Category Archives: vintage beauty products

Andy Warhol’s Bathroom Cabinet

In 1988, one year after Andy Warhol’s death, his business manager, Fred Hughes, commissioned photographer David Gamble to take pictures of the artist’s New York home. The picture of Warhol’s bathroom cabinet is probably the most famous result of that photoshoot: it was sold for $25,000 at an auction and in 2012 it was displayed at the exhibition Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A print of it is in the collection of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

No need for me to explain why I have decided to analyse in detail the contents of this cabinet. I have scrutinised fictional and real-life bathroom cabinets and dressing tables for more than 10 years, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to write about this iconic cabinet.

Before starting, let me say that medicines and several beauty products haven’t been included: I never write about medicines and the aforementioned products, now discontinued, haven’t been identified yet. The description of other products, although identified, is not completed by pictures because I haven’t found any online.

Let’s start with the top shelf.

The aqua green jar is Clinique 7-Day scrub cream: this product is still on the market, but the packaging has been changed (now it’s available in tube form).

The glass bottle with white stopper on the far right is Janet Sartin sun lotion. This brand and their beauty salon in New York still exist.

On the second shelf, starting from the far left, we can see a glass bottle of Guerlain Extrait de Pot-Pourri aux Plantes Marines, a home fragrance.

Seeing a Chanel no. 5 ancillary product (an after-bath spray) is not surprising: Andy Warhol included the iconic bottle of the French perfume in his Ads series.

Next, another Guerlain product – Vétiver talc. Unfortunately I haven’t found a picture of the product in the packaging shown in Warhol’s cabinet, but the pagoda-like bottle is so charming, isn’t it?

The bright yellow bottle contains Fabergé Kiku after-bath cologne, an amber floral fragrance launched in 1967.

The black bottle with white stopper contains Pantene For Men Hair Groom conditioner.

Next, a bottle of Alo Sun Fashion Tan suntan lotion. Again, the product shown above (displayed at the National Museum of American History) doesn’t have the exact packaging as the one in Warhol’s cabinet.

The silver tube contains Framesi Gelly’s color enhancing styling gel. This Italian haircare brand, still on the market, was founded in 1945.

Last, the glass bottle on the far right is another Janet Sartin product.

On the third shelf there’s a small-sized bottle of Vidal Sassoon shampoo.

In the back of the shelf there’s another Janet Sartin product, housed in a white jar.

Another Alo Sun product – the After Tan lotion – sits on the same shelf.

On the fourth shelf there’s a Sally Hansen product: I haven’t found any picture of it online, but the bottle reads that it’s a desensitized skin conditioning lotion.

Next to it there’s a jar of Interface herbal rub scrub. This is another product which I haven’t found any evidence of online. The brand doesn’t exist anymore.

One of the most interesting products is Halston 1-12 shaving foam. The fragrance was launched in 1976 and is still available on the market. Warhol using a Halston beauty product makes so much sense that I would have been surprised if I hadn’t found any in this cabinet.

The jar with blue cap contains Noxzema Antiseptic Skin cleanser pads.

Just under the Noxzema pad jar there’s Clinique Sub-Skin firming cream.

Among the lip products I can see a Lip Smacker Bonne Bell lip balm (cherry or strawberry-scented) and a tube of Vaseline Lip Therapy balm.

On the fifth (bottom) shelf there’s a bottle of Cetaphil lotion.

Next, a bottle of Vitabath Spring Green body wash.

On a jar of Vaseline pure petroleum jelly there’s a bottle of Lubriderm Lubath body wash.

Next, there’s a bottle of Neet cocoa butter lotion hair remover.

Romy Schneider’s Dressing Room (1961)

In March 1961 Luchino Visconti directed a French version of the revenge play ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by the English playwright John Ford. Staged at the Théâtre de Paris, Dommage qu’elle soit une p… starred Romy Schneider as the protagonist Annabella and her fiancé Alain Delon as Giovanni.

In these beautiful backstage pictures by Maurice Jarnoux we can take a look at what beauty products the Austrian actress used. In the shot above she was applying Pan Stik compact foundation by Max Factor.

On her dressing table there were many make-up and skincare products, among which a bottle of baby lotion by the French brand Mustela.

When it comes to the perfumes, the first I’ve noticed is a huge houndstooth bottle by Christian Dior, used for several eaux de toilette and eaux de cologne by the French maison, so it’s impossible to tell what fragrance this specific bottle contained. Furthermore, it’s quite surprising to see a Dior fragrance on her dressing table: the perfumes she usually wore were Chanel No. 5, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue [1] and – as explained by Elena ProkofevaTubereuse by Jean-Francois Laporte.

The second bottle is a French classic – Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina eau de cologne, first launched in 1806.

The third perfume sighting is not a bottle but a white box with black details. It’s a coffret set by Chanel, usually containing a selection of four parfum extraits.

[1] Several Guerlain bottles appeared in the famous portraits of Romy Schneider taken by photographer Helga Kneidl in 1973 in Paris.

Picture source.

The Supremes (1965)

This beautiful portrait of the Supremes (Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross) was taken in 1965 by photographer Bruce Davidson, who went into the trio’s dressing room and took pictures of them getting ready for a performance.

Florence was holding a Maybelline eye pencil.

Moving to the centre of the table, we can see a bottle of Revlon Touch & Glow liquid make-up.

Seeing the iconic squared bottle of Chanel eau de cologne on this table filled me with joy. I wonder who wore it – Mary Wilson (the bottle is standing right in front of her) or the others too?

The small bottle next to the Chanel one is Yardley hand cream.

The large jar in front of Diana Ross is Pond’s cold cream, the classic make-up remover that I’ve spotted in films and on real-life dressing table an endless number of times.

Thanks to Kailey for submitting this post and identifying most of the beauty products.

Firefly Lane S01E03 (Dancing Queens)

Some interesting toiletries from the 1970s can be seen in the scene where Tully helps Lane shave her legs.

Second from the left, a bottle of Revlon Jean Naté after-bath splash.

Next, there’s a bottle of Body on Tap beer-enriched (?) shampoo.

Last, Tickle unscented roll-on deodorant.

Thanks to Alessandra for the screencap and ids.

The Boys in the Band (2020)

Lots of things happen at the birthday party that Michael organises for Harold: for example, the fight between Emory (Robin de Jesús) and Alan ends up with a split lip. Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington) takes his friend to the toilet, where they check the wound.

On a shelf in Michael’s bathroom there are four products.

The glass bottle on the left is Listerine mouthwash.

The cardboard shaker contains Spicy perfumed talc by Avon.

Next there’s Lucky Tiger hair tonic with oil.

On the far right side of the shelf there’s a glass jar of Vaseline petroleum jelly.

To the Stars (2019)

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Soon after Iris (Kara Hayward) meets the newcomer Maggie (Liana Liberato), they become friends. Maggie decides to give Iris a makeover, so they go shopping for cosmetics. The beauty counter at the department store they go to displays make-up and skincare products.

Cashmere Bouquet 1950 1950s USA makeup make-up face powder puffs applying

On the far left in the screencap above there’s a cardboard table display containing several tin boxes of Palmolive Cashmere Bouquet face powder.

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More products can be seen thanks to a close-up.

The two jars with pink lids contain Woodbury skin cream.

There are three boxes of Coty Airspun loose face powder: the classic version has the yellow box, while the peach box contains a perfumed version (the scent in this case is L’Aimant).

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The lipsticks with the striped cases are Yardley Slicker.

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The white compacts with pink lid contain Beauté-Salon face powder.

On the right side of the counter there’s also a table display of Pond’s lipsticks.

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Another shot shows us the far left side of the counter, where there’s another table display. This time the product is Woodbury lanolin-rich hand cream.

Hollywood E01 (Hooray for Hollywood)

hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (3)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.

hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (1)hollywood_e01_bornunicorn (4)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.

besamecosmetics_victoryredlipstick_bornunicornThe lipstick she’s wearing is by Bésame Cosmetics [1]: 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.

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TEAR SHEET. Connie Ford Victory Red Lipstick advertisement.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 [2], which could be worn by all those who wanted to show their patriotism in those dark times.

[1] After extensively appearing in American Horror Story: Freakshow and Feud, it was only natural to see Bésame Cosmetics featured in Hollywood, too, for an extra touch of authenticity.

[2] The face of Victory Red was Constance Ford, who would later become a famous movie and TV show actress.

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988)

womenonthevergeofanervousbreakdownThe retro-style opening credits of the film (designed by Juan Gatti) contain, quite surprisingly, a real advert of a real make-up item.

dubarryglissandolipstick_bornunicornIt’s the marbled lipstick Glissando, launched in 1964 by the American brand Du Barry.

dubarryglissandolipsticks_bornunicornAvailable in six shades (“from light-struck pinks to muted ambers to rich reds”), it was housed in an elegant silver and gold metal case.

It’s true the brand started its decline in the 1970s and eventually died [1], but I still wonder what happened here. Did the title designer get away with reproducing an advert of a defunct brand? Or did they just paid what was due to whatever multinational company owned the Du Barry name in the 1980s?

[1] This is not entirely accurate: the brand was relaunched in 2002. But I guess that was the end of it.

American Horror Story S04E06 (Bullseye)

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When Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) announces she will move to Hollywood for a fresh start, her “freaks” give her a precious gift: a set of Westmores of Hollywood beauty products.

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The set is made of three golden bottles and a round box. The gold bottle on the left surely contains body powder, while the box contains face powder. The three bottles look like factices, while the box is emblazoned with the Westmore logo.

Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates) explains these products are “the best” and she’s right. The brand was founded in 1917 by George Westmore, an English wigmaker who established Hollywood’s first make-up department; he became the forefather of a dynasty of make-up artists who left an indelible mark in the history of cinema.