Remember These? Beauty Products of Yesteryear

Susan Anderson

by Susan Anderson | November 12, 2012 @ 12:00PM

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Plato said “Necessity....the mother of invention” and creative minds have been leading the charge within the beauty industry for new products to clean, smooth, plump, perk and rejuvenate the faces and bodies of women and men. Ask the right person and they will tell you multiple products they believe are necessities. It has been a long and interesting road to arrive at today’s “revolutionary” beauty products. Below are just a few of the products that were all the rage at one time but have been replaced by newer and better things.  

Tower Exerciser & Reducer

This1922 machine was marketed as a way to burn fat and relieve constipation. The apparatus has a cloth belt that wrapped around the area you wished to burn the fat. The machine offered "variable stroke, adjustable speed, adaptable to any degree of vibration desired" and promised "better health". It is safe to say that this machine was not as effective as it claimed and medical science evolved to bring us to the options we have today including Liposuction, Cellulaze, iLipo and Cool Sculpting. 

Youth Dew

In the 1950’s Estee Lauder released Youth Dew bath oil and lotion to women. Women did not buy fragrances for themselves, thus the beauty pioneer released the potion as a bath oil that could also be used as a perfume so that women would feel comfortable purchasing it. This became a turning point in the Estee Lauder company and started her rise to become an iconic beauty brand. Today the types of lotions, potions, perfumes, oils, body sprays and the like are widely available for men and women with no social stigma attached.

The Iron

Beforethere was the flat iron, women would use a regular, everyday clothes iron to straighten and tame their tresses. Before the 1970’s it was preferred to have curly hair, but the trend changed when folk singer Joan Baez was reported to keep her hair straight so that she could “escape the tedium of femininity.” Young women took to the ironing boards and never looked back. That is, not until the beauty industry caught up and made straightening irons available that were specific to hair care. But it didn’t stop there, today the Brazilian Blowout is a popular salon treatment as well.

Press On Nails

In the 1980’s being glamorous was the “in” thing. Many women (and men) rocked their look with big hair with lotsof styling products, colorful and elaborate outfits and polished nails. At the time, everyday women couldn’t afford to indulge in expensive salon manicures. Enter Lee Press-on Nails. These long, lustrous nails were simple to apply and once Lee added color, you no longer had to polish them yourselves. Today, the possibilities of enhancing your nails are vast. We still have the inexpensive do-it-yourself nails but other options include acrylic and gel manicures.  

The Corset and Girdle

Both the corset and the girdle were most commonly used as a form of women’s foundation wear to enhance a woman’s figure. Constructed of elasticized fabric, these undergarments were commonly worn from about the 1920’s to the late 1960’s. Just like the coset gave way to the girdle, the girdle gave way to control top panty hose and eventually to Spanx. While the apparatus has evolved over the years, the need to control the tummy, buttocks, and thighs and achieve the hourglass figure has stayed consistent.


What are some of your favortie products from times long past?

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