November 10, 2011

Taking a look at classic Maybelline eye make-up products

Day 314 of Vintage 365


Veering away, generally speaking, from the usual order in which most people apply their make-up, once my moisturizer (and primer, if using) are applied, I head straight for my eyes.

It's always been that way, for as far back as I can remember (and given that I was 14 going on 15 when I was permitted to start wearing makeup, I can recall those early days of high school cosmetics pretty well). Before foundation, powder, highlighter, blush (which, to be honest, given the natural rosiness of my cheeks I don't wear all that often), or anything to do with my lips I attend to my eye make-up routine first.

I begin with my brows (plucking any stray hairs and filling them in, as they've always been naturally sparse), curl my eyelashes, do my eye shadow followed by eyeliner, and lastly mascara. At the point, though I do like a "full face" (as my mom and I have always called it), I feel sufficiently made up enough so that if I suddenly had to answer the door or bolt out at the spur of the moment, I'd feel like I had my war paint (so to speak) on.

In fact (assuming I had a good moisturizer already), if you made me pick just three make-up items to take with me to a desert island, without giving it a second thought, I'd reach for black eyeliner and mascara, paired with a tube of MAC's Russian Red lipstick.

Perhaps it's because we get to use our lids like tiny artist's canvases that I start on that part of my face here first. Sure, one can play around with their lips, but rarely (sans costume make-up) does a person wear more than one distinct colour on their lips at the same time.

With our eyes we can play it safe and stick with classic neutral shades or create whole rainbows of multi-coloured shadow or liner, if so desired. We can fatten our lashes, or even apply false one's if what nature and the cosmetics counter provided us with just isn't doing the trick.

I'm a big fan of make-up brushes, especially for eye make-up (though having one each specifically for foundation and powder is very great, too), and while the ones I use are modern, they really haven't changed all that much of the past few decades.

Take for example the lovely vintage Maybelline ad from 1960 pictured below. Here one sees a selection of make-up products and applicators that (excluding perhaps cream mascara and its accompanying brush - though these can still be found and are really quite fun to work with if you get the opportunity) still appears in most of our cosmetic bags today.

{So very chic and beautifully elegant, the makeup products in this wonderful vintage Maybelline ad will never go out of style. Image via CapricornOneVintage on Flick.}


Like many gals, I enjoy playing with make-up and have a range of products in my trusty (train style) case, but at the end of the day (or more accurately, the start of the day), I do generally reach for the same beloved items that help give me my beloved 1940s/50s looks in a flash, every one of which appears (albeit in more modern packaging) in this charming vintage ad.

Whether you're also a fan of starting with your eyes, or work your way up there a little later on during your routine, it's hard not to enjoy timeless images like this that show you exactly what the ladies whose looks we so admire and emulate were lining their vanity tops with during the most glamorous years of the twentieth century.


  1. I love makeup!! I have since about the 9th grade. I can't even begin to start a day without having my makeup on. Even in our days of camping, there I would be in the restroom applying my makeup.

    There was a time when I wasn't wearing eye makeup because my allergies were so bad and I was constantly rubbing my eyes. Without mascara, my lashes are almost non-existent, so I'm glad my allergies have subsided so I can wear eye makeup again.

    Hope you're having a lovely evening.


  2. I always do my eyes first too. I always seem to spill eyeshadows on my cheeks and it's so much easier to remove it is i haven't applied any makeup on my skin. :)

  3. My earliest memories is of my grandma sitting at her vanity putting on mascara out of her red rectangle Maybelline box with a brush. The look of that mascara was nothing I had seen before. It always fascinated me. I went on a quest a couple of years ago to find similar solid mascara, but what I found just didn't compare to the memories I had. : )