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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