Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Vintage vanities

Calling all 'mistresses of the universe' on this auspicious bonfire day. We don't have a female US president yet, but things ain't that bad. In late 18th century England, a law was passed by Parliament declaring that any woman who adorned herself with makeup was dabbling in witchcraft and liable to punishment. In fact, it wasn't until the 1920s that wearing makeup became more acceptable, with the stars of the silver screen setting fashion trends that rapidly spread around the world. How far we've come since then ...

It's kinda weird that nowadays the female population seems to be polarised between those who seem to have no regard whatsover for their appearance and others who obsess about the way they look to the point of undergoing painful and dangerous surgery. Back in the old days, women made do with their unique and natural gifts - as beautified by a dollop of foundation, a dusting of powder, lashings of mascara and a generous application of lipstick.

During the Second World War production at fashion and cosmetics houses was restricted, or even stopped - as in occuplied France. This didn't prevent members of the armed forces buying limited supplies of cosmetic items, such as powder compacts, as tokens of love for their sweethearts.

We've got some really pretty vintage powder compacts at ShopCurious. They make rather romantic and unusual Christmas gifts - and they look so stylish when you take them out of your handbag to check that everything is in place (no, you don't need a designer nose!)

We've even got a rare Victorian cut crystal powder bowl, which would also make a lovely gift. It will look perfect on your dressing table and it's useful for storage too - use it to keep cotton wool balls, perhaps a sewing kit - or just as a decorative objet d'art.

Will you?

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