5 Iconic Makeup Products You Never Suspected Were So Vintage

You can’t deny it: women of the past had style. Whether you remember the dark doe-eyed beauty of the Belle Époque, the bright red lips of the ’50s, or the monochrome browns and beiges of the nineties superstars, decades of the past century each had their muses that we wish we could copy, but can barely equal. 

No matter how hard we try, the powdery grace and glossy beauty seem to often slip away from us, unattainable, unobtainable.

That was before you discovered Midas Cosmetics. Colors and shapes of the past fascinate us, and we deemed it interesting to share with you the products that women have already been using in the past 100 years - sometimes even during the earlier centuries. 

Here are 5 iconic products you didn’t know turned heads then, but that you are still turning heads with now.

Cream Blush: Bonne Mine Basic

When it comes to makeup, we have lately breathed more versatility in our makeup products than ladies of the beginning of the past century, who would use lipstick as lipstick and blush on the cheeks, usually not looking much further in artistry and placement creativity.

Cream blusher has since long cohabited with powdered rouge in women’s bags; while the former was used on top of foundation, the latter was used to intensify the blushed effect after powdering the face, and for touch-ups during the day.

Red Lipstick: The Beauty Essential

Lipstick was always a girl’s best friend. Even though the 1910s advised the reputable woman to bite her lips in lieu of lipstick to make the blood flow and color the lips naturally, by 1920, lipstick became an essential of daring girls’ makeup kit, darkening women’s lips in thin shapes of burgundies and dark reds.

Older cult brands include Maybelline and Revlon, who have been around for decades, dressing our lips and helping them appear fuller, trendier, and sexier.

Revlon, who released their very famous red lipstick “Fire & Ice” in 1952, followed in 1953 by the shade “Cherries in the Snow”, a very cool-toned raspberry, turned out to be one of the trendsetters in makeup from the 1930s.

Cake Mascara: A star for the eyes

Back in the 1930s, all through the 50s, new makeup rules emerged for the beauty devotee and the housewife, all classified in booklets to avoid bad taste and makeup catastrophes. 

Mascara, which we now use without giving it a second thought, became more and more popular from the end of the 1910s, with the creation of the cake mascara, notably by brands like Maybelline who offered a dried mix of pigments and sodium stearate soap, lodged in small boxes that looked like a single eyeshadow packaging.

False eyelashes already existed back in the 1910s but were boasted very sparingly, rather reserved to Hollywood actresses, and their popularity peaked in the 1930s - until then, mascara was kept to a minimum, applied with gusto. The black compact mascara was accompanied by a small spoolie brush contained in the box, and was used on the upper lashes only - it was bad taste to use it on the lower lashes. 

We would have to wait until 1958 to see our usual tube mascara appear, a creation of Revlon that was soon followed by other brands of the era.

Eyeliner: For That Doe-Eye Look

Eyeliner really stepped onto the makeup scene in the 1950s. Just like cake mascara, cake eyeliner had to be wet in order to be applied, although eyeliner pens, markers, and liquid eyeliner were also used.

Often, a simple layer of colorful eyeshadow was enough to dress the eyes, from neutrals and pale eyeshadows in the 1930s and 1940s to bright, in your face textures and shapes from the 60s onwards, like the famous, fashionable Twiggy look.

Throughout the decades, we have become more artistically open, taking risks in color combinations, creating vintage products with modern, vibrant colors like the Midas Cosmetics Cocktail Hour Cake Eyeliner palette to use as a daily product as well as push your creative boundaries with.

Compact Powder: The Doll Faced Beauty

For centuries, a powdered face has been the best friend of women craving a doll-like look. Asian women historically used rice powder, Bourjois then invented the famous Poudre de riz, Guerlain birthed the Météorites... 

As decades of the 20th Century flew by, the application of face powder diminished when women’s will of freedom increased. From a heavily painted and powdered face from the 1910s to the 1940s, women’s use of powder crashed from the end of the 60s, in conjunction with the Flower Power movement. 

Compact powder was often applied on top of foundation, often paler than one’s own complexion, until the 1950s when the trend was to appear a shade darker. 

The 1960s started with a heavy mask-like face similar to the 50s, and the end of the decade saw women only lightly brushing their face with powder, careless. Only from the 70s onwards did we start using powder again - often in a much looser form for more lightness, but compact powder remains in our hearts one of the cosmetics products that remind us of our childhoods when we would observe our moms touching up their makeup to look their best.

The art of painting a new, fresher face on top of our own has been cultivated for centuries, from the Ancient Egypt women and their beloved kohl to the fashionable ombré lips internationally spread by social media in the last few years. How interesting to know just how makeup trends have evolved, with techniques and discoveries piling up on top of others to make our makeup ever more colorful, texturized, and breathtaking! 

Some looks go out of style, only to come back stronger; fashion and beauty’s endless cycle running its course. If you are devoted to makeup as much as we are, here’s how to get an effortless vintage look in just a few steps to amp up your makeup game.

-by Ibtissam El Azami