Top 10 Best & Worst Vintage Beauty Ads


For the past year or so I've gained a bit of an interest in beauty through the ages. It started after reading Beautiful For Ever (Amazon here) which tells the story of con woman and cosmetician Madame Rachel - a factual story based in Victorian London. 

Since then I've down my own research online and even have a few vintage makeup adverts by Revlon as I find them so classy and elegant. 

So I thought it would be fun to pick out some vintage beauty ads I love and also hate... and trust me, there wasn't a shortage of bad ones. I've found the 1970's was the era of cringe worthy ads, just scroll down and you will see what I mean! But make sure to enjoy the lovely ads first.

Top 5 Best Vintage Beauty Ads

Signature by Max Factor - One thing I have noticed with vintage ads in general is brands liked their wholesome Christmas ads and this is a lovely typical one. I love the silhouette of the couple and how the writing is almost formatted how a Christmas carol would be. I also love the lines "He doesn't have to be a movie hero to appreciate it, but he's likely to act like one on Christmas Morning!". Not too sure on the trio gift set being called 'Threesome' mind!

Revlon Love That Pink - This is a strange pairing... a beautiful woman hugging a llama, but I love llamas so I'm in love with this ad! Revlon have done some amazing ads in their time. This really doesn't look like it's 58 years old. 


Revlon Indelible-Creme Lipsticks - Another Revlon ad that I just find so elegant and simplistic. This could easily be re-done now and look amazing. Also the ad makes me want to buy that shade of red for my nails and lips!

Estee Lauder Frosted Lip Gloss - I love everything about this! The model, the makeup, how it's playful and sexy and how it's laid out. I also love how it's signed off by Estee Lauder - a really nice touch. 

Elizabeth Arden Pure Pure Red Lipstick - This has to be my favourite illustrated advert, it's just spot on. From the style of illustration to the red background that ties in with the lipstick. I'd actually love this as a framed print.

Top 5 Worst Vintage Beauty Ads


Aziza Cosmetics - Oh dear, oh dear. I don't think there is a lot to say about this ad. So I will just detail what the first line of the ad says... "If Eve had worn Aziza, she wouldn't have needed an apple". Oh dear, oh dear. 

Maybelline Ultra Velvet and Frost Shadows - This isn't so bad I know... it's just the eyeshadow to the eyebrows look and the colour range that makes me cringe a little. Also the image of cream being poured into the eyedshadow at the top.

Panasonic Flip 'N Style Hair Dryer - This is without a doubt the worst of the bunch. I was pretty horrified in fact when I was realised what the ad was actually implying. To quote part of the description "So when you're through drying (your fingernails, if your hair hasn't grown in), slip it into its attractive case". Yes, Panasonic were trying to sell the use of their hair dryer to people with cancer going through chemotherapy?! Total madness and beyond insensitive. A very strange angle for an advert indeed. 

Dior Eye Makeup - High end vintage beauty ads generally aren't bad at all, but this one made me laugh! It's the fact that instead of the image being a silhouette and taking a classy route, Dior opted for the bugler-esque look! But at least she has that Dior look... I suppose!

Maybelline Kissing Potion Lip Gloss - I have love/hate feelings towards this advert. I can see how girls in the 1970's would have rushed out to buy this kissing potion lip gloss... but it's just so corny. I also find it amusing how it's suggesting you can have 5 love interests on the go! She's promising her strawberry kisses to Roger but there's also Richie, Fred, David and Bob to remember!

I love writing different types of posts like this and really hope you like reading them! 

Would love to know which ad is your favourite and not so favourite from my top 10... I have a feeling I may know which ad will be the most disliked already. 

Fee xo.

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