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.
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.
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 - sure she did. ;)
Another product was something I couldn't find a picture for, though it appears to still be for sale, albeit with less outrageous claims: Helancyl
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 one who drank and smoked for far too many years, I am sure my skin would be a lot worse if I hadn't slapped on the Astral/Cream E45/Nivea every night when I was younger. 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!
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 right back to years gone by like 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...
Just the sight of the bottle reminds me of one night, around that time, when 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!
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 Fidji by Guy Laroche when I was about 19, then Giorgio in the 1980s.
Do you remember Tramp by Lentheric, Azuree by Estee Lauder, Gingham - and Babe??!!
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.
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? ;D