Velvet Shadows and Kissing Sticks: 1970s-80s Beauty and Cosmetics Adverts

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“She’s not going to marry the boy next door.”  She’s going to marry the rebel with mental problems and plenty of emotional baggage.  And she’ll need plenty of Senchal to mask his alcohol infused stench.


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“I’m not as innocent as I seem.”

I’m a dirty girl so I use lip gloss named “Wicked Watermelon” and “Peppermint Pleasure”. Coming soon: “Nympho Nectarine”, “Tropical Tramp”, “G-Spot Grape”, “Loose Lemonade”, “Fruity Fornacatrix” and “Sour Blue Razzberry Slut”.  (Sorry.  I could go on all day.)


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The timeline for this 1981 lipstick advert continued…
8AM Wake up naked and alone in bed. Overcome by feelings of guilt and self loathing.

8:30 AM Cry bitterly in shower.

9AM Leave twelve messages on his answering machine. Call him a “stinking son of a bitch” in last message.

11:30 AM  Back to drinks at the world famous St. Regis Hotel.



Just no.


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This ad is from a 1974 issue of My Romance Magazine. Bold eye shadow and liner with thick eye lashes – I think it was a good look, don’t you? Here’s a couple more…

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A great way to sell beauty products to women is to have naked women in the ads, right? Here’s a few examples…. I could easily supply you with a hundred more (but I’ll save that topic for a rainy day).

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Egad! This woman’s toe claws!


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make ups

Admit it.  At first glance, you thought these chicks were naked.  Sorry to disappoint.



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Yanbal is the Latin American version of Avon. It’s still around and more successful than ever – but I like these ads from thirty years ago. “Ding-Dong Yanbal Calling!”

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“The 8 hour fragrance for the 24 hour woman”  Does that mean she smells bad for 16 hours?


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I am told that these “kissing glosses” (like the aforementioned “kissing sticks”) were extremely sticky.  A gust of wind, and your hair becomes stuck to your lips… and now you would have to comb that gooey mess out of your hair.  Needless to say, the fad didn’t last long.



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