October 15, 2009

From 1966: Because "Vos Yeux Attendent d'Elizabeth Arden" Means "Behold, The Three-Headed Dame Behind The Red Door," Au Francais

L'officiel Magazine

I like the Elizabeth Arden salon down on Camelback Road here in Phoenix. It is charmingly retro, as if you are stepping back in time to the days where women spent their days at "the beauty parlor," getting primped and primed and ready for another week of housewifery. It was a cherished, sacred date that was viewed as absolutely necessary by those women who could scrimp enough out of their budgets to afford it. There was also a more clinical feel to the whole operation. Even the "beauty operators" wore white lab-ish coats. A good example of this is the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy is trying to get Ricky to "let" her try an Italian haircut.

I've had my nails done at Elizabeth Arden before, and I have also had a facial or two. Ten years ago, I used to go there to have my hair cut. As I said, it is charmingly retro, and I enjoy retro enough to overlook their prices, which are criminally high.

Unfortunately, what I find charming, others may find stolid, staid, and just plain old-fashioned. I may be able to justify the prices and the lack of what have become normal, ordinary spa procedures (like aromatherapy or cornmeal scrubs) by pretending that it's 1955, and I am spending the morning at the beauty parlor before having a three-martini lunch at The Colony with the girls before going to an afternoon trunk show at Bonwit Teller, but other potential patrons may not be as mentally ill as I am.

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