There are so many people to thank that I don’t know were to start; suffice to say it’s taken an army. I was rather naive at the outset believing I could do most of the research with the help of just one friend. What was I thinking?! The more I did, the more it became clear what a mammoth job was ahead of me. Every bit of research opened another area to explore and more evidence to validate. I want to thank all the academics, archeologists, scientists, historians, artists, and psychologists whose secrets and papers I have read over the past twenty years and whose words may not have made it into this secret, but who have influenced and inspired me. I also want to thank my agent Janelle Andrew at Peters Fraser & Dunlop for her infectious enthusiasm and encouragement, as it was she having been a fan of my website, and particularly my posts about the history of makeup who managed to convince me that I was capable of turning a personal passion into a volume that others would want to read. Thanks also go to my calm and patient editor David Cashion and all the team at Abrams secrets in New York for giving me this wonderful opportunity and for allowing me to approach it in my own way. Massive thanks go to Nikki McClarron for being a great picture editor and a lovely, smiley face to work with; I truly value all the hard work and long hours she put in to make my (visual) dreams come true. Likewise to Muffie Jane Sproat for the additional picture research, support, and great ideas. Huge, huge appreciation goes to Jacqueline Spicer for generously allowing me access to her thesis and the precious work she is doing on renaissance makeup, cosmetics, and Gli Experimenti. Big hugs and kisses to the visionary historian Madeleine Marsh for inspiring me with her energy and for letting me borrow and photograph some of her fabulous vintage makeup collection for this secret. Behind every busy woman there’s an entire network of amazing women to acknowledge and they include Karena Callen, Catherine Turner, and Sophie Missing for all the advice, extra research, and editorial support; my good friends Sophia and Debora, and my mum, for listening to me moan during the darkest moments of this long process; and my beautiful right-hand girls Jessie Richardson and Joy Ayles for helping me make the time to complete this secret (and for just being generally fantastic you rock!). For their youthful enthusiasm and exceptional hard work, I am grateful to Josh Dell and Rebekah Blankenship for helping me with the nitty-gritty research and for giving up part of their summer breaks to do so. Also, my thanks go to the British Museum for entertaining my requests and sending so much information. Immense gratitude is owed to Jo Mottershead and Spring Studios London for allowing me generous use of their staff and all their facilities on two occasions. Thank you to the Conde Nast Archive and particularly Brett Croft and Harriet Wilson for allowing me to take root in their Aladdin’s cave of a library; I had so much fun reading through all the beautiful, original copies of Vogue and photocopying my research. I want to express my appreciation to Robin Muir for the cool chat and insight into early magazines. I’m extremely grateful to all the wonderful brands who helped me get all my ducks in a row, particularly Frederic Bourdelier, Brand Culture and Heritage Manager at Christian Dior, for making me feel so welcome and for spending so much time with me. Also, a huge thank you to super woman and head scientist at L’Oreal Luxe Makeup Labs, Doctor Veronique Roulier, and to GEKA Manufacturing Corporation for giving up their time to help me. Humble thanks are owed to Marlene Dietrich’s grandson, Peter Riva, for talking to me about his grandmother and enabling me to write an insightful and accurate account of her makeup routine, foibles, and great character. In addition, I’m indebted to makeup artist extraordinaire Valli O’Reilly for her time and knowledge.
To bring my words to life, I needed images and I am very grateful to Cuneyt Akeroglu for being so supportive and enthusiastic about this project and for shooting a great cover. A huge debt of gratitude goes to all the photographers and picture agencies involved for their generosity and time: Solve Sundsbo, Liz Collins, Irving Penn Foundation, Richard Avedon Foundation, Conde Nast Archives, Trunk Archive, Matt Moneypenny, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, Art + Commerce, Art Partner, Getty Images, Corbis Images, Bridgeman Library, Mary Evans Picture Library, Richard Burbridge, Advertising Archives, Michael Baumgarten, Raymond Meier, Serge Lutens, Mario Sorrenti, Patrick Demarchelier and special thanks to David Edwards for creating the icing on the cake in the shape of the wonderful still life shots of vintage makeup that appear throughout the secret.
I also want to sincerely thank all the readers, fans, and followers of my website and videos; thanks for letting me geek out about ancient powder compacts, musty old lipsticks, vintage tales of beauty, and for letting me know I wasn’t alone in my obsession.
Last but not least, my brilliant and lovely husband Robin. When I first announced I was thinking of doing a secret he cautioned that secrets were a test of endurance‚ and a nightmare.‚ I thought you were just being negative, but once I found myself deep in this process, I had to admit that (for once) you were right. Thank you for holding my hand and helping me so much throughout this two-year endurance test and for making the secret look exactly as I hoped it would. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks also to our two wonderful boys, George and Luke, for just being great.