Who didn’t love watching their Mum or Gran apply a layer of glamorous make-up before a night out? We’ve been reminiscing about vintage cosmetics – we hope you enjoy another trip down memory lane, feel free to tell us if we’ve missed any…
In the 50s women took their beauty inspiration from big screen icons and starlets like Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Audrey Hepburn. The look was flawless skin and cherry lips, so cosmetic brands began to offer more choice to the housewives of the time…
The first all-in-one mixture of creamy base and powder – still a must-have for most ladies today.
The tagline was ‘Shake. Stir. Seduce’… and these beautifully packaged products went down a storm in the 50s. Incidentally, Estée Lauder was the first company to give away free samples and gifts with purchases!
Revlon Touch Fire & Ice Lipstick and Nail Enamel
Revlon were the first company to launch new lipstick shades every six months rather than annually to encourage women to see lipstick as a shorter-lived product and to buy more!
No7 Satin Smooth Lipsticks
The brand was re-launched after the war in 1952 – ‘Better and lovelier than before’ – the yellow and gold packaging was inspired entirely by Hollywood. No7 was the first company to add a pearl pigment to cosmetics, giving a shiny white effect.
Rimmel Block or Cake Mascara
It sounds a bit gross now, but you had to spit on to the block then scrub a damp brush across the cake to pick up the colour. The make-up was stored in a little metal tin and could last for years if looked after properly. You had to take care not to use too much water or the cake would shrink!
Helena Rubinstein’s Tube Mascara
A bit easier to use than cake, a cream mascara in a tube was applied with a little brush to the top lashes only. Colours varied from standard black, to brown, navy blue, emerald green and purple!
Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil
In 1957 the company introduced a self-sharpening eyebrow and eyeliner pencil – a revelation at the time – and the following year they introduced the first automatic mascara with a spiral brush. Maybelline were on a roll!
The 1960s were all about youth as the baby boomers were growing up and looking for new styles of their own. Make-up varied from hippie looks to dramatic high fashion. Mary Quant launched her cosmetic range designed for the young mini-skirt wearers, taking them away from using cosmetics their parents favoured. The products were affordable and included little instruction booklets. Needless to say, they were loved by teenagers and young adults from the start.
Twiggy Lashes by Yardley
False eyelashes were THE fashion accessory of the 60s – so essential to the ‘dolly bird’ look that some girls even wore two sets. They’re increasingly popular again today.
Mary Quant Crayons
A box of ten eye crayons aimed at the young meant girls could experiment to get the look they wanted.
Eye Velvet by Revlon
A new soft fluid matte look for eyes, easy to apply, dramatic colours were available for evening wear.
Max Factor UltraLucent Creme lipstick
It had a paler, creamy ‘inner’ colour inside the main lipstick for soft, moist colour.
Nail Lacquer by Charles of the Ritz
They were a massive brand that sold prettily packaged products and in the 40s and 50s they would mix colours to suit the customer’s needs to order.
New Shadow Crème by Max Factor
A new look for eyes, it promised to be ‘silky, creamy absolutely dreamy!’ Applied with a brush after thick liner, obviously.
Coty Hot Lips Lipsticks
They were new, youthful, groovy and available in a range of deep exotic HOT shades!
CoverGirl’s Clean Make-Up
It contained Noxzema medication (antiseptic to fight germs) with special moisturisers for a smooth clean look – the range included foundation, lipsticks, rouge and powder.