Inspect the carefully curated kit of any make-up artist and chances are you’ll come across some of the same classic beauty products more than once. Whilst today’s biggest beauty brands focus on introducing innovative formulas and sleek, sophisticated packaging, some of our favourite beauty products are those that have been around forever. Here’s our pick of the vintage beauty products that still hold a special place in both our hearts and our make-up bags today.
1. L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray
Launched in 1960, just in time to serve a whole decade of bouffant styles, L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray has been the choice of professional hairdressers and stylists ever since. The strong hold, brush out formula is the same as it was in that very first can, though the instantly recognisable gold packaging came three years after the launch of the now-iconic hairspray. With celebrity endorsements from the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Penelope Cruz and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, the appeal of L’Oréal Elnett shows no sign of dwindling.
2. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Sneak backstage at any catwalk show and you’re almost guaranteed to see the green and pink packaging of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara somewhere amidst the melee. The water-based mascara is still made to the same formula as the very first tube back in 1971 and the product remains the number 1 best-selling mascara in the world.
3. Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser
Ever wondered why your Nan’s skin still looks amazing? The chances are that Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser has something to do with it. Since way back in 1910, this cult classic has been removing all traces of make-up from the skin of whole generations. So hydrating that some say you can even get away without moisturiser, this classic will be found on bathroom shelves for years to come.
4. Smith’s Rosebud Salve
This tiny little tin packs quite the punch. Invented in 1892 for the treatment of skin ailments including nappy rash, razor burn, dry skin and chapped lips, Smith’s Rosebud Salve has gone on to garner a cult following with celebrity make-up artists looking for an all-purpose product.
5. Mason Pearson Hairbrush
Yorkshireman, engineer and inventor Mason Pearson first debuted his handmade boar bristle brush in 1885. The rubber-cushion construction was carefully honed throughout the 1920s, designed to stimulate the scalp and distribute the hair’s natural oils. The Mason Pearson Hairbrush remains a must-have in the kits of countless hairstylists.
6. Chanel No.5
When Coco Chanel requested a fragrance that embodied femininity, perfumer Ernest Beaux took five attempts to create what we now know as Chanel No.5. Named after Coco Chanel’s own lucky number, and reportedly the number of attempts it took to blend the perfect scent, Chanel No.5 has scented the skin of the world’s most elegant women since 1921.
7. Max Factor Crème Puff
Max Factor himself coined the term ‘make-up’, so it’s only fair that one of his most iconic products makes our list of vintage beauty classics. Crème Puff debuted in 1953 as the first-ever all-in-one foundation. The innovative formula saw the product apply like a powder and set like a cream, providing a flawless finish on famous faces including Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Vivien Leigh and Jean Harlow. Crème Puff has provided a first introduction to make-up for countless girls, many of whom would still recognise that baby powder scent with their eyes shut.
8. Vaseline Jelly
Since 1872 Vaseline Jelly has been soothing chapped lips and softening cuticles, heels, knees and elbows. Today its uses have extended to glossing eyelids for catwalk looks, highlighting cheekbones, intensifying eyeshadows and so much more. Handbag-sized tins are great for on the go but we still prefer that big old tub in our beauty kit.
Which of our cult-classic beauty products still feature in your make-up bag?