My mom's square enamel topped compact with the chic Mondrian-like black, red, and white rectangles. My great-grandmother's solid silver evening "bag" with compartments for rouge and powder, the last bits of fuschia and pale pink still clinging to the corners. Getting to wear red lipstick for my grade-school ballet recitals and insisting on not wiping it off when we went out for ice cream afterwards, wanting its "look at me" vibrancy to stay on forever.
Mom was truly a natural beauty, with gorgeous smooth skin and eyes that were almost navy blue in their depth. Bar soap, some Sea-n-Ski suntan lotion in the summer, and frosty pink lipstick pretty much made up her beauty arsenal. She passed away almost three years ago, but I still can't bear to throw away a single tube of her lipstick and feel like it's a heavenly kiss when I stumble upon a "Pink in the Afternoon" tube.
I, on the other hand, was fascinated with makeup, from the first stackable pots of Yardley eyeshadows I spied on Cathy D.'s older sister's dresser. The "Heartbreaker." I still want it. See for yourself:
This was in the late '60's/early '70's and London was the center of the Mod universe, with Twiggy, mini-skirts with go-go boots, and Carnaby Street. And Yardley's makeup was very very pretty and bold. Loads of lashes, pastel lips and eyes. Doll-like and dreamy. I love that they referred to "sigh" shadows!
One of my very first makeup items was a Water-Colour Eyeshadow palette that really looked like a paintbox. You added a little water to make sheer, watery washes of aqua, cream, lilac or sky blue - think of Jordan Almonds for your eyes!
This is an earlier ad for Yardley featuring the marvelous model Penelope Tree. Could her eyes be any further apart?
And how adorable is the Slicker Dolly Bus? Not to mention 8 colors for $3.95! I am such a sucker for fabulous packaging and it really doesn't get much cuter than this!
Don't you love their hats? So very fashionable even today.
More fabulous and fun packaging that I wish was still in production!
Wouldn't you love to have your cosmetics chained together in your handbag?
As the Mod era faded out and was replaced with the sexy/wholesome All-American Girl in the 1970's, Yardley's ads became much more about the knockout Girl-Next-Door. Pot o'Gloss definitely was not your mother's prime and proper lipstick—here was a brand really focused on teens and young women. We owned it!
No tubes of lipstick here - I love how they demonstrate how to apply the gloss with your finger.
These ads feature one of my all-time favorite models, truly deserving the title of "Super," - the gorgeous Shelley Hack. She was sexy as hell, but still friendly and approachable - she wasn't overly glamorous, we believed her natural sex appeal was obtainable with the right mascara and a tweedy knit cap.
Now I actually remember this next ad from my Seventeen, Glamour and Mademoiselle reading days.
I had two tubes of this - the Gingerbread flavored and the Pink Marshmellow, which looked a lot like this:
I found a lipstick similar to this on Ebay for over $100! Should have stocked up back in 1972!
Still more clever packaging! Wet your whistle with your lipstick.
This fresh-faced young model grew up to be Bonnie Pressman, ex-wife of Gene Pressman, co-CEO of Barneys New York where she became executive Vice President. But I digress. I remember buying these eyeshadows after seeing this ad. I had short dark hair, hazel eyes and figured all I needed were these Easter Egg hues to turn into this smiling girl. Ahhh the promise of makeup never really dims, does it?
(I also found this magazine cover. I remember poring our the products in this magazine for weeks! And yes, that's Bonnie again in the yellow turtleneck)
Coming in second to Yardley was Bonne Bell, especially for their tangy 10-0-6 lotion, the scent of which can send me back to high school faster than any perusal of a yearbook. I believe this sullen model was the founder's daughter/granddaughter.
So what is your fondest first makeup memory?