“you’ve come a long way baby” Some of you may even remember that line from when it first came out. Back in the late 60’s “Women’s Lib” was marching it’s way through America and the marketing world was taking advantage of the new angle. This often quoted line was actually coined by a cigarette company hawking skinny shaped cigs for the “new” woman.
Lots of things were changing for women then – hairstyles, clothes, jobs and, in general, how we looked – more specifically how our faces looked. Let’s talk about MAKEUP!
Of course, women have been using makeup for centuries but the further back you go the fewer women had that option because makeup was mostly a luxury available only to the wealthy few. And then the 1920’s arrived.
And Hollywood. And Max Factor.
Average folks saw unbelievably beautiful women on the silver screen. The deep-set shadowy eyes, those dark succulent lips and velvety pale skin that glowed like moon beams. A desire was created and the need was met – en mass.
This small collection of Vintage makeup recently came into my orbit and I snatched it up! There’s mascara here, rouge, eye color, face powder and even some perfume though you may not recognize all the above items by today’s versions.
One of the first and largest manufacturers of makeup was the Max Factor Company which opened for business in 1904 and which produced makeup for the Hollywood Star to the housewife. There was a selection of colors, packaging and pricing for all and a guarantee of beauty beyond all hopes.
This is a Max Factor Eye Makeup Compact from 1928. There were four colors available and this is the “Brown”. The case for this makeup is gorgeous and highly favored by collectors for it’s Art Deco style and theatrical emblem.
Though probably initially this particular product was used mostly by actresses and “flappers”, makeup was beginning to creep into the everyday world.
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/676818019/max-factor-eye-makeup-compact-from-1928?ref=listing_published_alert
Princess Pat cosmetics opened for business in 1919. A perfume called “Princess Pat”, named for a real English princess, Princess Patricia, started the line but was quickly followed by face powders and rouge and a variety of skin care products.
The procedure was to moisten the brush, work up a ‘cream’ of mascara on the solid brick and then apply to the lashes. A technique accomplished with very far ranging results!
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/662936828/princess-pat-cake-mascara-vintage?ref=listing_published_alert
Rouge was a Princess Pat staple, most women considered that adding a ‘rose’ to the cheek was quite acceptable even for day wear. At night, well, rouge hit the stage!
With a variety of shades available including: Theatre, Vivid, English Tint, Squaw, Medium, Nite and Summer Tan – you could have a face as scintillating as that sequined gown. It was encouraged to mix colors to find that ‘personal’ tint that was yours alone.
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/676787709/collectible-vintage-princess-pat-rouge?ref=listing_published_alert
In 1939 Princess Pat introduced “Vaniteen”. This little tube combined touch-up necessities in a small purse size unit.
Pressing that tip on the end down releases loose face powder contained in the tube. Just a tap or two and that shiny spot on the chin or forehead is banished.
The other end was capped and beneath was a small rouge pot. Though I think here the previous owner may have swapped out a clear lip jelly and she’s added a puff of cotton with a dusting of rouge tucked in the powder barrel. Three cosmetics instead of two!
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/662956082/vaniteen-powder-rouge-dispenser-vintage?ref=listing_published_alert
Luxor, another makeup company, joined the ranks at about the same time. Luxor had a somewhat convoluted history with some strange and false steps, but in the end they began marketing their makeup line through high-quality women’s magazines and their makeup took on a mystique of luxury with a price to match.
“Another variation of Luxor Ltd case designs of the 1930s was the use of a metallic green paint on case covers with the upright form of the word Luxor, together with an image of a rose. The same design was applied to a pen-like powder applicator, similar in appearance to one used by the Princess Pat Co.” – from The History of Luxor Cosmetics
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/676807439/vintage-luxor-powder-dispenser-pen-like?ref=listing_published_alert
Revlon was founded in 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression and it’s still going strong today.
I couldn’t pin an exact date down for this Revlon version of cake mascara but I’m thinking it’s going to fall in the 1950s-60s range. I’m also pretty sure this was one of the last versions of cake mascara ever made by this company.
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/662907740/revlon-vintage-cake-mascara-collectible?ref=listing_published_alert
And to finish off this little collection is the perfume compact. I spent a lot of time trying to track down information of this tiny purse, largely because I was continuously sidetracked by other fascinating Vintage makeup finds.
This little purse is so tiny. It’s a golden overlay on metal and it ‘snaps’ open and closed just like a real purse.
Inside, there is still fragrant product. I’ve read over and over in my search of the history of these products that many of these cute little makeup boxes and containers have been ‘upcycled’ into pill boxes, mint boxes and the like for use today. What a fun way to keep these wonderful items in play.
Click here to see this item in my shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/662777438/vintage-golden-overlay-on-metal-purse?ref=shop_home_active_1
So there you have it, a brief stroll through the history of makeup. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did researching it. It was truly a fascinating journey for me.
Animal Blog Time: I caught Smokey napping on the critter couch (yes, we have a love seat dedicated to the animals). I thought it would be amusing if I tucked in Bella’s (the dog) toy raccoon. I figured Smoke would wake up and freak to find it nestled in with the little ‘Queen’…
As usual, Smokey does her own thing her own way. What a twerp.
And, a craft room update: the Steampunk Brontosaurus is coming along. I’ve got about a third of his body left to cover in little itty bitty pieces of riveted metal foil. But I’m getting there. In the meantime – click over to see what else is new in the shop at Old Raven on Etsy.