Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Beauty Is Your Duty


During WWII, both Britain and America campaigned to women with this slogan.

Beauty Is Your Duty

Posters, newsreels, newspapers proclaimed this mantra in Allied Countries. Hitler hated red lipstick, so what did the Allies do? They launched campaigns to encourage us gals to wear it!

Red lipstick became the symbol of patriotic freedom. When red lipstick wasn’t available, women stained their lips with beet juice!

The WWII propaganda encouraged ladies to keep up a glamourous appearance. Maintaining a positive morale was important to everyone during the war front. When the public spotted a woman looking her best, the image reinforced the idea that good times would return.

Women were told they were doing their part to win the war by looking their best.

My mom and aunts wore red lipstick and looked glamorous during those days. They were slim and had gorgeous figures. Of course, back in the WWII era, food was rationed, and very little overeating was done. That helped their waistlines!

Makeup has changed over the years. As a child, I watched my fashionable aunt apply cosmetics. She sat at her dressing table and applied base, rouge (as she called it), mascara and lipstick.

The foundation for the face was from a swivel stick Max Factor. She would roll it out, and then smooth it over her face and neck.


Cream rouge came next. This cherry red stuff came in a petite jar and required a tiny amount to make rosy cheeks.

Once the face was done, eyes were next.

The black mascara was packaged in a petite, rectangular container, and it was accompanied with a tiny brush. She placed the brush into water, and then applied the brush to the container. When the brush had significant black stuff on it, she applied to lashes. Outlining her brows was done with a pencil.

The grand finale was the red lipstick.

After donning stillettos, she was ready to leave for work. She wasn’t fond of her 5’2” stature, and the high heels added not only to her height, but to her allure.

One day, I had ridden with her to Dallas. While we waited for  her son to come to the car, a man she knew approached. She exclaimed, “I don’t have on enough lipstick.” She grabbed her purse and remedied the situation.

My mom and her sisters never went anywhere without their nails polished. My dad served in WWII, and my mom went to see him before he was deployed. He told me she arrived with her long nails painted like American flags.

Patriotism was important back in those days. I hope it still is.

But I digress.  

I knew a lady who went to bed wearing lipstick, and she would arise before her husband awoke. She wanted to make sure her face was outfitted before she greeted him. She resides in heaven now, but she was meticulous about her appearance when she lived down here.

Another married friend wears makeup every day, and she says, “I do it for me. I feel better when I look good.”

I know a woman whose husband insists every day that she “fix her face.”

My hubby has never stipulated such a thing. I think he knows better. However, he came home one day and said, “if you’ll put on your makeup, I’ll take you to dinner.” I replied, “I’m wearing makeup.” Uh oh! I needed to refresh it, so I did. Going out to eat is a winner for me.

I have a friend who never wears face color of any kind, but she does apply sunscreen, and that is a wise thing to do.

How about you?

Do you wear makeup every day?

I don’t, but I will not leave the house without it. My Mary Kay representative once held a skin care class and asked me if I would participate. She knows me well. She said, “you will need to remove your makeup.” I told her I’d rather take off my clothes.  Well, not really, but I don’t like to appear in public unadorned.

As a young girl, I had oodles of freckles, and I was teased about them. They stood at attention on my pale skin. I once wrote a letter to a cosmetician and asked how to rid myself of them. She responded, “Apply lemon juice.” I tried this, but it didn’t work. The lemon was sticky and messy. I was relieved when my mother finally allowed me to cover those pesky spots up with foundation.

My white hair is a DNA thing. I’ve had it since my teens. My pale skin and white hair make me look rather ghostly. I’m happy cosmetics exist to enhance what I don’t have.

Skin is important. It is the largest organ on the body. When old skin cells die, new ones come along. It behooves us to take care of them. If you don’t wear color, you should at least moisturize with a good sunscreen.

Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, protect, and color. These are excellent daily steps to make a lady feel and look her best.

That WWII slogan, “Beauty is your duty,” is a good one.

Gay's Author Page





Saturday, August 26, 2023

Happy Cookies and High Tea

 My maternal grandmother used to make tea cakes. They looked a lot like the ones in the picture, but she didn't draw a happy face on them.

The tea cakes were a cross between a cake and a cookie. I loved them. She kept them in a tin on top of the refrigerator. 

I suppose our English ancenstors ate these little cakes at tea time in the afternoon. That was such a nice respite. When our foremothers came to America, they brought the recipe with them.

This day and time, a formal tea time doesn't exist. I've looked into fancy restaurants who offer a High Tea in Houston. Most are expensive, but they sure look elegant. Here's a link to some of the best in Houston. High Tea in Houston

I gave a tea party last May and invited a few friends. I ask everyone to wear a hat, and I gave prizes to ladies who did. The prize was an English tea cup.  Sort of like the one picture below.

I had a lot of fun. Here's a picture of me with one of my guests. She really dressed for the party. My outfit was more informal, but I wore my hat!

Do you have a snack time? If so, what do you like?

Here's the recipe for my grandmother's tea cakes. Let me know if you make them!


1/2 cup butter

1.5 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 baking soda

Mix all ingredients together. Chill mixture for at least 2 hours. Roll dough into 1/8 inch thickness. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut into small cakes. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes.

Gay's Author Page

Monday, August 21, 2023

Coconut Cake. Yum! One of my Favorites


Let's Have a Party!

Do you have a favorite cake?

I have several, but Mrs. Evans’ Coconut Cake remains at the top of the list.

Mrs. Evans resides in heaven now, but while she lived on earth, she was known for delights she produced in her kitchen. She was a member of our church and at potlucks, the people always looked forward to her coconut cake.

She gave the recipe to her daughter-in-law, and the young lady made the cake, but it didn’t turn out quite the same. The younger Mrs. Evans said to the senior Mrs. Evans, “What went wrong?”  Mrs. Evans shrugged and replied, “Some can and some can’t.” 

I’m one of those who can’t. Even though I meticulously follow directions, something always the results aren’t quite right.

Our daughter, Lanissa, is a wonderful cook. I asked her to make Mrs. Evans’ cake for my birthday, and she did. Wow! It was delicious. It tasted like the one I remember.

Mrs. Evans always made the cake into a three-layer beauty, but Lanissa traveled to bring the cake to me, so she made it in a sheet pan. It was easier to bring that way.

Here’s the recipe. Try it.

Coconut Butter Cake



2 c. sugar

1 c butter, room temperature

4 eggs

2 c flour

1 tsp soda

½ tsp salt

1 c buttermilk

1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream sugar and butter. Separate eggs whites from yolks. Beat yolks and add to sugar mixture. Mix flour, soda and salt. Add alternately, butter, mild and vanilla which have been mixed. Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into cake mixture. Evenly divide into two or three 9 inch pans. Bake 35-40 minutes.


¼ c butter

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese

1 tbsp vanilla

1 lb box of powdered sugar

1 tbsp cream

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, mix well. Spread on top and sides. Put coconut of top and sides.

Gay's Author Page

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