Grooming with Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford Boudoir

‘A busy woman can’t spend whole days in front of mirrors but she ought to have them all over the house (which improves the décor too) and make a point of glancing at herself every time she passes one. It’s a form of narcissism that pays off. If you are pleased with what you see, chances are he will be too.’

‘I have such a full schedule that it’s hard for me to be flexible about seeing people at a moment’s notice. For that reason I abhor dropper-inners. It happened to me recently. The house phone rang and the desk said that that three people were on their way up. There I was at my desk, swamped with correspondence, wearing a little cotton shift and very little makeup. I had to abandon everything, run quickly into my dressing room, get into a lovely dress I had bought in Canada, put on lipstick, and tidy my hair. I was furious. My own children wouldn’t think of dropping in without calling to see if I’m busy. I wasn’t rude, I said, “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I wasn’t expecting guests.”

‘Girls who wear their hair over their faces use their ears as hangers, pushing it back behind their ears—making such a commotion that people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, let along what they look like.’

‘During the most blissful years of my life the dead center of my life was my husband. I worked with him, and made sure he was as comfortable and happy as a man could, and should, be…. When he came home I was well groomed, fragrant, feminine. He never saw a laundry bag, a dust cloth, or a hair curler. I hope he never knew that such things existed!’

My Way of Life, by Joan Crawford, Simon and Schuster, 1971

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