hoped to find some proof that she survived this makeover. I looked her up in IMDb and found that she did have a brief career as an actress. She was a regular on the extremely short-lived 1985 TV series Hell Town, which starred Robert Blake. She played a nun or maybe somebody undercover as a nun, not sure what was going on with that show, and you can see her in this video of the opening credits. That’s her at about the 35-second mark and also at the 56-second mark by name.
Isabel, you were gorgeous just as you were. Funny how whether it’s 1972 or 2015, we always think we need fixing!