The classic component of vintage beauty is, without a doubt, the perfect complexion.  Beauty products might fade from popularity, but what’s interesting is that they almost always come back.  Face powder, known to our grandmas as cipria, is not exempt from this principle and right now it’s returning to popularity, thanks to the irresistible magic charm of just a thin veil of the product.


The design on a face powder tin


Selection of powder containers


It might be of Chinese origin, but its name comes from Cyprus, the island in Mediterraneas Sea sacred to Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, since it was mostly used to make women look well-groomed, therefore more beautiful. When it first arrived in Italy it was used as hair dye and it became even more popular with the increasing use of wigs for both men and women. Later, in the mid 19th century, as the production of powder containers expanded, the biggest players in the industry hired artists and designers to make the boxes more attractive and unique.


Decorated box


I find it interesting that simply by looking at the cover of the boxes, the material they’re made from and the style of the art, you can tell what  period they belong to.  They are all very cute and feminine, easy to store and nice to see on top of your dresser. I still remember the scent on my grandma’s cheek after she put on her make up, it was such an unmistakable scent that everytime I think about it, it brings me back to that time when I wished I could be a woman and wear face powder.


The "velvety" Hollywood finish of Paglieri face powder. Face powder was increasingly used by the film industry during the 1920s and '30s. I'm sure everyone remembers the beautiful faces of famous divas.


Admired by men, envied by women. An ad celebrating the magic of face powder