These Photos of Vintage Beauty Products Are Absolutely Fascinating
With technology changing at an ever-increasing rate, it's easy to forget how far we've come in such a short period of time. According to a theory called Martec's Law, technology changes at a rapid rate, which accelerates exponentially each year. And with each change, our expectations increase. In other words, as better products come out, we get used to them quickly and then demand more. So rarely do we stop to appreciate what we already have.
Beauty inventions are no exception. As beauty reporters, we're on a perpetual hunt for the next genius skincare procedure or hair tool. But today we thought we'd do something a little different and take a look back at the beauty inventions of decades past.
What we ended up finding was utterly spellbinding… and a little bit freaky. According to old photographs, advertisements, and newspaper clippings, some of the beauty gadgets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were positively medieval. It really is impressive how far we've come in less than 100 years.
Curious? Keep scrolling to see 10 of the most fascinating (and often nightmare-inducing) beauty tools throughout history!
The hair dryer was first invented by a French stylist in 1890, and even 30 years later, they looked like something from the dark ages. Handheld dryers also existed for at-home use, but at the time, they were clunky and dangerous. Hair dryer technology didn't really get good until the 1950s, when wattage improved (and safety regulations weren't set in place until the 1970s).
According to an archived newspaper, this ice mask was used by Hollywood actresses to "refresh the face between takes without spoiling the makeup."
Also known as the beauty calibrator, this nightmare-inducing device was created by Max Factor in the early 1930s. Its purpose? To take detailed measurements of a woman's face in order to identify her "flaws." With this information, she would be able to know exactly where and to apply corrective makeup. The product was designed primarily for Hollywood actors, but needless to say, it never caught on.
Some of our modern beauty devices are no less wacky. Shop a few of them below!
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Do you think you would have tried any of these vintage beauty tools? Sound off in the comments below!