March 13, 2007

'Scuse Me While I Powder My Nose, Hon

Time for show and tell. Being a licensed Cosmetologist, or "Beauty Operator", as I prefer for its ol' fashioned charm, one of the many collections I have amassed is an ever growing assortment of vintage hair, makeup, and beauty products. I don't actually use these potions, I simply collect them for the aesthetic value of the darlin' little jars, bottles, boxes, tins and compacts they came in. It's actually becoming quite an obsession, forcing me to purchase more shelving to hold all my lovelies. They just don't package things the way they used to.
Below are three of my vintage powder compacts. Recognize the pattern on the one on the left? Yep, it's Air Spun pressed powder by Coty. They've been using that instantly recognizable design since it was introduced in 1935. This compact is a recent acquisition, and I have been unable to find another one like it anywhere on the web, leading me to believe that it's either extremely rare and valuable, or just another piece of dust-collecting junk, hardly worthy of a listing on ebay. The latter is more likely. My favorite is the square, ribbon-tied compact-- so girly and glamorous, don't you think? In my purse I carry a "Golden Alligator" refillable compact that I acquired during my stint as an Estee Lauder counter girl during beauty school. I secretly enjoyed being a "Lauder Girl", despite the required uniform. Confession: Actually, one of the reasons I enjoyed it, besides the free makeup and gal pal camaraderie, was the uniform. I was hired just as they made the change from dowdy beige polyester to a fabulous streamlined navy suit. So very Jackie O with a short, collarless jacket with 3/4 sleeves and one giant button at the neck. It felt very chic and fabulous and vintage to be called a "Lauder Girl". I imagined myself as a finger-waved, cupid's bow-lipped, single gal who went to jazz clubs with the other girls after we left work at some high ceilinged, marble laid department store in Chicago. In reality, I was working at a Dillard's in a crappy mall in Oklahoma, on top of a second job at a beauty supply, on top of 35-40 hours a week of beauty school, all while commuting an hour to the big city from Hillbilly Hell. This fantasy must've been a coping mechanism, but an extremely glamorous and imaginative one, wouldn't you agree?Although it's difficult as a busy mama of a 4 month old, I try to inject a little glamour into my everyday life. An elegant gold compact for touch ups is one tiny way to feel like a vintage vixen, if only for a moment. Hope you liked this little show and tell session, 'cause there's plenty more where this stuff came from!


irritablecanary said...

I *love* vintagey packaging. Honestly, packaging is 90% of what sells an item**. I really don't know why companies don't put more effort into it these days.

**Totally made up, bullshit statistic. But it's probably still true. I know I've bought things based on packaging alone. :)

floresita said...

I LOVE this post - if anything, because I was re-united with my mother's favorite face cream! That Jergens illustration is so familiar to me, and I'd been searching for it recently but couldn't find it anywhere! I love your vintage stuff! :)

sweetheartville said...

Thanks for the comments, girls! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's a sucker for cute packaging.

Stephen said...

I've always loved all the vintage bottles and packages you have around the house. I've recently run into a bunch of vintage pomadr cans, but unless I was going to turn to robbing people for pomade I wasn't going to get my hands on them.