Tag Archives: cosmetics

Ad Campaign – Air Spun Make-up by Coty, 1945

Make much of the sun – or make light of it!

I bet the woman on the right in her very Claire McCardell playsuit lived to gloat about her decision not to tan.  She reminds me of my mother-in-law, who when she died at age 90, had the skin of a 50 year old.  She had never tanned; never burned.

I read not too long ago that for the first time since its inception in 1935, Coty was making a big change to the Air-spun box.  The original box was designed by Leon Bakst, one of the designers who worked his magic with the Ballets Russes in the 1910s and 1920s.  Made of embossed leather with real gold leaf, the box turned out to be too expensive, and so it was modified to be made from cardboard.

It remained that way for decades, but now the box is plastic, the charming dancing brushes limited to a ring around the brand name.  I’ve got to wonder why, when a product has instant graphic recognition, would one tamper with what is not broken.


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Du Barry Beauty Preparations, 1945

The Strawberry, a singing red…as luscious on your lips as sun-warmed berries.  The Cream, a rich face-powder shade under which every woman seems to bloom.  Together, they give your skin the new strawberry-and-cream look of the season: fresh-and-clean, frankly pretty.

It is strawberry season here in North Carolina, and I’m trying to eat my fill while they are fresh from the fields.  Nothing like a sweet treat that is also healthy to make one feel virtuous!


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Ad Campaign – Yardley, 1968

Jean Shrimpton might have been the face of 1967, but 1968 belonged to Olivia Hussey.   It was the year she co-starred in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.  His timing was perfect, as the world was still enamoured with all things British.  Olivia was the perfect Juliet with her long dark hair and expressive eyes.

The Yardley people knew a cosmetics star when they saw one, and in 1968 their ads were all about Olivia/Juliet.  They even had a line of lipfrosts they called the Poetry Collection:

Yardley’s new Poetry Collection: Nine tender lipfrosts designed to make a Juliet of you.  And a Romeo of him.

Interesting, but this ad for lipstick showed a young woman whose makeup was all about the eyes.  That was the late 1960s for you!

For all of 1968, it seemed that Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who played Romeo, were everywhere.  They were featured in magazines like Seventeen, and of course in the fan magazines like 16 and Tiger Beat.  And they must have sold a million of the poster that showed the pair touching palms.

It was right in step with the direction that fashion was heading.  After the straight silhouette and graphic feel of the Mod look, girls were ready for a softer, more romantic style.   What better than Romeo and Juliet to put us in the proper mood?


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Ad Campaign – Yardley, 1967

Click to see enlarged view

In today’s ad, we see the influence of the “British Invasion”.  I think people generally apply that term to music, but fashion, movies, and even cosmetics looked to Britain after the smashing success of the Beatles’ 1964 US appearances.

Yardley of London is considered to be the oldest cosmetics company in the world, having been established in 1770.  In the 1950s Yardley ran ads in American magazines that featured a slightly creepy (my opinion; creepy is in the eye of the beholder) Madame Alexander doll, holding a bottle of lavender fragrance.  It was a very old fashioned image.

Sometime in the mid 1960s some very smart persons at Yardley decided to cash in on the British craze.  The result was a line of products marketed to teens that were centered around a London Look theme.  The packaging was colorful, the colors the latest in fashion, and the advertising fun.  There were even TV ads that were placed on shows like The Monkees that had a teen audience.

They managed to get one of the most recognisable faces of the London Look, Jean Shrimpton, to model the print ads.  Yardley went from being the brand of grannies to the brand that gave a bit of London cool to girls everywhere.

After all the talk about Ringo in yesterday’s post, I could not help but notice that this lipstick was named the SlickeRINGO.


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Ad Campaign – Johnson’s Baby Oil, 1972

When you have the face of a girl and the body of a woman you still want the skin of a baby.

A few days ago I wrote about how teens in the early 1970s were really into little girl prints and ruffles and such, and here is an ad that plays directly to that trend. It is from 1972, and I found it in a copy of Seventeen, which was the major teen fashion magazine of that time.  Ditsy print, ruffled cap sleeves, and curled pigtails:  that was high school in the early 70s.  (But not the exposed midriff, not at school anyway!)


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Ad Campaign: Coty, Paris, 1944

I imagine that these two are sisters, visiting Paris, or more likely dreaming of the day when they could visit Paris after the end of WWII.  The ad is for Coty’s Paris fragrance.

Lately I’ve noticed that there is a bit of criticism of bloggers in regards to how much of their lives are shared on-line.  I’m not talking about too much sharing, but rather, not enough.  There are critics who says that most blogs are not “authentic” because  bloggers edit out the negative aspects of their lives.  I really don’t agree with this.  I know I do not give the whole picture of my life, but this blog is not about me; it is about the fashion that I encounter and what I can learn from it.  It would be nice if my life were nothing but a constant round of antiques shopping and such.

Earlier this week I stated that I was dealing with some pressing matters.  I don’t like cryptic messages, so I’m going to share another side of my life.

This week, The Vintage Traveler lost one of its earliest readers and most dedicated followers.  This follower was my sister, who lost a year-long battle with cancer.  She loved this blog, frequently commenting, but more often calling me to tell me how she loved an entry or an item I’d posted about.  She was also a fine traveling companion, and was always up for a museum or an antique mall or two.  To say that I’ll miss her is the understatement of the century.


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Ad Campaign – Parfums Corday, 1941

It seems like a gift of fragrance has always been a popular option.  This charming ad from 1941 has the perfumes of Corday dominating a winter landscape.

Probably the best known of the Corday perfumes was Toujours Moi.  It was the first fragrance released by Corday, in 1924.   The scent remained popular into the 1940s.  Today Dana Perfumes owns the rights to Toujours Moi, and they still produce a perfume by that name.


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