These Images of Vintage Makeup Products Will Blow Your Mind
Think about how different makeup looked in the 1990s. Certainly the styles were very different (pencil-thin brows, body glitter, etc.), but thinking back, the products themselves also looked like they were from another universe. Remember the glitter, bright colors, and over-the-top fonts that littered every label, from Lancôme Juicy Tubes to L.A. Looks Styling Gel? What about the inconceivably harsh formulas of Sea Breeze and Sun In? The '90s were a special time.
If beauty formulas and packaging were that different 20 years ago, imagine how much they must have changed over the past century. What were the Juicy Tubes of 1925? Our curiosity peaked, so we went on a research bender to find the following makeup products, which date as far back as the 1800s. Curious to see what lipstick and mascara looked like 100 years ago? Keep scrolling to see 10 riveting images of vintage makeup products.
This light, powdery blush formula was invented by Alexandre Napoléon Bourjois in the 1860s, and the product is made almost the exact same way today. Early on, the tins were cardboard and finished with galuchat to create the look of leather. How gorgeous is this hand-painted packaging?
Era: 1920s, 30s, and 40s
"Cake" mascara was the first-ever mascara formula that women used, long before the tubed liquids we know now. The solid product was painted on lashes and brows with a tiny brush, creating the ultra-pigmented, clump-free look we find on Marilyn Monroe and other film stars from the era.
Cake mascaras are still available today—check out this vintage-inspired pick from Bésame Cosmetics ($25).
Vintage 30s Compact ($975)
Era: 1930s and 40s
Why were powder compacts so much more intricate 80 years ago? This painfully pretty silver and enamel case contains a powder puff so much fancier than the no-frills sponges we see today.
(This very antique piece is also available for purchase on Etsy right now—if you have a spare $975 to spend on vintage makeup, that is.)
These intricate brass bottles, called surmadani, have been used in the Middle East for centuries. Traditionally, they are meant to hold black kohl eye makeup, which some cultures believe protects children from the evil eye.
Era: 1960s and 70s
Pond's has been a tried-and-true skincare brand for decades. Its packaging has gone through a major evolution since this delicate pink powder compact from the 1960s. (Look at how Pond's packages its powder now.)
If you're old enough, these geometric blue Dior lipsticks will remind you of your childhood (or teen years, or adulthood). Who remembers that distinctive, powdery scent?
Want more throwback beauty? Don't miss these bizarre images of vintage beauty devices.