1863 - Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush in Cendre de Rose Brune
Retro reveal This classic rosy-pink was first created in Paris for actors to wear on stage and is still available in its original formula. Its floral scent comes from rose extract, making it a treat for the cheeks and the nose! The shade remains one of the best sellers in the range. FYI, two Bourjois blushers are sold every minute in the UK. Wowzers!
1872 – Vaseline pure Petroleum Jelly
Retro reveal When rig workers struck oil in Pennsylvania, USA, we bet they had no idea that they’d strike upon another little gem. Chemist Robert Chesebrough refined a gel used by the workers to heal cuts and made this super-product. A mix of oils and paraffin wax, it melts into the skin, acting as a sealant by locking moisture in place. Jennifer Aniston swears by it for keeping fine lines at bay, applying it every night underneath her eyes. And if it’s good enough for Jen…
1914 – Pond’s Cold Cream
Retro reveal A multitasking beauty essential, this not only removes make-up without drying skin, but can also be used as a hydrating face mask or hand cream. Aussie mega-babe Kylie Minogue is a huge fan and us mere mortals buy over 300,000 pots a year.
1921 – Chanel No 5 Eau De Parfum
Retro reveal Nothing says glamour like Chanel No 5 perfume – and a bottle is sold every 30 seconds around the world. Its worldwide success began in 1944, when American soldiers lined the streets to buy a bottle for their wives after the liberation of Paris at the end of WW2. Coco Chanel clearly had a soft spot for the number five. She said: “I presented my first dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year. So we will keep the name it has already, it will bring good luck.”
1930- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Retro reveal Elizabeth Arden – the first salon owner to start her own range – created this to soothe her horse’s tired legs before realising the concoction would work on humans too. One of the first products to contain salicylic acid, which exfoliates and heals, it was called “Eight Hour” after a customer used it on her son’s scraped knees and it took just eight hours for them to heal. One is sold every two minutes in the UK, and A-list fans include Victoria Beckham and Cate Blanchett.
1932 – Revlon Nail enamel in Cherries In The Snow
1937 – Carmex lip balm
Retro reveal American Alfred Woelbing didn’t like the balms on offer to soothe his sore lips, so he decided to invent his own. He whipped up menthol, camphor and beeswax for a gel that leaves lips nourished, conditioned and, yup, a bit tingly. Before it went global, Alfred and his family made Carmex in their kitchen, distributing it throughout Wisconsin in jars with yellow labels. The lip balm still uses the colour and the family still runs the business.
1952 – Olay Beauty Fluid
Retro reveal After noticing how shiny his wife Dinah’s face became after she moisturised, South African chemist Graham Wullf decided enough was enough. He set out to create a new way to hydrate skin: cue Oil of Olay, which is a play on the word lanolin – its key ingredient. It was formulated as a pink lotion because it was Dinah’s favourite colour. Cute!
1961 - L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray
Retro reveal With its signature scent and non-sticky formula, Elnett is a must for professionals and us girls, too. So good, in fact, that its original formula, with micro-diffuser technology that offers the perfect hold and finish, remains unchanged today.
1962 – Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Retro reveal There was only one man that the first lady of chic Audrey Hepburn trusted with her tresses – London-born hair expert Philip Kingsley. He hand-blended this formula especially for her, then bottled it and sold it as the world’s first pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. The hero product delivers a mega rush of moisture to the inside of the hair’s cuticle. The result? Silky, supple, bouncy, strong hair. We like!
1971 – Maybelline New York Great Lash mascara
Retro reveal When chemist T.L Williams saw his sister Maybel apply a mix of Vaseline and coal dust to enhance her eyelashes in 1915, it gave him an idea. He developed the first mascara two years later, but it wasn’t until the ’60s when it went mass-market and Maybelline launched its Great Lash Mascara. Now it’s the world’s best-selling mascara, with one sold every 1.5 seconds.
1976 – Benefit Benetint
Retro reveal Twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford of San Francisco, USA, founded Benefit in 1976, after deciding to swap modelling for creating make-up. The pair’s first beauty product came from an exotic dancer, who was after a hint of pink to perk up her nipples. Oo-er. The formula – made from crushed rose petals – was a runaway success, and Benetint was born. Over 10 million bottles of the lip-and-cheek tint are now sold each year.