Sunday, August 10, 2014

Janet Sartin, Catherine Oxenberg, and the Art of Skin Care

For my daughter's 15th birthday, I took her to Bobbi Brown for her first foray into proper makeup (stage maquillage for ballerinas does not count). 

It reminded me of when I was about 19, in university, and a Janet Sartin counter opened at a fancy Ottawa store.

I had become infatuated with Janet Sartin (who opened her Madison Ave skin-care salon in 1945) via magazine ads that featured Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and her actress daughter Catherine Oxenberg.

Rightly or wrongly, I thought that I might resemble the celebrity Miss C in the tiniest way and, as I already had a princess complex, wanted what the royals used on their perfect, regal skin.

The author sans makeup, age 19 + 30

Janet Sartin
So I made my way to the counter and bought all the appropriate products, all in their signature yellow packaging. I used this line for years and years.  Did I feel princessy? Maybe.

One of the ads that grabbed my attention

When I moved to New York to work in publishing, I treated myself to a Sartin facial. That was lovely, but what I remember more is leaving the salon and seeing Steven Tyler crossing the road with a young woman. Aerosmith was playing that weekend.


Jen Lawrence said...

I remember those ads. You do have an Oxenberg quality. Kudos for getting your daughter on the right path, makeup wise. I see far too many girls covered in spackle. When my wee gal is a bit older, I plan to follow suit.

Miss Cavendish said...

I do share that Oxenberg claim through the 30-year-old lens of an aspirational 19-er. And it's an investment to be sure, but good quality makeup and techniques can be so helpful. I remember my first eyeshadow, which was, of course, light blue ;-).