Toilet Powders-some Useful Recipes-applying the Powder-a Good Face Cream and How to Use It he principal paints are white, red, blue, and black. White paint is almost entirely superseded by powders, and this is as it should be, for the old-fashioned white paint had white lead as basis, and was often the cause of some form of lead-poisoning. The best toilet powder is prepared from pure rice, but a rice powder has too little adherence, and in practice rice gives way to wheat starch. Some powders are really disguised white paints, their basis being French chalk, to which is added oxide of zinc and sub-nitrate of bismuth. The best powder has, as said above, a basis of rice or wheat starch; orris root - though not desirable, as it irritates some skins and is perfumed - is often added. Oxide of zinc is soothing and harmless; talc gives adhesion. A good powder, invisible and serviceable without being harmful to the skin, is therefore:
Oxide of zinc........
Finely powdered talc
Pure starch powder
This may be perfumed with any extract - for example, musk, otto of rose, eau-de-cologne - but a highly perfumed powder is undesirable. Here is a good powder which is antiseptic:
Powdered orris root
Three drops of any perfume.
It will be as well to give here a recipe for a "Pearl" powder. Its regular use is to be deprecated:
Subnitrate of bismuth ..
Oxide of zinc
1 1/2 oz.
French chalk ......
Perfume, mix well, and sieve.
It will be seen that anyone can mix a powder for herself. Carmine is used to colour a white powder pink, and finely levigated yellow ochre to obtain the Rachel tint. Orris root, or fullers' earth, if it be not considered too coarse, gives the required brunette tint to a white powder. Poudre de riz can be bought in the three tints, and is, of course, the least harmful of any powder, its use being to protect the skin from extremes of heat or cold, and to improve the appearance of a skin that perspires unduly.
Powder has two uses. The first (for which a harmless non-tinted one is requisitioned) is merely to dry the skin thoroughly after washing, and give it a protection against the weather. With such a powder, together with a shady hat, one can go with complexion unharmed through many trials of both winter and summer. The second use is the one considered in this article for a make-up. Here a layer of powder is left on the skin, either to hide a defect or to give the effect of a smooth complexion. But, however skilfully it is applied for this purpose, its use may be detected in a sidelight, when the skin will have a dull uniformity of tint not to be compared to the tinting of a real complexion, wherein a "peachlike bloom" is obtained by the down on the skin softening the satiny gloss of Nature.
In using powder for make-up, first apply a layer of any good cream. Many actresses make their own in order to obtain a simple, harmless, and cheap foundation. There is none better than that given on page 23, Vol. 1, but professionals often use lard. Get half a pound of the best lard, put it in a basin, and pour on it boiling water. Leave to cool, and then drain. Repeat three times. Beat up the lard, thoroughly drained from the water, with a fork, and, if wished, slightly perfume. Where makeup is much used, the expense of the cold-cream is a consideration. Cold-cream should be used always to remove all makeup before water is put on the skin.
But for simple make-up the cream is just put on and wiped off again, as only a small quantity of powder is desired to be retained. The tint of the complexion must be carefully studied before the powder is applied, or the make-up will be obvious. It is well to remember that a pure white is rarely becoming; a pink is generally suitable to very fair skins, and a " Rachel " to the brunette of pronounced type. The average complexion, however, finds itself best suited with a cream tint.
Apply the powder with a piece of chamois leather, or, failing, a bit of wadding or fine flannel, or even a bit of cambric, since all or any of these materials are better than the orthodox powder-puff.
To be continued.
Photo] H.r.h. The prince of Wales [W.& D. Dowry