I Go Dotty Over A Vintage Mid-Century Modern Brass Metal Lipstick Tube & Case

Who wouldn’t go dotty over this fabulous Mid-Century modern lipstick tube with polka-dots!

vintage metal brass lipstick case tube vanity collectible

The golden dots in the ivory enamel or paint expose the gold-tone metal beneath it. (Both the vintage lipstick tube and case are all metal, likely brass.) Remnants of the old lipstick remain inside — but you know these old tubes can be refilled, right?

vintage polkadot lipstick tube case

But what’s really driving me dotty is not knowing who made this beauty as there’s no label or marking for brand or maker.

mid-century modern polkadot lipstick tube case (1)

The fluted bottom is like many of the vintage and retro Yardley lipstick cases, but the top on this case is much rounder and more domed than the on those in the London Look or Slicker collections…

vintage yardley mod slickers metal lipstick tube

Perhaps this is an early design from the 1950s or early 1960s by Yardley?

Britemode also made a dotty lipstick case (and matching compact), but the Britemode’s base is not fluted nor is the top as tall or rounded.

vintage Britemode metal lipstick compact set

And older Britemode lipstick case has a fluted tube bottom; but not a domed top. Plus, it appears the Britemode lipstick tubes are stamped and embossed on the bottom.

vintage Britemode cosmetic set lipstick case

stamped bottom of vintage Britemode metal lippy

And so I remain stumped.

If you can identify the maker, let me know!

This vintage polkadot metal lipstick tube and case measures approximately 2 3/4 inches tall, from bottom of fluted base to round dome top. And it is 3/4 of an inch in diameter on bottom (widest part).

vintage vanity metail brass lipstick case

A Trio Of Vanity Collectibles

Some lovely vanity collectibles from stainedglasssonia:

A vintage Chinese hand mirror with a hand-painted geisha on the porcelain back, an intricately embossed silver metal settings and celadon jade handle. In original box.

Vintage Chinese Celadon Jade Hand Painted Porcelain Petite Vanity Mirror Geisha

A hand-painted Victorian powder box with original powder puff.

Hand Painted Victorian Swansdown Powder Puff Box And Original Puff

An Art Deco handbag made glass beads featuring a fabulous peacock.

Art Deco Beaded peacock purse flapper handbag glass Beads

Vanity: Thy Name Is Woman

One of the things I love most about this vintage photo of a woman (obviously showing off her stockings in an erotic “French postcard” way) is the old boudoir doll on the vanity. You don’t see a lot of photos of boudoir dolls!

Vintage Beauty & Cosmetic Tips Explain Vanity Collectible Conditions

More things for collectors to learn from that 1940’s Hint Hunt booklet — this time the tips could explain some condition issues you find with vintage vanity collectibles.  These vintage beauty and cosmetic tips explain why you might just spot pinholes in powder boxes and find beads in perfume bottles.

For me, such pin pricks and beads are the tangible evidence of the intimacy of these old items… Clues to the connections between decades, even centuries, of women who desire both beauty and practicality.

Vintage “Match Lips”

This is so ephemeral that I can barely stand it! It’s a paper matchbook…

With matchheads of “Stay-Tru” Almay lipstick!

I’m not sure why you’d want to sell beauty on the idea of putting a match to your lips, or how these survived (mostly intact; one ‘strike’ is missing), but I love it!

Collecting Vintage Cosmetics: See What’s Taken A Powder In Vintage Makeup Name-Calling

I have a modest collection of vintage vanity items; my collection and I have even been featured in Collectors News magazine. Included in my collection are various vintage powder tins, compacts, and refills.

Once you get past the pretty packaging (which I’ll admit might take some time!), you notice the names of shades of old powders… And this can spawn a collection of its own: collecting vintage powders by name of the color (or shade) of the powder.

In fact, there’s quite a bit to learn in the dusty trail of vintage face powder names.

One of the most common vintage powder shades is Rachel; nearly every maker of face powders had a shade called Rachel, making it an easy entre into collecting by shade. Even if you don’t collect vintage cosmetic items or didn’t notice how common the shade was, you may find the history of this color fascinating!

Along with the connotative associations between makeup and the stage (in which actresses were equated with prostitutes — as was any woman who dared to daintily apply color), there is tangible evidence of stage makeup for collectors. Beauty products and makeup kits were created and marketed for theatrical (and, later, film) production quality makeup artistry. An example is my vintage Max Factor Stage Make-up Kit. In this professional student makeup kit, the individual colors and shades are known by numbers, presumably for a more ‘industry standard’ aesthetic.

But not all manufacturers sold their products this way. In fact, some companies sought to market their products to the stage — and beyond. For example, this Stein’s Face Powder tin, circa 1920s, has the following statement printed on it: “For the Stage — For the Boudoir.”

While clearly trying to appeal to legitimate actresses, it is unclear if “boudoir” was intended for the average potential female consumer of the time… It would seem more likely that a powder tin for general consumption would boast of ‘invisibility’ or ‘undetectability’ or, at the very least, be more discrete and ladylike, mentioning it was for her vanity, dressing table or toilet, as opposed to the more bawdy her boudoir. Even in the roaring 20’s.

The 20 colors , listed below clearly lend themselves more to the staging of characters rather than romantic notions of beauty.

1 – White
2- Light Pink
2 1/2 Pink
3 – Dark Pink
3 1/2 Darker Pink
4 – Flesh
5 – Brunette
6 – Dark Brunette
7 – Cream
8 – Juvenile Flesh
9 – Healthy Old Age
10 – Sunburn
11 – Sallow Old Age
12 – Olive
13 – Othello
14 – Chinese
14 1/2 – Japanese
15 – Indian
16 – Moving Picture
17 – Lavender

I wasn’t surprised to see the rather racist ethnic shades (as limited in ethnicities as in shade options within ethnicity labels; and I’ve seen worse), but I was surprised to see two shades for brunettes while they passed on any specific shades for blondes or redheads (which was quite common for many years). And do I even need to mention how I’d love to see the color that is “Othello?”

With colors like these, it is difficult to see the cross-appeal to general female kind — unless, of course, the woman in question was err, performing on a much smaller stage. *wink*

Whatever the intended target market of the M. Stein Cosmetic Company (and I do continue to research it), collecting all these vintage powder colors would certainly be fun — and illuminating in ways the old cosmetic company never imagined.