Youth Dew and Pan Stik – the beauty of the 60s! 273



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Getting ready for a night out in the 60s called for serious help. There was the cleansing with good old Ponds cold cream, then the tea bags over my eyes to make them sparkle. A splash of witch-hazel to ‘wake up my skin’.  Then came the makeup…

DrawTheLine 002_1I tried Pan stick, who remembers that thick stick of tea coloured goo? It felt like wallpaper paste on the skin and made me look very ill, so mostly I used the cheaper fluid make up from my local chemist. My hair was rolled up with some ‘setting lotion’ applied first, then the torture of rollers. I tried wearing them at night once, but that was beyond a joke I threw them out one by one all over the bedroom floor. My mother in law had a pretty hair net she wore at night to prevent her ‘set’ being ruined. One of my Aunties told me I must never comb out my hair after having it done as it would last longer. Of course this was pre 1960, as I was married in 1959. She was wasting her breath as you will know if you see what my wild hair looked like.

Later make up was almost forgotten as I managed to cope with three children under four. Yet I still ‘did my face’ before leaving the house. I always wore some eyebrow pencil and lipstick, and a bit of combined powder and foundation. Even as I struggled with a pram with one small child sitting on it another holding it, and the baby in it, I tried to look presentable. Money was tight, so my beauty budget was very low on the list of essentials. Mostly I needed hand cream for my washing day hands. Two in nappies at night and very few disposables used for the new baby meant a lot of scrubbing.

By the time the wild 60s really got going I was also taking more notice of how I looked. A friend used to go to London and buy make up for us from Biba. Carnaby street and the whole London scene was very much the centre of the world we were told. Rare shopping trips to Biba made me feel I was visiting a shrine. The décor was all black and gold and trendy. The make -up I loved was almost a shade of yellow, it was in a small black pot, and I just loved it, my slightly ruddy skin needed the colour to tone it down. I was sad when Biba was no more.

Perfume we used was Youth Dew, and Blue Grass, Intimate and a lot of subtle oils from the body shop. Some went for Patchouli, and most parties reeked of it, but I loved White musk.  White Linen by Estee lauder was also beautiful. Hair products were evolving, and there were more gels and lotions to help tame my mop.  Still no straighteners though, long hair was ironed on the ironing board.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA beautiful bath was often the start of a special evening, soaking in a bath full of scented bubbles was perfect; I used an oil called Fenjal. Now we have no bath, only a shower and think perhaps its best, as if I tried to get out of that deep bath now I would need the fire brigade. I can’t even use the spa if we stay in a motel, as it needs a hoist to remove me.

Things change, the range of make up is vast; the hair products mind-blowing. I now use one brand that suits my skin colour, in a light tan shade, lipstick is often from the Avon lady, and I buy pencils and mascara according to my whim, mostly from the cheaper brands, or when they offer them half price. My skin care is very simple, Baby wipes to cleanse, some of husbands Q10 to moisturise at night, and a day moisturiser that cost very little too. My hair products are a wax I use to tame my hair sometimes and a ‘clay; yes clay, which gives my thin hair body before I use the straighteners, or the curling roller.  The funniest thing that happened to me beauty wise? When I applied a green mask and was resting on the bed, the three children came looking for me, and they nearly freaked out. I not only had a green mask on my skin, but had cucumber over my eyelids; it almost took therapy to make them forget that episode. Yes, beauty can be scary too.


What beauty memories do you have from the 60s? What products did you use? Share your stories with us in the comments below… 

Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. I still use youth dew. It’s one of a very few that don’t make me sneeze

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  2. OH yes !!!!!!!!!!!!! I remember the panstick well. I DID manage to sleep in rollers . with much discomfort but it was a necessity lol. Hairdresser every Friday lunch time and sleep with toilet paper wrapped around the “do” so it would last. How I love ny simple routine now and I keep my hair long because it is less hassle and cheaper to maintain.(but I haven’t ambraced the grey tones yet) Maybe soon.

  3. Fun story. Tried makeup but hated the feel of it mostly. Now the occasional lippy is about it. But I do moisturise moisture moisturise. Hair dead straight and getting so thin so wear it super short. Wore it long til 18 then hacked it off. So pretty simple routine for me.

  4. My girlfriend and I started getting ready for Saturday night about 3pm Saturday afternoon doing our hair makeup nails etc ready for the STOMP down at the local Applecross Hall opposite the Raffles hotel they were fun day and safe too…….

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    • I was going say the same thing about spending all afternoon getting ready for Saturday night!! I would take our 12 inch telly into the bathroom so I wouldn’t miss, what was that pop music show called?

    • Kathryn Leggett, I also went to the STOMP in the hall opposite the Raffles and to the STOMPS at East Fremantle and Cottesloe Surf Club – I also went to
      Applecross High School – wonderful days and memories

  5. throw decent pants on.. and I mean trouser NOT undies.. LOL and a sparkly top and I’m done. Husband showers, shaves, checks his nose hairs, brushes his hair just so, (when it’s not all shaved off), gets dressed, then has to dress again because some clothes just do not work.. Men do take a lot longer to look alluring.. LOL Back in the day I took all day to look my best.

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    • I am as bad as your husband, as I also change out of clothes I planned to wear, then they ‘don’t feel right’ so off I go again, have not got a huge wardrobe, and it consists of lots of op shop bargains, yet still I can take a while if I get a dithery day…when really nothing looks right because its me that is wrong.

  6. yes i did all of that, and love the Sunbeam hair dryer there with the cap.. he he he. My father used to look into my bedroom and take a peek and always had a huge grin on his face and a look of astonishment. He would say.. You girls are gluttons for punishment arent you… but we Loved it.. My girlfriend and I used to chatter away listening to Dusty Springfield, the Shirelles, The Supremes, etc… and have a wonderful time, probably even a better time than we did when we actually got to the Dance.

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  7. My friends and I would spend hours getting ready…those with curly hair ironing it straight…me with long straight hair spending hours in rollers…after all the dancing etc and/or getting caught in the rain our efforts were waisted lol…

  8. Moisturise always,hairdressers Saturday for special does, Hairspray OMG, ITHE HAIRSPRAY.

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    • It was LACQUER Bev. Remember? The hair just did not move,!!!! Hairspray was for hairdressers. i actually saw a can of hair lacquer in Priceline recently.

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      • I think the lacquar was called Gosimar in a blue can your had to be washed next day because you could not get a brush through it

    • Thats righr lacquer! . its a wonder we are not all bald, with the teasing AND what did it do to our lungs!! OMG, we were probably smoking while were teasing,spraying,etc. Oh, and the eyebrow plucking! Mine never grew back.

    • Gossamer HairSpray, EL Youth Dew,and occasionally sleeps with Hair Rollers,all still happens in our House.

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