Shop Talk

A hot sultry day. We sit huddled over our desk almost prostrated and in comes a letter from someone who wants us to rate the worth of two new suntan oils. That’s life in a shop-ping department. A man from New Jersey wants to know if his cream for dry skin is really a good one. And how are we to tell, we with our shiny nose? Someone else sends us a cream to protect the hands of gardeners, we who have no garden. So it goes, and so it is that a department of this kind, to function at all, must have a little army of human testing grounds. Friends going to the mountains to rough it are plied with hand creams. Fat friends and bald friends are prey of great price and we go about with a new manicure set behind our back looking for a woman with broken nails.

A while ago we turned loose one of our recruits, a worker of the world who cannot always be lounging about dim-lit salons. With her went the new Ambrosia grouping; (a) Ambrosia, regular size, (b) little flat flask to tuck into her handbag, (c) funnel for decanting the Ambrosia into the flask, (d) box of Couettes. The idea is to be able to have a facial any minute in a minute. Ambrosia is really a complete treatment anyhow. It is famous for its cleansing properties and its tonic effect on the skin, and has a reputation as a powder base. For travel, sport and shopping, as well as for days of routine toil far from the base of supplies, a quick clean-up is indispensable.

Helen Carrol Johnson has a shop at 24 East Sixty-seventh street which I suspect of being unique. It is a dress shop and there are no models. Nothing but a big room with a big bear rug in the center and a white dog named Mrs. Gillicuddie sitting at Miss Johnson’s feet. On Miss Johnson’s knees there is a drawing board with a great many pieces of paper. You come in and consult. Miss Johnson sketches. A dress emerges. Mrs. Gillicuddie watches adoringly. The dress is calculated to fulfill your deepest yearnings and make you look your best. If you don’t like it at any point in the fittings it can all be changed round and made the way you like it. To date there have been no disappointments.

Sharpening the point of a lipstick which has gone limp on you is one of the most harrowing experiences life holds. In two minutes you look like the spirit of #76, only not so brave. Permapoint Lipstick does away with all that. It looks like a bullet with a hole in one end. Twist, and out pops just enough lipstick for one go. Smooth it out with the rounded end. Once you know the way, you can do it in the dark. What’s more, it’s impervious to errant wisps of tobacco.

If you’ve been following this column as carefully as you should, you’ll have noted how closely we’ve been following the vacation trend. According to our observations, the city’s finest seemed to have migrated exclu###vely to the Jersey shore, and last week-end definitely proved it. The Fenton Farm was crowded. ###ew floor show featuring Endor Farrel, those versatile artists, enthusiastically received, and orchestra, plus Joseph Sudy’s beautiful vocal renditions, provided a colorful, smooth and sophisticated background for dancing and real enjoyment.

If it’s for summer use you’ll find it at McCreery’s. That’s McCreery’s slogan and that is the slogan they are living up to. Is it a sports headband that you need? You’ll find it there in all colors with adjustable elastic back. New beach shoes? You’ll find them, real esgardrilles from abroad, the kind they wear in sunny Spain, with non-skid rope soles and in striped canvas. A Fabric hat? They are there in linen, crepe or pique. They have a classic brim shape, becoming unmussable, easy to pack and easy to wear. We could go on for hours listing things, but space is limited, so go down and see for yourself.

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