Vintage/Retro Christmas gift ideas for under £5

Okay so some of these may tip the £5 limit with postage but all will make super gifts for those who love a bit of vintage/retro style in their stocking. It's also worth checking with cash back websites like Topcashback if you're shopping online so you can earn a bit back as you spend. 

First up - Dotcomgiftshop - I absolutely love this website, it is crammed with fantastic gifts for the home and family. Checkout the sale section for some pretty tree decorations from £1 and there's a whole section on gifts for £5 and under so visit that by clicking here

But here are some of my picks for under £5 from various places 
Dotcomgiftshop Book of 6 nail files £1

Dotcomgiftshop Coaster £2.95

Surprisingly this brand has only been around since the mid 80's, I thought it was one of those brands that had a long history. I love this brand, and this would be a great stocking filler for. There are other flavours (is that even the right word?) but this one I can tell you is divine!

Etsy is a great place for handmade and preloved items from small businesses and crafters

Junk Queen UK £2

Wake Up Little Susie - vintage 60s stockings £3

Curious Cat UK £5 

It's nearly here, if you're super organised and have already sorted out Christmas, maybe it's time to treat yourself!
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Accessories and little treats with #NewLook

How are your December's going? Personally I'm finding this month pretty tough. There's been some fantastic highs but some pretty terrible lows which I won't bore you with, but if you are also finding this month pretty hard going so far, just know that you are not alone! I'm beginning to feel quite 'done' with 2014 and ready for a nice shiny fresh new year. 

Fortunately there are little treats out there to cheer us up and to help boost that mojo. These don't always mean taking a hammer to that piggy bank and whilst all that glitters may not be gold of the 18ct variety, a bit of metallic glam is always good for the soul, yes?!

New Look got in touch to ask if I'd like to receive a mystery party bag from them which would contain some surprise treats - all I had to do was use the contents to dress up an outfit I already had. 
*bag, necklace & cosmetics c/o New Look


Party season is a great time to get experimental. I picked up this petticoat in a charity shop for 50p a month or so ago (yes 50p) and thought it would be good for future photoshoots but I loved it so much I actually decided to wear it as a skirt myself. 
It was a bit yellow through age, but instead of trying to clean it up, I decided to give a bath in tea and make it more beige/antique lace looking and I think it's worked pretty well. I've teamed it with a plain black tshirt and a biker jacket so it looks less ballerina and more Sex in the City.

I just can't get enough of 'messy chic' hair at the moment. I'm definitely a 'textured up and undone' kind of gal.

I love statement necklaces (and New Look have some knock out styles at the moment) - they are such a good way to transform a simple top. The chocolate coin shaped bag I am absolutely besotted with - you can't fit an awful lot in it, but a small flat purse, phone, a small set of keys and lippie is all you need...... I guess.... if I say it enough I may begin to stop carrying so much useless stuff with me on a daily basis.
As you can see from the first picture, the New Look lovelies also sent me some makeup to try as well. Have you tried makeup from New Look? 

I hadn't, and although I'd obviously seen it lurking near the tills when I've been in store, I'd never been tempted if I'm honest. There's lots of low priced make up that's good but also lots that isn't so great. Although I thought the items I was sent looked lovely, if I'm honest I wasn't sure if these would be something I'd fall in lust with. 

So I am very flippin excited about how good I actually found every single item I was sent, the prices are excellent and in my opinion, these compare very very well to other brands and not just those in the same price bracket either. 

All of the cosmetics sent to me were each £4.99 or under, making this a budget brand you really need to go in store and explore.

The eyeliner is going to take some getting used to as it's a a stiff sponge applicator and I'm used to using one with a thin bendy brush but crikey this New Look one is an amazing deep black and it's long wearing too. 

The Pure Colour lip gloss is super glossy but not sticky and it lasts pretty well for a gloss. At £3.99 I'll be checking out other colours in this range. 

The absolute star item though are the eyeshadows. This is the 'warm nudes' palette and at £4.99 I am really impressed with these. Sometimes budget eyeshadows can be really powdery and scatter colour all over your cheeks as you apply them to your lids, but so far so good with these. 

There's a fantastic shimmery champagne type colour that doubles up as a gorgeous highlighter and the coral/pink shade makes a good blusher - which means this is a perfect little palette for travelling with. 

It comes with a double ended applicator but I have my own brushes that I always use instead of the ones that come with these sets. 

You can see some of the New Look makeup range online but I really think the best way to see what you think of these is to go in store and play!

Are you doing your Christmas outfits on a budget this year? Now is a good time to have a good dig around in your wardrobe and remind yourself of exactly what you own, how you can mix & match things up and what little additions you could add to give something old that feeling of something new! 

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Party Dresses George at Asda

We may sing about diamonds being our best friend but Christmas is the perfect time to get your sparkle fix from sequins - which lets face it are a much more purse friendly option anyway. 

George at Asda got in touch to see if I'd like to try out one of their party dresses and before I even looked at the range I was confident it wasn't going to be an easy choice, because I know the George dresses well. I have several in my wardrobe, my favourite one being a blue strapless cocktail dress which I wore to a wedding and someone asked me if it was a Karen Millen. A nice compliment for a dress that cost me £6 in the sale! 

At the moment there are some amazing party dresses from George with many less than £30 and I say at the moment because they seem to be selling out really fast so if you see something you like be quick!

I chose this gold one (only available online)  which at £25 I think is an absolute bargain. This has already gone to limited stock so just in case this isn't in stock for your size I'm going to add some of my top picks from the rest later in the post so read on!

These are the websites pictures of the dress


How I wore it.... not the best picture, my husband is NOT the photographer in the family.... bless......

I'm really in to coloured tights at the moment and thought burgundy would go great with the gold,so managed to track some down in Primark- but I have to say there seems to be a distinct lack of coloured tights on the high street right now.

The dress is lined so it hangs well, I'd say perhaps try on a size down as the 14 was very generous even over my boobs (and that never happens!)

I was also sent some super cute earrings which at £4 are a great little gift or a stocking filler.

My top 3 picks from the rest of the party dress collection are...

If you're after a new little black number for some bombshell wiggle then at £18 this velvet one looks pretty good to me. I'd be teaming this with some killer heels, winged eyeliner, red lipstick and perhaps some hair flowers for a pin up look? 

You could go very 20s with this, personally I'd go for a modern 20s take on the hair by waving the front and creating a messy fishtail braid which I'd then pin up in to a side bun (I must do you a step by step guide for this look as it's so easy!) 

I think this dress is just so pretty, how would you ever stand still when there's so much to swoosh?

My final pick is this dress which has a 60s party vibe going on (who knows the scene in Mad Men where Megan sings to Don at their house party?)

60s style isn't just about beehives, but I'll always have a soft spot for them but of you're more of a hair down kind of girl some loose waves would look just as fabulous. This would be a one to wear with patterned or bright tights too I think. 

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Dinner and Cocktails at Las Iguanas Norwich

I don't know about you, but my idea of a good night out normally revolves around food and booze. Nights of wild dancing are few and far between as these these days noisy clubs are mainly replaced with dinner out a good bottle of vino. 

I have a few firm favourite places to eat in Norwich, we're lucky to have some incredible small independent restaurants along with many big chains so for a small city I genuinely feel we have lots to offer. 

Las Iguanas has arrived in  Norwich and they kindly invited me along to join them for dinner and cocktails. Now I've never heard of this restaurant before so I had to pop over to their website for a looksie at the menu to see what they were all about, and it's all about Latin food that's what. Oh and cocktails....

Red wine and cocktails is normally a risky combination but we fared well the next day which I can only put down to the fact the portions here are so generous so it all got well soaked up...

We started with the Nachos and the squid, both of which were amazing.

Now I am not a cocktail expert. I can't really offer any guidance of notes, flavour combinations etc. I like drinking them, and I know ones I like and ones I wouldn't have again... so all I can do is let you know I researched the list well and liked them all... 

The signature cocktail is the CAIPIRINHA 
Fresh lime wedges, muddled with sugar, folded with our
own Magnifica cacha├ža & crowned with crushed ice. So a little like a Mojito I think?

I can't remember what this one was but what I can tell you is that those delicious looking little strips are NOT pineapple. They are strips or RAW GINGER. I repeat it is not pineapple! What a shame there is no video footage of me biting down on what I thought was pineapple. This wasn't even my drink. That will teach me.  
 If you like your cocktails like puddings  the Crema Chido is for you - a blend of Mexican liqueurs. Xta, with honey & aniseed flavours, shaken with Kahlua, cream & almond syrup. 

So the food was great, the cocktails were delicious but what about the restaurant itself? I loved the decor! 

We had such a great evening, it was good to go somewhere we might otherwise have not visited and we would definitely go here again. The staff were really lovely and so friendly.  It's also worth mentioning that there's a good choice of vegetarian and gluten free options so fab for group evenings out. The vibe is very busy, loudish music and low light, potentially noisy diners and choruses of happy birthday - so not for a quiet romantic meal for me this one, but for a relaxed or fun packed evening out, then I will keep this one on my list! 

You can find Las Iguanas at Riverside which is just a few minutes walk from the train station, so handy if you want to come in to Norwich for an evening out and want to make the most of that cocktail list.....

If you're not in Norwich and are not planning a visit (why not? It's so nice!) then you can see a huge list of other restaurant locations here
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Christmas flowers from Appleyard London

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have noticed that I recently received some rather beautiful cream roses. 

Appleyard London got in touch to ask I'd like to receive one of their Christmas bouquets and share a special discount code with you all. Read on........

I was going to tell you all about these last week, but then I thought a week nearer to Christmas might be better as I'm sure many of you are now at the stage of organising your gift list with military like precision.

 Then it occurred to me that today is Black Friday. A phenomenon that has swept the country by storm and some people right off their feet. Literally in some cases.........

Fortunately Appleyard London are on hand to bring a box of prettiness straight to your door with their supertastic flower delivery service

Given the choice of a bouquet from their Christmas flowers range I chose the one with roses, berries and gold eucalyptus. How pretty is it?

 I *absolutely* love roses - not because I'm romantic, but because when they die they dry out and go papery and they still look beautiful. 

When they get to the papery stage, they are great for crafts such as delicate hair pieces, adding to home-made soaps, tear the petals off and you have the most beautiful confetti or decorations to scatter on tables etc- or even just leave them sitting in a vase.

 I can guarantee you that in 6 months time I will still have these in the house in some form. 

Someone tell me I'm not the only person who keeps dead flowers?..........

But how do they arrive? I wondered this at first myself. From the first click through to the website I was thinking 'ooooooooooo' it really does feel like a luxury brand, the flower arrangements are utterly stunning and I was and still am quite wowed. 

I'm already picking my next bouquet....

They arrive in a sturdy but branded cardboard box which acts as a gift box and also keeps the flowers safe. 

Inside the box the flowers are well protected with bubble wrap which is placed to protect the flowers without loosing any wow factor when you open the box. The stems are snugly held in a small plastic pot which keeps them watered too.  

The bouquet I chose is £39.99 but I have a discount code for you which would take this down to just under £24.......... how.amazing.is.that?!

There's a gorgeous range of Christmas flowers in a variety of colours and the good news is you get a whopping 40% discount with the code BLOG40 

Unlike today's 'here for a day' discount , Appleyard London want to help you share the love without breaking the bank for more than one day - so at the moment there is no end date for this discount code so go forth and enjoy it!

Give flowers as a gift for Christmas, as a thank you for that crimbo lunch or just to say MWAH to someone. Or how about this for an idea? Get yourself some flowers as a way to just be nice to yourself! 

I used to treat myself to flowers a lot, put when you have to cut back on things, it's those little 'me' buys such as flowers, that sometimes have to go. However do you know what? I'm sure I appreciate them so much more now than I used to. I'll be treating myself to another one of these Christmas bouquets for the holidays. I just need to choose which one.....

****Remember to enter the code BLOG40  to get an amazing 40% discount! ****
Just so you know this discount does not apply to flowers by post

By the way, someone remember to ask me about these roses in 6 months time! They will either still be in the house somewhere or will have been used for something creative.....

written in collaboration with Appleyard London
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Dr. Hauschka - Lipstick review

Lipstick, I adore it and I have far more than I probably need. I tend to buy them from all price ranges, there are good budget ones out there but when it comes to a really good red if you can spend a bit more it's usually worth it.

I do have a few firm favourites but am always open to new suggestions so when BigGreenSmile got in touch to ask if I'd like to try a lipstick and that they are specialists in natural,organic and environmentally friendly brands I was intrigued. 

Now I've seen the Dr. Hauschka body care products in shops before, but I had no idea that there was a makeup range too which claims that it 

 'achieves results using cosmetics that are kind and gentle and care for your skin.
While the skin is nourished and protected, rich colours from natural mineral pigments and petal waxes blend effortlessly with your skin tone'

So this is what I've been trying out - and I mean really trying it out. I've been wearing this quite a bit for several weeks - at £20 it falls in to the luxury buy bracket for me, so I want exceptional value for money and I expect it to be very very good. At that price range it's also in the same price bracket as some of the other biggies in the makeup world. 
I chose the shade warm red which turned out to be a shade I'm really enjoying wearing both day and night. 

I've teamed it up with winged eyeliner and a very simple beige eyeshadow for a simple evening look.
The best way I can think to describe the shade is that it's like a dark brick red. 

What the website says about this brand
Dr. Hauschka products have been created out of a deep anthroposophical understanding of nature and the Human Being, and a system developed by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman in the 1920's. This anthroposophical system underlies modern medicine with a classification of life processes that occur in the body, soul and spirit.
Dr. Hauschka is part of WALA, founded in 1935. The company has a 100% commitment to quality, with no shareholders to compromise that commitment. Dr. Hauschka's ethical trading style has been part of its ethos for over 70 years and it now employs over 600 people and supports  thousands of hectars of environmentally responsible farmland that provides the high quality raw ingredients for its products.

I had no idea this brand had been around for so long. It smells incredible like very light aromatherapy oils but there's no taste that I can notice. It glides on really well. I hate it when lipsticks are chalky and dry. In terms of it's finish it's a little shinier than a typical semi matt but is certainly not glossy. 

Staying power is quite a big thing for me and this has stayed on really well everytime I've worn it and when it has begun to wear off it's worn off really evenly. I tend to wear lipliner with my reds, but gave this a test without but it did bleed a little - I guess that's the oils, but a lipliner worked a treat. 

As a higher priced lipstick this one definitely compares well to the other brands I've tried and I'd recommend this to others. Sometimes lipstick can feel quite drying, but this one feels creamy to wear which is just what I like from a lipstick.

Some tips for working a red lip
Keep lips smooth by using a lip balm/Vaseline on days you're not wearing lipstick. Applying some at night before bed is ideal. (The Burts Bees ones are totally fabulous)

Exfoliate, another way to keep lips flake free is to gently brush them with a flannel, an exfoliating glove or a lip scrub. What ever you use be gentle!

If wearing foundation, apply some over your lips too, this gives a good base for your lipstick. 
If you're not wearing foundation then use a little concealer instead.

Use a lip liner that matches or is close to your lipstick, this helps to prevent the lipstick bleeding, and gives a nice crisp line.

If you're trying a bold colour like red for the first time and it scares you, then use your finger to dab on the colour and build the colour up to where you feel comfortable.

Using a a lip brush will help it last longer but after a few drinks it is actually easier to just just slick it on straight from the tube (just being honest here!)

After application blot the lips with a tissue and reapply, do this once or as many times as you like. This process is layering the colour and helping your pout stay painted for longer.

Finally - when buying a lipstick think about the finish you want, glossy lipstick won't last as long as a matt finish. 

So who are BigGreenSmile? If you're after natural products from makeup and body care to heath care and cleaning products then this is pretty much a one stop shop. There's a huge variety of brands on this site so the choice is vast. Whilst not a vegan myself I know a lot of people who are and there's a massive choice of vegan products on this website including lip balms, soaps, deodorants, perfumes and face and body lotions and potions.

They're also an award winning company having been BigGreenSmile has been selected as a winner of the prestigious 2014 Soil Association Organic Awards. We have been selected as the the winner of the Best Independent Retailer category

Pop over to the website and take a look at the Dr. Hauschka lipsticks or visit the homepage for a browse

*written in collaboration with BigGreensmile*

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A Faux Fur #WinterWarmer with Kaleidoscope

Anyone who has been following my Missy Vintage adventures for a while will know that I'm a huge fan of faux fur so when Kaleidoscope got in touch to to ask me if I would like to try out something from their new winter collection my heart was soon lost to another faux fur coat.... but this time in a shade of aubergine so I can *totally* justify adding another to my winter coat selection because I don't have one in this colour...... fashion purchase logic at it's best...... 

We've been pretty lucky in the UK so far this autumn as it's been ridiculously mild but the days are slowly beginning to nip and the dark nights are well and truly here and whilst I miss the warm days and nights, a good winter coat does mean you'll always have the warmth with you even when there's no sun to be seen. 

Since I started this blog four years ago my style has really evolved. I'm much more adulterous with the eras I choose to take my inspiration from and happily cherry pick style ideas, mixing and matching across the decades and really playing with mixing the old and the new. 

The colder, darker days can really make you want to stay indoors, but the fabulous thing about living in Norwich city centre is it's small enough to walk everywhere I pretty much need to go BUT being cold is not fun and that's why I think owning at least one decent winter coat is a wardrobe essential. Like my vintage faux furs, this Kaleidoscope one has a large collar that's perfect for snuggling down in to and will it be wonderfully glamorous armour against those really cold biting winter winds.
We go for lots of walks around Norwich, sometimes it's a nine miler around a local lake (although not in cowboy boots!) and other times it's a more leisurely stroll along the river and through town (these strolls get even better when it involves Christmas lights and hot chocolate!) I love getting bundled up and not letting the chilly days stop me getting out there and seeing what fabulousness the day/night has to offer. 
All my other faux fur coats are vintage so this Kaleidoscope one is my first 'new' one. This one is incredibly toasty to wear without feeling overly bulky and I've had several people comment on the colour. It's a beautiful shade of aubergine-purple, so it's a super alternative to the more typical blacks and browns and allows you to introduce colour without having to go down the route of bold brights. 

I worked on a photo shoot last year and we put an purple and orange outfit together and it may sound like an odd combination but it looked fantastic, so I'm going to look out for some orange gloves/mittens to go with this purple furry sensation of a coat.

The coat is *very* soft to the touch and fastens up with hooks (which are also pretty much exactly the same in design as my vintage coats) and it is very light to wear. It has two decent sized pockets and it's worth mentioning that at 5'2 I'm below average height so if you're taller the coat will obviously fall higher up your thigh.
This coat retails at £95 but is currently reduced to £85 and is available in sizes 10-22. It's very generously sized, I ordered a 14 with a slight fear that it would still be too small over the chest but actually I could easily have gotten a way with a 12. The vertical lines add a real nod to old style glamour but I'd wear this with all kinds of outfits - including dungarees, converse and a top knot! 

YOUR style is what YOU make it, so go and enjoy it! 

 You can visit the coat on the website here

Visit the Kaleidoscope website, you can follow their #WinterWarmer campaign over on Twitter

Are you a faux fur fan?
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Giveaway: Fashion in the 1960s

I thought I'd have a little giveaway and something that could be posted world wide so all readers could get involved, so I have this fab little book which is perfectly handbag size and is full amazing images from the sixties. 

I'm using Rafflecopter for this giveaway, and there are three ways to enter.The giveaway is open to new and existing readers so if you are already following in the ways shown below just click on this clever little widget to let me know!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open world wide*

*You must be aged 18 years or over please*

*This giveaway closes at midnight 9/11/2014 (UK time)*

*The winner will be randomly selected and notified. The winner will have 5 working days to contact me to claim their prize, failure to do so will result in another winner being picked*

*No cash alternative*

*The Editors decision is final*
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In Retrospect Magazine - A Kickstarter project

Earlier in the year I mentioned a new magazine called In Retrospect and if you follow me on twitter you may have seen me mention recently that the team behind the magazine are longing to take it to print and have started a Kickstarter campaign in a bid to bring the dream to life. 

I was thrilled to be asked to write for this magazine and I was double (triple, quadruple) thrilled when I was actually being asked to write about photographers, because you'll know if you've followed me for a while I love photography (so much that I've just started uni to study a BA, but more news on that later!) 

I wrote an article on photographer Vivian Maier, which by the end of my research I was actually writing notes through tears, admittedly I am an emotional Minnie, but this lady's story is fascinating and I still haven't decided how I feel about the work and life of a deeply private person being exposed when she is no longer alive to give her permission but the work is a wonderful body of social history. It's an interesting story and you can read my thoughts on it here 

What I liked about this magazine idea when creator Mat Keller (Also the creator of The Southern Retro Project) approached me with it, was that it wasn't just a magazine for women (which a lot of magazines especially vintage ones tend to be) and it also wasn't just aimed at men either. So here we have an opportunity to help launch a magazine that we can all enjoy.

If like me you like to read in the bath, you'll appreciate the beauty of a good traditional paper magazine. Yes the pages will get wrinkly from the steam and yes you may even drop it in the bubbles and have to dry it off on the radiator, but there's nothing like a magazine you can flick through rather than scroll, something you can roll up and put in your bag and actually read and be away from a computer screen!  

If you'd like to pop on over an have a browse at the first three issues of In Retrospect online then they are all there waiting for you for FREE. If you feel it's something you'd like to support to help get in to print then you can pledge as little as  £1 (which if you've just read three free issues you can even think of it as like leaving a tip!) 

With Kickstarter no money gets taken from your account unless the target is reached, which is why I like this system. 

I'll leave you with Mat's description of the magazine as it sums up just how varied the content is perfectly.

Covering vintage fashion & style, music, dancing, history, culture, furniture, design, technology, transport and much more – our aim is to provide a magazine that not only encompasses every part of the vintage lifestyle but caters for the tastes of anyone and everyone with a penchant for days gone by.

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Guest Post: Skin Deep? Part Two

I extended my blog time off by a few more weeks as I'm out and about on other projects including planning for Norwich Fashion Week 2015 and starting university (eek!) I'll be back super soon but for now here's the final part of a guest post the lovely Lucy Santos wrote for you. You can read part one of Lucy's post here - really interesting stuff indeed. Lucy is an academic, she really knows her makeup history! 

Fire and Ice advert, 1952 (author's own collection) 

“What is the American girl made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice? Not since the days of the Gibson Girl! There’s a new American beauty…. she’s tease and temptress, siren and gamin, dynamic and demure. Men find her slightly, delightfully baffling. Sometimes a little maddening. Yet they admit she’s easily the most exciting woman in the world! She’s the 1952 American beauty with a foolproof formula for melting a male! She’s the ‘Fire and Ice girl”. (Are you?) 
Super bright, red lipstick was incredibly popular in the 1950s as the advent of technicolour films led to women wanting to emulate the colours they saw on screen. After the shortages and difficulties of the war years people were ready for some fun and frivolity (although the continuation of rationing until the mid 1950s put limits on what could be enjoyed!). 

Lipsticks were bright and bold. Orange-red lipsticks for blonde hair, redheads and other medium dark colours; and purple- red lipsticks for dark haired women were specifically advertised to be tailored to the individual’s colouring.  

The 1950s lip shape was voluptuous and pouty with overdrawing sometimes being used on the top lip to create an exaggerated cupid bow and fuller top lip. Shades released by Boots Number Seven in 1950 included Firefly, Persian Red, Cherry Ripe, Garnet, Tropic Tan, May Pink and Fuchsia.  

With such an emphasis on the lips there were lots of products introduced to help women achieve the perfect pout as well as an abundance of products to stop women leaving traces of their lipsticks over glasses, napkins and …. Men.  

Lipcote, available by early 1950, was heavily advertised as ‘a colourless liquid which is painted thinly over lipstick with the brush provided. Its purpose is to make the colour indelible and so avoid stains on cups, handkerchiefs and napkins.  

Lipcote, 1951 (author's own collection) 
 Other products were available 

Lipstick Pads, 1950s (author's own collection) 
The text on the small card in the corner of this unopened box reads: 
"For Milady's use in her handbag or purse, while shopping, to change her make-up. Better still to insert inside linen napkins, for luncheons and dinners, to remove lipstick before using a napkin." 
Contained in this vibrant red box - which has gotten a little battered with time - are the original 24 pads which are the thickness of a paper napkin although of a much softer material. 

Read more> 

For more blog posts on the history of beauty and more visit Lucy's blog 

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