Sunday, June 9, 2013

Notable Reads & Esther Williams, The Real Hollywood Siren...

This week I'm doing things differently. The links are first and they are followed by my ramblings. I figured some of you might appreciate cutting to the chase since what follows are memories, in a sense, written for me and for my daughter.

What caught my attention this week...

6 Ways To Deal With Curly Hair In Humid Weather, Beautiful with Brains. Funny but Gio posted this roughly at the same moment I embarked on my Quest for beautiful frizz free hair! I'm taking note of her product recommendations.

A visit to the Bite Beauty Lab in NYC, Tinsel Creation. Jessica visits and has her very own lipstick created right in front of her eyes. This must have been fun!

Japanese Beauty Gadgets, British Beauty Blogger. Jane gives us a few example of some nutty products available. I'm sure Google can come up with many more.

The Beauty Picks: Oils for Hair, Face & Body, The Beauty Sample. Becca gives us a list of her favorite oils.

Guerlain Terra Ora Collection Sneak Peak & Quick Swatches, Mostly Sunny. Sunny makes us drool, again, showing us these beautiful new offerings. She had done it a week before as well with Terracotta La Collection de L'Été, also from Guerlain.

Tweezerman Folding ILashcomb and Brow Shaping Scissors & Brush, Beauty Reflections. Tracy shows us why we need a little metal lash comb. Every girl that wears mascara should definitely own one. Oh and by the way, get ready, her lashes are to die for!

Minimal Makeup Capsule, Beauty Reductionista. Would you be able to get by with only 17 makeup items? Liz shows us her list. I guess I can do it too, given what I use in the morning as shown in my recent Current Favorites.

Esther Williams Breaks William Powell's Face Cosmetics and Skin. A fun article about the trickery of Hollywood and the use of elastics for instant face lifts.

The Real Hollywood Siren...

Have you ever watched a good swimmer swim? I don't necessarily mean a champion but a good swimmer, one with technique, one who glides effortlessly at the surface of the water? To me it's like watching a beautiful dancer.

I had my first swimming lessons when I was 4 and yes, I still remember some of them because I was hooked right from the start. How can you describe the beginnings of a passion? It's hard to put into words and trying to remember I asked my daughter last night how she felt when she was in the water and her answer was, it gave her a sense of freedom. Why couldn't I put my finger on it?

Then this morning it hit me! To my daughter its freedom but to me, swimming was and still is, the closest thing to flying!

Water was a big deal to me growing up, everything relating to it grabbed my attention and so it's no surprise that whenever a movie staring Esther Williams was shown on television I would sit and watch. Not for the storyline but for the swimming! Her beauty and the fluidity of her movements, her technique, where mesmerizing to me and the fact that she was always so strikingly beautiful "coming out" of the water. How could that be possible? Perfect makeup, perfect hair... Amazing! Oh and let's not forget all those underwater scenes with no goggles!

Esther Williams died in her sleep at age 91 on June 6th.

I tried to do a quick research wanting to know out more about the waterproof makeup and body paint used for the water scenes and there's not much out there. Apparently she mentions hot oil and Vaseline in her book, used to control her hair and waterproof pan cake foundation (The Million Dollar Mermaid, 1999, Simon & Schuster). William Tuttle, the MGM head of the makeup department at the time of filming the movie Million Dollar Mermaid in 1952, mentioned that she would emerge from the water still impeccably made up due to the waterproof cosmetics reapplied after each take.

In this video below, you will see that she was not only beautiful but a true athlete.

From the compilation film That's Entertainment (1974), 
Esther Williams is presented by Donnald O'Connor

One last note... 

This year there wasn't a lot of swimming. Catherine has had to put it aside to be with her father. I could not make the time for both the hospital and the pool. Hopefully she'll start again in September. She did go back once, three weeks ago. She dove into the water and swam the butterfly. My heart sank and I couldn't stop the tears. I could hardly see her and my guess is as she was swimming she was crying too. 

Who was the best butterfly swimmer I ever saw? André! Believe me I'm not saying this out of love. The first time I saw him swim, was in the lake by our cottage where as a kid I, would often imagine myself in some grand Esther Williams productions. When I fist saw him do the butterfly, my jaw dropped! He wasn't a technician, he simply had it! Our daughter struggles a bit with technique but that to him was unimportant. He was just immensely proud of her!

Catherine, my little Siren and her father's pride!

Have a great week everyone!

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