Category: Beauty aids

Streamline Your Figure

1939 Streamline Your Figure by Sylvia Ulback images from an online auction

Sylvia Ulback (6 April 1881 – 2 March 1975), known as Sylvia of Hollywood, was an early Hollywood fitness guru. Between 1926 and 1932, “Madame Sylvia”, as she was also known, specialized in keeping movie stars camera-ready through stringent massage, diet and exercise.

The endpapers feature this map of Hollywood by Russell Patterson.



Tray image from American Perfumer & Essential Oil Review via .

“From its beginnings in 1932 selling nail polish, Revlon would go on to become one of the largest cosmetics companies in the United States. Much of the credit for this success has been attributed to one of the company’s founders, Charles Haskel Revson.

“Revson was very aware of the importance of salons to his business. …they had a number of products that were clearly aimed at making salon manicures a total Revlon experience. By 1938, as well as selling twenty-one shades of Cream Nail Enamel, Revlon had also developed a range of other nail cosmetics… Then, in 1939, they added a range of hand lotions to enable manicurists to better personalise their Revlon treatments.

“…A lot has been written about Charles Revson, much of it uncomplimentary.”

Excerpts from . Learn about the company and the man at the link.


House of Westmore



Images: Left — 1939 ad in unnamed publication; Right — Charles Laughton as Quasimodo in 1939 The Hunchback of Notre Dame from .

From beauty to horror film makeup, four generations of Westmore family members left their mark.

“Perc Westmore was the department head at Warner Bros. where he worked on numerous classic films, including “Casablanca.” In 1939 he was brought to RKO by their department head, Mel Berns to work on a big prosthetics project, a sound remake of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Though Berns had an entire building and 33 hairdressers and makeup men under him at the department, his friend, Perc, had been brought in to create the prosthetic makeup pieces for star Charles Laughton.”

Excerpt from Scott Essman article primarily about the family’s movie accomplishments: .

Learn more about the Westmores, including the beauty aspect here: .