Beauty treatments. There seem to be two camps, those who seize the “science” and chase eternal youth (a serum made from the circumcised foreskin of babies, anyone??), and there are those who revel in the fragrance and feel of traditional formulations. Guess which camp I fall into?? I think that there’s something to be said for products that make you feel good, no need for excitable claims and the empty promises. I look to old favourite products that remind me why the past is far more glamourous place to live…
Nivea face creme in the big blue pot. It smells delicious, slightly lavender and so gentle. No, there’s nothing modern in the iconic blue pot, no spf or anti-aging claims, just a rich moisturiser that will sort out feet roughed up by too much dancing and soothe chafed winter skin.
Elnett hair spray. This is what a good night out smells like. From the boudoir to the ladies’ loos, the smell of Elnett is a regular guest at mirrors everywhere. And when you unpin that glorious bouffant hair at the end of the evening (or the following morning, wink wink) you can brush it all out and it leaves no trace. I just wish we could apply that quality to everything in life.
Max Factor Creme Puff. Another totally delicious scent, it’s a little bit of Hollywood glam for less than a Pret takeaway. Did Marilyn have a super wholefood salad with quinoa and avocado? Probably not, but she did have luminous, beautifully matte skin and she used Crème Puff.
Revlon lipsticks. Oh, those iconic reds, Fire & Ice and Cherries in the Snow. One tends to bluey red, the other is more orange – a red for brunettes and blondes, if you like. Matte, long-lasting yet still moisturizing, you can imagine how much these lipsticks raised the bar when they were released back in the 1950s. Check out the original ads on Pinterest – so glam!
I wonder what current products will stand the test of time? As a fan of vintage style I think I have already raised the bar pretty high when it comes to brand loyalty, honing my eye to pick out the best quality and getting a feel for the things that will be worn again and again, invested with memories and cherished as much as a waft of Chanel No.5 or the delicate rose fragrance of Bourgeois rouge. Here are three of my favourite British Retro designs, all classics in the making…
A recent addition to the British Retro edit, the Wonderland Coat in charcoal is a chic and deliciously cosy flared dress coat that will keep you snug without compromising glamour. The softest Melton fabric with a sumptuous satin lining and faux fur collar and cuffs make this a coat that feels as good as it looks, too. Imagine that sophisticated swirl of charcoal slipping from your shoulders to reveal one of our scintillating 50s style pencil dresses beneath. That, my dear, is how you make an entrance.
And while we are on the subject of 50s style pencil dresses…. Rhondas Revenge is the classic pencil dress with an iconic Bardot-shaped neckline and just the right amount of stretch to