"I always try to avoid chemical cosmetics and seek out edible items to use on my skin and hair. Through the years, I've broken and scrambled dozens of eggs over my head for shampoo, added a dash of rum to camouflage the egg aroma, and squeezed on lemon juice as a natural rinse to achieve a high shine. Now I fill the sink with violets, run hot water over them boil them, squeeze them, all but stamp on them, but to no avail. I cannot coax out of the petals a convincing violet tint. I make a foray to the greengrocer's and come home with samples of purple, broccoli, dark red grapes, beets, cranberries, red plums -- anything that has a red-purple hue. Then I experiment.
Cranberry juice or liquid cranberry jelly proves most satisfactory on my hair. It gives a vibrant red sheen to my dark brown hair, which I wear loose and wild. I wash it in red juice, shake it out to dry, never let a comb near it, and glory in my snaky ringlets, untamed by human hands. Using fresh beets on my cheeks and lips, I achieve an alive transparent tint.
To renew my lip color during the evening I pull out of my gold mesh evening purse a gigantic fresh beet with the green leaves still dangling on their red stems. With a tiny gold knife I slice a morsel from the beet and rub it on my lips and cheeks in full view of the staring onlookers. The shade it imparts is neither red nor pink nor orange but an out-of-this-world rouge-violet. Try it sometime. I take the beet and the leaves home and them the next day. And more than once, when there is a long wait between meals, I head off starvation by nibbling a few mouthfuls of the white rice powder that I dust on my face from a beautiful cloisonné compact.
For my eyes, I forgo the natural approach and buy false lashes by the yard. I glue a four-inch strip on my upper and lower lids, letting it run all the way back to my hairline, as if the lashes were born out of my corkscrew hair. With my centipede eyes, I conquer hundreds of hearts. And on rainy days, when the dampness turns my Medusa locks into a huge ostrich feather duster, I enhance the effect by wearing white ostrich feathers in my hair."
Famous for 15 minutes (1988)
I had heard of Ultra Violet before reading this, but never knew much about her. However, I must say her methods sound fantastic and so creative!
As far as your questions for discussion are concerned, I would have to say this quote really paints an inspirationally striking mental image. Instead of focusing on "natural beauty" as "leaving things alone" and making oneself up minimally, this woman takes a bold step down a rare path. Her visions of 'natural beauty' draw from nature while placing emphasis on visual impact that is not usually considered part of the nature of human appearances...grand birds perhaps, but so rarely humans.
In fact, so few people take the initiative to develop their own methods of beautification such as these. It seems a template is always followed and risks never taken. But Ultra Violet does take risks and seems wildly experimental with a nice D.I.Y. ethic that seems to be lost among the majority of people these days.
Concerning the first and second questions, I myself do not utilize many natural products, or many products at all for that manner. But as far as odd and unique beauty rituals, I find that sprinkling glitter into my hair does the trick. I'm not so sure it's really for beauty so much as my own giggles, but it works for me. The glittery hair was especially nice when I wore a mohawk because it would really glisten in the sunlight and I could make it match or contrast with whatever color hair I decided to have that month. Plus, I've never seen anyone else do this on a regular basis, so it definitely wins some recognition among my acquaintances.
This is a very intriguing community, by the way. I'm very glad that a place for discussion and analysis of this type is on LJ now :-D