Bonomo Original Hollywood Beauty and Charm: Summary

Joe Bonomo himself... How he came to lend his name to a self-improvement course for women has been lost to history.

Joe Bonomo himself… How he came to lend his name to a self-improvement course for women has been lost to history.


I started this series because I wanted to examine a system with something approaching the standard types we all know and love today, but that also predates McJimsey. These types are a part of a whole system that involves everything from diet and exercise to makeup and how to walk down stairs.

The purpose of having these types is similar to what Kibbe says about his Image Identities, more or less:

Try to determine the kind of person you really are. You may find that you are not projecting yourself as you should. Just thinking of yourself as a sophisticate, a gamine or a womanly woman, or any other definite type, will be amazingly helpful in giving you a distinctive personality…You ARE a personality, and we are going to try to help you to release that personality from hampering inhibitions, from the handicap of too much flesh or too little vitality, from self-consciousness, awkwardness and any other malicious gremlin who may dare to bar the way of expression of your loveliest self. The self that will attract the experiences which you feel belong to you… and which DO belong to you… Love, Happiness, Success.

And the first step to achieving all that is to read the descriptions of the types and decide which one most describes you. If you feel you fit into more than one, you can create your own composite from what applies to you personally. You may also try on another type for a night–i.e., an “Aristocratic Woman” may try on the “Womanly Woman,” but must retain her true type’s characteristic restraint, for she is a not a “hoyden.”

Presenting yourself in a way that aligns with who you are, and putting thought into how you live your life, will make all parts of your life better. I think this is something that all the systems we look at share. I hope to find more of these early versions of color and style systems and share them here.

How did you like this system? Are there any types that jump out at you as maybe being closer to who you are than the ones found in contemporary systems?

Pick up Bonomo Original Hollywood Beauty and Charm at Vintage Makeup Guides.

Previously: The Sophisticate

2 Comments on Bonomo Original Hollywood Beauty and Charm: Summary

  1. Needle-wielder
    October 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    First of all, thank you for your review of this old system, I’ve never even heard of it before. It’s easy to draw parallels to many of the modern systems, though, even some of the names remain the same. The only one that stands out in that regard is the Sophisticate, and funnily it was also one of the two types that I could somewhat relate to (the other one being the Outdoor Woman). But in both cases it was their described personalities that made me go “Aha!”, physically I don’t exactly relate to any of those types.

    • stylesyntax
      October 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I also find that the Sophisticate is one that seems a little different, even though I can easily think of famous women who would fit in that type.


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