It’s pouring down with torrential rain, I can barely see the car ahead of me on the motorway so keep a safe distance away. Lismore is just over an hour away and there’s a gorgeous soul waiting for me…I can do this!
When a friend says come down to Lismore and I’ll take you to my fave op shops and vintage stores you jump in the car and race down there (while still obeying the speed limit of course!) It had been several months since the gorgeous Nerolie and I had seen each other so I was super excited for our lady date. I parked the car at the shopping centre she suggested and as I walked in to get an idea of where I was I looked up and saw her beautiful warm smile welcoming me. Oh, did I mention I forgot all about daylight savings and the fact that I run on QLD time and she on NSW? Yep, I was an hour late and she had been patiently waiting for me. *slaps forehead repeatedly*
She showed me a couple charity stores first then we went into The Carrington Bizarre aka “Cave of Wonders”. Instantly I fell in love with the place. So many beautiful vintage pieces and at competitive prices to what I’m used to seeing in vintage/antique stores. We oohed and ahhed over some delicate belt buckles, brooches, necklaces before spotting a cabinet full of makeup treasures. I became fascinated by a couple items and what luck the cabinet was open! Nerolie reached in and pulled out several items and we studied them, reading the tags saying when they were from and my mind began wondering about the women who would have owned them. They were all in such good condition given their age and many had never been opened.
Four items of 1930’s vintage makeup treasures particularly took my fancy, though I would have loved to have bought more. I took home a Michel lipstick that looks to have barely been used as you can see how full it is still. This is an Australian brand which I couldn’t find any information other than a bunch of advertisements but the logo in them looks different to the one on the lid of the lipstick I bought. It has that old lipstick smell that reminds me of my mum’s lipstick when I was a kid. Lipsticks don’t smell the same anymore, possibly because the ingredient used to gave that scent has been banned from use in cosmetics, who knows.
Next we spotted a lip stain made by Philip Dare of Sydney. Again I couldn’t find anything on this brand. We opened the tiny bottle and the contents has completely dried up leaving a rather pungent scent. I wonder if it smelt that bad originally? It looks like the “brush” used to apply it would have looked and felt something like the ones we see on lipglosses and liquid lipsticks nowadays. Although it’s hard to tell as it has dried hard.
We also found several face powders that had never been used still with the original plastic seal. This is the one I took home as I’ve personally never seen one marketed as an “olive oil face powder”. When I turned the box over to read the back it says “A superfine powder free from rice starch and orris root. The pure olive oil base – blended into this Face Powder by a special PATENTED PROCESS which cannot be imitated provides a natural lubricant to counteract skin dryness and to protect against the damaging effects of wind, cold, sun and water. Will cling to your skin for hours.” I would say this would closely resemble mineral powders that we have today as they have a very similar result being made from natural ingredients rather than having a synthetic base. This product was made in Canada and yet again, I wasn’t able to find anything on the brand in a Google search.
My last 1930’s vintage makeup treasure was one I simply could not leave behind. A bottle of Judith Aden Peroxide Cream, it still has some of the contents.
Benzoyl peroxide has been used for years and years, and is still used today to treat acne in most supermarket brand skin care products. It kills bacteria and also dries the sebum in the skin causing breakouts. However, it is very drying on the skin and can cause your skin to become inflamed, dry and flaky causing your skin to go into damage control and over produce oil to compensate, thus leading to more breakouts. And the cycle continues.
This particular product was used to treat blemishes as well as uneven pigmentation caused by the sun, age spots, freckles etc. Lighter brighter skin was something many women wanted in the 1930’s, although it wasn’t a new craze. In fact this desire had been around for centuries. Quite the contrast to today where fake tanning is the norm.
Judith Aden was sold exclusively in Woolworths stores which were quite different to the Woolies we do our groceries in today. They resembled department stores like Myer and David Jones. From the limited information I could find on this brand, they began production around 1927 and ceased some time in the 1960s making cosmetics, nail enamel, hair care and skin care here in Australia.
I have a growing collection of vintage makeup items and find it fascinating learning about the brands, especially when they’re Australian. I like to think about the women who would have owned them, where did they live? How old were they? What was their name? What were their lives like? This is the part of vintage items that I love the most. I love the fact that I’m holding a piece of history.
So the next time Nerolie invites me down to Lismore for another lady date I will certainly be hightailing it down there in hopes of picking up more fabulous vintage treasures. Have you been to The Carrington Bizarre? What awesome vintage makeup treasures do you own? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about them, or if you have a blog on some leave me the link so I can go have a read.