Monday, 15 July 2013

Black Tulip nail polish, white highlighter on the brow bone - and Charlie perfume....


This week it's nostalgia time again - the cosmetics of our youth!

What was the first item of make-up you ever bought?  Like most little girls I started off trying on my mother's lipstick (Coty, in a gold case) when I was a child, but the first item of make-up I actually owned was a sparkly brown eyeshadow - Miners, I think - from Boots, in 1970 or 71.  My next was a similar one, in violet.  How lovely I must have looked....  



I used to get those Biba lipsticks, in the black cases, too - oh my my poor little fresh 16 year old face with awful dark make-up - you won't be told at that age, though, will you?  It probably looked all right at the time, but over the years I find I wear less and less; I seem to remember, when I was about 34, a boyfriend taking me to one side and advising me, kindly, about the sixties style liquid black eyeliner liner on the upper lid that I had been wearing for about 15 years....  I'd look like a pantomime dame if I wore now what I did then :)

Me in 1977, aged 18

I hoped to be able to provide loads of pictures of the make-up products of yesteryear, but, alas, there were not many to be found.  However, if you are a similar age to me you may enjoy some of these cosmetic memories!

Remember when Rimmel nail polishes looked like this?  I had one called Black Tulip (really dark plum sort of colour) and a horrible see-through pink....  The ones in the top right hand picture were the posher frosty ones I could never afford!

I remember, with my friends Ruth and Pam, sitting on the steps of The Odeon cinema, Northampton, on a Saturday afternoon in 1973, painting our nails sparkly blue and green from the Miners 'irridescent' range....  (ps, and who the hell has school friends called Ruth and Pam these days??!)

We used to believe all this stuff about what would make us beautiful, too. Advice like adding an egg to our shampoo, or using egg whites as face-packs ...  and did lemon juice really make your hair go lighter?  The one that I find the most amusing, looking back, was the shampoo Protein 21, which was supposed to mend split ends, complete with a TV advert showing them kind of glueing themselves back together, and a picture of actress Jane Seymour saying that she used it - yeah, sure she did...!  Another product was something I couldn't find a picture for, though I think it might still be for sale, albeit with less outrageous claims: Helancyl.  Maybe they had to re-name it, without the H, in order to re-market....


It was quite expensive; the kit came with this mitt thing (the one I bought, in 1979, was a lot more clumsy looking than the one in the picture above); this you filled with this magic Helancyl potion, which was released through holes in the mitt.  In the bath or shower you massaged your fat bits with it, and it was supposed to break down the fat cells.  Even at the time, I thought, nah, that can't be right...!

I loved skin care products, as did my sister; I remember her telling me once that she had her priorities right because she had £1.50 left in the world and spent it on a bottle of Vichy skin toning lotion.  I'm so glad that my mother always instilled into us the importance of moisturising - it really does pay off. As a life-long drinker and smoker, I am sure my skin would be a lot worse if I hadn't slapped on the old Astral/Cream E45/Nivea/Estee Lauder every night.  Okay, you might have to wait 20 years to see the rewards, but please, if you're a 25 year old soap and water girl, start now!!  (and psst - remember when Oil of Olay was called Oil of Ulay?)

Do you remember Anne French cleansing milk, Inecto beer shampoo, Cream Silk and Breck conditioner, Ponds Cold cream - what were your teenage beauty products?



Well, if it was good enough for a Charlie's Angel...

Nothing takes you back to times past more instantly than a smell, does it?  My first perfume experience was a range of colognes made by Rimmel in the 1960s; I remember there being lily of the valley and muguet, but I couldn't find any pictures of them.  I have to thank Alex Johnson, @oxfordnovelist on Twitter, for reminding me of my next attempt at smelling like a glamorous grown up lady - Aqua Manda by Goya, which I believe is being re-launched...



Didn't it smell like oranges?  It reminds me of the time I got a sachet of fake tan free in a magazine.  I was about 15.  I put it all over my face before going out to some disco, and thought, hmm, I don't look any different, so I slapped the whole lot on.  I didn't know that it took several hours to show....  I looked at my face in the mirror at about 9.30 that evening, and, I kid you not, it was as orange as the orange on the Aqua Manda bottle!  Thank goodness it was dark, but I don't think I pulled that night!

In 1975, of course, there was Charlie.....  to my great disappointment, when they re-launched it a few years ago it didn't smell the same :(


When I was 17 I wore Yardley's Je Suis...



.....moving on to the more sexy Fidji by Guy Laroche when I was about 19.....  



And do you remember Tramp by Lentheric, Azuree by Estee Lauder, Gingham - and Babe??!!



For me, though, the perfume that just screams the late 1970s was this one:       Vu by Ted Lapidus - just look at the packaging.  It comes straight out of the film 'The Stud', doesn't it?  You can just see it being squirted on by Fontaine Khaled (aka Joan Collins!), and the girls in Legs & Co, can't you?!


Many smells later, I've finally settled on Guerlain's L'heure Bleue ~ itself one that's been around for years; it was first made in 1912



(I found this really good site about vintage perfumes, HERE - you might find your favourite!)

Oh, and going back to the "they must think we were born yesterday" school of marketing, does anyone remember Ayds, those bits of fudge you were supposed to eat to stop yourself being hungry - which were swiftly withdrawn from the market in the early 1980s - wonder why???  (Carol Hedges, this is for you!)



I hope you've enjoyed this little bit of nostalgia, and I'd just like to leave you with this - how many of these chocolate bars do you remember?


...... and not forgetting Caramac, and, right back to the 1960s - lucky bags!  A boiled sweet, a toffee, a joke, a bit of plastic - can anyone remember what else was in them?  I can't!



I'd love to hear about anyone else's memories - make-up, perfume, sweets, or whatever ~ ~ ~ ~





21 comments:

  1. Super post Terry. I sooo remember lots of those things. So glad you added Aqua Manda - and those Ayds things, I used to sell them in Boots!Very expensive! Cream Silk, the first conditioner I remember. Worked like magic on my flyaway hair! Also remember wearing purple lipstick and nail varnish. I felt great until my dad said, 'You look as though you've had a bloody heart attack!'

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    1. Funny, isn't it? And now I look at young girls and think, don't they realise what they're doing to themselves....!!! :)

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  2. Lovely post, Terry! My nostalgia? Magie Noire by Lancôme. I think you might still be able to get it, but I haven't seen it in years. I have lots of nostalgic memories about South African products, but I don't know if anyone would know of them.

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    1. Yes, lots of perfumes just disappear, don't they? If only you could smell them again.... Chanel No 5, for instance, isn't a glamorous smell, it just reminds me of my mother when I was a child, because she always wore it! You commented on another post of mine and I accepted it but missed which post it was on - but I think it said something about Kindle format being acceptable for Lulu. I see, thanks - it's really just a matter of getting round to it, I'm always so busy.... yes, like everyone else isn't, ha ha! But yes, I'd love it if you'd read one of mine but no hurry. I think you might like You Wish or Nobody's Fault best :)

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    2. Yes, Terry :-) I used the Kindle formatting for my Lulu e-pub book. Just a few changes to make for the title page, but that's all. So far so good. I'm waiting to see my new book it's accepted for distribution to iBooks and Nook. If it is, then the format is definitely ok! I'll keep you posted! It's on Kindle already, but I'd like to get the wider audience too, and I have to have a paperback for myself :-)

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    3. I don;t think I can read ibooks and Nook as I only have a Kindle. Please tweet me a link to it - not on here because it just comes out as text! :)

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  3. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane, Terry! I couldn't grow my nails long enough to wear varnish and I wasn't nearly as glamourous as you as a teenager! But I did my best, with Charlie perfume, dry shampoo in those little plastic puffers (because it supposedly wasn't good for your hair to wash it daily), and gold eyeshadow with a lighter shade under my eyebrows. The lipstick I remember most was a dark mulberry colour.
    Did you get your clothes from Chelsea Girl?

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    1. Love this, Janet! I'd forgotten about the dry shampoo - it just looked as if you'd put talc on your head, didn't it! Oh yes, oh yes, that white browbone highlighter - so 70s! Yep, and clothes from Chelsea Girl and Etam....!! :) I remember buying a pair of jeans from there for £8 in about 1973 and showing off because they were so expensive. Hmmmm.... think I'll save clothes for another one!

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  4. That'd make a great post. I also remember sitting in the bath because jeans didn't come pre-shrunk back then . . .

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    1. I'm getting excited about it already - thanks for the idea!!! :) The jeans thing - I just missed that by a few years (born in 1959), but I remember hearing about people doing it! I shall notify you when I do it!! x

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  5. unsurprisingly I know nowt about these cosmetics - partially because I didn't wear makeup as a teenager, and still rarely do. Plus I am a tad younger, but I have to confess that even if I weren't, it probably would make little difference! Perfume however is another story. For me it was Nina Ricci, preceded by The Body Shop's White Musk perfume oil. I think I wore it for about 8 years! Now chocolate bars, again unsurprisingly, I CAN relate to! I vaguely remember Bar Six and it being good! Loads of those wrappers have changed over the years and I wasn't even aware of it - great post (but I preferred the choc/perfume bit!!) Sooz

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    1. Love that you know the choc bars but not the cosmetics!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. That picture of you from '77...you look like you should be on stage singing "Rhiannon takes to the sky like a bird in flight..." LOL.

    As to classic cosmetics...Do you have Avon in the UK? Avon ladies (usually your mom's friends looking to make a little extra) would sell door-to-door or at little home parties. My first purchases:CHARISMA cologne and Skin-So-Soft hand cream.

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    1. Ha ha, Carrie, I grew up with the Avon ladies coming to the door - darn, I should have mentioned them! I don't think it's as popular here as it was in the 60s and 70s, but in those days everyone had an Avon catalogue. Thanks for the memory...!! There was a huge Avon Factory in the town where I grew up.

      As for the pic of me - I don't know that song! Unless it's Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac? I'd love to be enlightened.... Thanks for reading x

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  7. OMG - I can still TASTE those Ayds. Honestly, how did we ever believe eating toffees would reduce out appetites!! Re: Miner's makeup, recall it well. I used to shoplift it, age 13, from our local Woolworth's. This is how a life of crime starts.

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  8. You know me, I love nostalgia, so this post is right up my street! :)

    Oh, those AYDS toffees - I remember scoffing an entire box of them in one sitting! Kind of defeated the object, eh?

    The 'lucky bags' were called Jamboree Bags and I remember my Mum often taking me up to the local Post Office (which also sold sweets and magazines) just to treat me to one. There was always one of those 'flying saucer' rice-paper-filled-with-sherbet treats in each bag, and I also recall the candy necklaces I would find in them. Do you remember those? A bit of elastic threaded with candy beads.

    I love those pictures you've used of multiple chocolate bars. They look like they're from Robert Opie's amazingly colourful nostalgia books. I did have his 1960s and 1970s books but sold them on eBay last year when I was trying to raise some cash. I kind of wish I'd held on to them now. Looking at the first of those photos, my favourite was the Golden Cup - a milk chocolate bar filled with runny caramel. Ooooh yum, I can just taste it now!

    Brilliant... really enjoyed this. X

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  9. What a rush of memories! What about the Enjoli commercial ("I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never let you forget you're a man. Cause I'm a woman. Enjoli!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA4DR4vEgrs

    I think I sneaked my sister's Avon lipsticks which probably looked like crap on me. We wore things like Love's Baby Soft. A very musky perfume called "Skin" (very exotic). Jean Nate (very lemony).

    One of the first commercials I remember as a very little kid was for Calgon. A woman was being driven in a limo that had a bathtub in the back seat that opened with a button. I wanted me one of those cars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20b9iPlXaY8

    Fabulous photo of you as a teen. You look like Clara Bow (hope you know the reference :)

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  10. I haven't heard most of the things you mentioned! The diff betwixt US and UK! Yes - the Clara Bow thing was often said at the time. My boyfriend then was a photographer and he used to play it up in photos!!! Will now look at yt vids! :)

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  11. Loving this trip down memory lane. Yvette make up.Chelsea Girl and the wonder of Woolies ! Great Christmas ads.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Donna ~ I think Yvette make up must have been after my time, though! It was all so much easier then, though - far less choice :)

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