The unsung beauties from the 50s

Whenever anyone talks of old hindi films, they always mention the beauty of madhubala, but somehow a lot of other heroines get left out. And quite a few of them undeservedly so.

Yes it is near impossible to do a beauty post about old hindi films without mentioning Madhubala , I am venturing into some of the faces of the old world that have me transfixed at best.

So here is someone who I totally fangirl, and she was not even a main lead. She was just a side heroine. But o was she wonderful or what. She was pretty in a very fresh way. Remember the song Jaane kaha mera jigar gaya ji.. from Mr and Mrs 55 (yes there is madhubala in this film, but yasmine manages to get some attention too.) You can watch the magical song here.

And here is a photo of Yasmin that probably went out as her resume, or a standard photo to be inserted when she was interviewed. Since photographers were few , and the process itself was expensive. Apparently she did no other movie other than this one. Would love to know if that was truly the case.

She had lovely doe eyes, strong brows (not thick, but strong dark), deep (red it is a black and white film and red is my best guess, could be plum too) lipstick and lovely bobbed hair. That looked effortless, but I am sure was a fair amount of work. Her face was expressive, and I think her eyes were made even more glam , by a combination of eyeliner and shimmery and deep eyeshadow, so on camera her eyes look perfect, reflect light from where they must and have shadows at the right places.

Another beauty who was and I feel still is underrated was Nargis. Nargis was not classically beautiful, she had her flaws, but she made the flaws look so gorgeous that everyone wanted to copy the flaw.

Even before Sadhana popularized the fringe to hide her abundant forehead, Nargis knew a trick or two, and used it to her advantage. Nargis too had a broad forehead, and somehow the Indian notion of beauty then was more about a classically beautiful dainty woman. So in comes a tiny fringe, cut only on one side of the forehead, easy to conceal, and ofcourse looks like it is super natural.

See the difference the fringe made. Nargis somehow didn’t rock the Indian look as much, she was more classic Hollywood beauty, minus the extra makeup. Somehow Nargis was not someone who would embrace bold eyes, bold brows, deep lip. She was using minimal makeup (or made it look minimal for sure) , looking fresh alive and very very individualistic. To me she would look gorgeous on screen even if she was not wearing a dot of makeup, she had this freshly scrubbed look about her.

Whenever Nargis did too much makeup it somehow jarred. (Think beginning Mother India)The heavy makeup in my opinion takes away from Nargis' beauty here, but the chemistry is unmissable.

And I had to include a pic of her and Raj Kapoor, for the chemistry, the love made timeless by the RK films logo and how lovely she looks with pigtails and no makeup look.

PS - All images are courtesy google. What would we do without it.


  1. Hey, my dad is a great fan of Nargis. Nice post. Yes, many a times, so many talents and beauties get lost because they had not been showcased properly

  2. thanks nivedita.. my husband likes nargis, i too prefer her over madhubala... she is a personal fave to be honest...

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Beauties of the past were real,flaws and all.Unlike botox/plastic look alikes of today. Thank you for a great read.

  4. @pandora - true, i hate it how all actresses have pouty lips, same smile, same nose and what not.. i miss the flaws.. thanks for liking it.


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