#TBT: Vintage Beauty Products That Are Still Going Strong
Some popular products like the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat are becoming modern classics, while other makeup products like the much-hyped Benefit Push Up Liner leave the beauty community divided. As we cross our fingers in hopes that the Touche Éclat will be a beauty staple for years to come, maybe we can predict its course by looking at why some beauty products from past generations are still popular today.
We’re not suggesting you go out and find actual vintage makeup—you know, the kind your grandmother bought that expired decades ago. But plenty of vintage makeup products are still produced under their original formulations and are a force to be reckoned with. Who knew that Pond’s Cold Cream would have a place in a millennial’s beauty routine? If you’re still not convinced, here’s a rundown of the top vintage beauty products that are still going strong.
Queen Helene – “Mint Julep Masque”
Founded in the 30s, this mint green face masque is the instrument of choice for every lo-fi scare tactic. This old-school clay mask was ubiquitous at every impromptu spa night. A staple in any girl’s blemish-fighting arsenal, the soothing mint mask leaves the skin tingling after wash. Even for those who don’t have acne-prone skin, this mask is great for reducing blackheads and alleviating tension lines on the face! Some find this a tad drying, so be sure to follow up with a good moisturiser.
Chanel – “No. 5” fragrance
The first fragrance launched by the company in 1921, this iconic perfume has graced the vanities of women everywhere. “No. 5” is so popular it even has its own Wikipedia page and appeared in the art of famous pop-artist Andy Warhol. This classic scent doesn’t assault the senses like the sickly sweet body sprays popular amongst pre-teens or their ultra-musky cologne counterparts. This fragrance has longevity—in more ways than one.
Chanel – “Vamp” nail color
Speaking of Chanel… arguably, one of the trendiest and bestselling shades of the 90s was their nail polish in “Vamp”. It seemed like everyone and their mothers had donned the color during that era. This blackened red shade was a game changer that brought unconventional dark nail colors into the mainstream. It even appeared on the fingertips of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction!
Smith’s – “Rosebud Salve”
The first of many versatile products on our list. It’s been in production for over a century, but its performance has never wavered. This salve can be used as a lip or cuticle balm, to revive dry skin, and even to relieve minor burns and cuts. You can find use for this portable tin of rose-oil goodness in every season—something you can’t say about that dark burgundy lipstick!
Pond’s – “Cold Cream Cleanser”
This cold cream debuted in 1914. While there were numerous cold creams on the market, Pond’s is only one of the few remaining brands that has stood the test of time. Cold cream is famous for leaving a cooling sensation that instantly refreshes your face and leaves it baby smooth. From removing stubborn layers of makeup to deep cleaning your pores, this ultra-moisturizing cult favorite will likely be passed on for generations to come.
Mason Pearson – Hairbrushes
These brushes appeared on the market in 1885 and the design hasn’t changed much in the 130 years since. They’re still mostly hand-crafted and feature a rubber cushion pad to massage the scalp while combing through tangles and taming frizz. The natural bristles and nylon tufts pull oils from the root of the hair to the ends to add shine and smooth flyaways. Definitely one of the priciest items on our list, but well worth the investment. Sometimes, you just have to treat yourself!
L’Oreal Paris – “Elnett Satin hairspray”
Formulated in 1960, it was the first hairspray that wasn’t a drag to brush out. The micro diffuser spray creates a fine mist that holds any hairstyle sported by those on the runway or those going for a night out on the town. The spray can be applied and reapplied without that hardened, crunchy buildup. If that’s not enough to convince you, we don’t know what will.
Frownies – “Facial Patches”
The name doesn’t conjure feelings of elegance and certainly doesn’t seem like a product that’s been around since 1889. This is a wrinkle treatment without the premium cost of Botox. Endorsed by stars such as Rashida Jones, these are super affordable at 144 patches for $20. They say the best way to fight aging is to prevent it; this may not be suitable for everyone right now, but it never hurts to have a secret weapon in your back pocket.
Coty – “Airspun Loose Face Powder”
The ultimate way to adapt a vintage product to modern techniques is to use this face powder to “bake” (a longer way of setting your makeup). This product has been on shelves in the 30s, and has been subject to newfound glory after the baking technique went mainstream. The finely milled powder works wonders for setting makeup, and is a strong competitor to Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder for Holy Grail status.
Benefit – “Benetint” cheek and lip stain
With a bawdy backstory, Benetint finishes off our list. It was created in ’77 for an exotic dancer who reportedly wanted to make her nipples pinker during her performances— say what? Originally concocted by steaming rose-petals, the formula has changed quite a bit over the years. Now marketed as a cheek and lip stain, it’s coveted for its ability to give you a healthy flush.