While in New York, Mrs. Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) is caught in a complex murder mystery featuring an unknown lipstick, a former student of hers (Elizabeth, the victim), her shady past and her fiancé, co-owner of Lila Lee, a door-to-door cosmetic company. Always willing to help with the investigation, Jessica and the local lieutenant Varick (Herb Edelman) discuss a jewel-studded lipstick case found on the crime scene, the lipstick in it and the one used to vandalise a portrait of the victim in her apartment.
The lipstick Varick is holding is pale pink, definitely not the bright orange-based red on the portrait.
Norman Amberson (Robert Culp), Elizabeth’s fiancé, confirms Jessica’s observation: the lipstick in the jewel case is Midnight Pink .
Later in the episode, Jessica’s nephew Grady (Michael Horton) finds a lipstick in the Lila Lee sales kit.
He thinks he’s found the one, but Jessica disagrees. The shade is not the same. “It’s a little bit too pink”, she says, and we, lipstick lovers, are furiously nodding because we know what she means.
This shade is Tangerine Glow. Still not right. But while checking the complete list of Lila Lee lipstick shades, Jessica finds a code number is missing.
She pretends to be a Lila Lee saleswoman whose customers want the lipstick with the missing code and pays a visit to Mr. Hillsdale (Fred Ponzlov), the chemist who created it.
Hillsdale’s reply sounds like a death toll: that colour has been discontinued. Lila Lee Amberson didn’t like how it looked on the rim of a white cup.
That perfect shade, “not too orangey, not too pink”, was called Tangerine Twist .
Here lies the solution of the mystery. The discontinued lipstick was used at a photoshoot, confiscated by Lila Lee Amberson (remember that she hated it) and passed to her brother, Elizabeth’s fiancé. At this point the murderer’s identity is clear, right?
One of the first places we are introduced to in this show is Ego Death, a London bar with a prophetical name. It’s the place where the protagonist, Arabella, and her best friend Terry (Weruche Opia) often return to in an attempt to exorcise it as a negative symbol and find closure to the traumatic event the show opens with.
In this scene, Terry is retouching her make-up by applying a MAC lipstick in a nude shade.
Rock Hudson (Jake Picking) is another actor who’s getting ready to audition for a role in the upcoming film Peg. On his dressing table there are several beauty items: some of them are by Bésame Cosmetics product, but there are vintage pieces too.
The large pink tin with white cap is Albolene cleansing cream. The picture above refers to the unscented version. I couldn’t find any visual evidence that the scented version is the pink one, but it could be a good guess, since this product still comes in scented and unscented versions.
Claire (Samara Weaving) and Camille (Laura Harrier) are getting ready to audition for the part of Peg Entwistle, the British actress who committed suicide in 1932 by jumping from the “H” on the Hollywoodland sign. On their dressing tables Bésame Cosmetics products can be seen.
On the far right side of the table the golden cap of a lipstick is visible. Probably it’s American Beauty, the cool, berry-red shade with magenta undertones that Claire wears all through the show.
On the right side of Camille’s table there’s a red round box containing Bésame crimson cream rouge, that can be used on lips and cheeks.
Lucille Reimann (Monica Lee Gradischek) works in the casting department at Ace Studios. Camille Washington, a promising black actress, candidates herself for a role in an upcoming film, but Lucille refuses her by saying it’s a role for a white actress.
Avis Amberg (Patti LuPone) is a former silent movie actress who has left her glory days behind but she’s still at the centre of the public life in Hollywood: her husband *is* one of the most important movie studios in town, as she explains to young Frank Castello, the aspiring actor she’s having a rendez-vous with.
Avis is all about Old Hollywood glamour, as shown by the elegant black lace lingerie and the satin robe with feathered accents she’s wearing. But make-up has its part, too.
The lipstick she’s wearing is by Bésame Cosmetics : the shade is Victory Red, deep red with a neutral base, inspired to Montezuma Red and Victory Red, two popular shades created by Elizabeth Arden in 1941.
Those were the years of WWII and Arden was asked to make a lipstick for women who served in the U.S. army; the success of Montezuma Red brought to Victory Red , which could be worn by all those who wanted to show their patriotism in those dark times.
In the very last episode of the tv show, Annalise (Viola Davis) faces the most important trial of her life, the one where she’s accused of killing basically all the people that have died in 6 seasons. In this scene, while she’s discussing with her mother whether she deserves to win this final challenge or not, we can see two interesting beauty products on her vanity.
The silver-ish spray bottle is MAC Fix+ fixing spray.
The opaque glass bottle is Dior Diorskin Forever liquid foundation.
The new season opens with new adventures and new career goals for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan): she’s performing at a military gig to entertain the troops. Before the performance, we see her backstage with Susie (Alex Borstein), adding the final touches to her red, white and blue outfit.
On her dressing table there’s a can of the Australian hairspray Gossamer.
On another dressing table there’s the round cardboard box of Coty Airspun loose powder.
A growing archive of beauty products and perfumes in movies and tv shows