Online resale marketplaces like Ebay and Etsy are the best places to find vintage hair and makeup tools. I have found some lovely items in antique stores as well. The hunt is always the fun part.
I keep hoping Etsy will create a system, like Ebay, that would email me when something comes up for sale that I am searching for, but alas, only Ebay provides this service. ANd I have gotten some great gems of vintage hair magazines and such that way.
- Vintage Hood Hair dryer & Nail dryer combo
- Early 20th century Theatrical Makeup Tin
- 1960s Mod-Glow Vanity Mirror and Case
- Celluloid Vanity Set from the 1920s
Vintage Hood Hair dryer & Nail dryer combo
There are many reasons this is so special. For one it dries your nails and your hair, but also is a great color combo. Note the red base with gold speckles, very unique, but very of the time. I also adore the black, red and gold polka dots and beautiful alligator black case with red lining. This is a swanky looking dryer.
Words of Caution: These old style hairdryers can sometimes have asbestos in them. For a safer soft bonnet hairdryer experience, you can get these new ones that attach to your handheld dryer. This soft-bonnet is my favorite kind. It has a chin strap and drawstring both which are ideal for keeping the hood in place. Or you can try one of these soft-bonnet hairdryers that are built like the vintage version.
Early 20th century Theatrical Makeup Tin
The ebay description inaccurately claimed the tin is from 1902, which is impossible. One of the pictures mentions the 1906 FDA on the label, but the style of the tin definitely puts it right in the first decade. I’ll assume the makeup company started in 1902.
The canister educationally names the colors that this particular makeup came in for any actor’s needs for any part s/he played. This was an unfortunate time in the United States when the cast of most plays would have been all white. Mixing races on one stage was mostly frowned on. So the makeup colors are formulated here to make a white person look like all of the possible different characters or races.
White, Light Pink, Pink, Dark Pink, Darker Pink, Flesh, Brunette, Dark Brunette, Cream, Juvenile Flesh (That sounds like veal.), Healthy Old Age, Sunburn, Dark Sunburn, Sallow Old Age (probably green or blue color cast), Olive, Othello, Chinese, Japanese (I’d love to see what they considered the difference between Chinese and Japanese skin color.), and Indian
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1960s Mod-Glow Vanity Mirror and Case
The Mod-Glow 1960s mirror came in a variety of colors. There are still plenty out there you can find for sale on resale websites like Etsy. I love the color orange, but I think I might like the green version more! Word of caution though: The lights of the mirror could bounce some of the color back onto your face while you are doing your makeup, so check the color in a neutral light source as well.
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Celluloid Vanity Set from the 1920s
Celluloid vanity sets like this green one were quite common. Celluloid is a type of plastic and could be molded into shapes that made the material ideal for hairbrush bases, manicure tool handles, mirror encasements and much more.
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