One of the biggest advantages to blogging about my interest in vintage beauty products over the past several years has been having sellers contact me about rare items for sale. For example, on my birthday four years ago I received an email from a man in upstate New York; he had found me via my Vintage Powder Room page and thought I might be interested in a manufacturer’s catalog of face powder, rouge, and lipstick boxes. He described the 96-page catalog as c. 1922 with a brown paper cover and soft spine. He told me that the book was in excellent condition and that it contained approximately 300 images, with every other page printed in color and many with gold or metallic ink. He had just acquired the catalog that day and while researching it he came across my blog. He sent me a picture of the cover of the book and while it didn’t look like much, the pictures he attached of some of the inside illustrations let me breathless. I immediately offered to buy the catalog; it was my birthday present to myself.


E.N. Rowell Co., Inc. manufactured and designed some of the most exquisite cosmetics packaging of the 1920s. This slim volume was meant for cosmetics company representatives who were shopping around for the perfect containers for their products. Rowell’s pitch highlighted the quality of the company’s boxes and the excellence of their designs.

Since I purchased it, the catalog has become an invaluable reference tool. While I was excited to discover that I own many of the boxes depicted in its pages (including the Nylotis face powder box), it also reminds me that there are hundreds more face powder boxes I have yet to find. My quest continues.



I’m thrilled to announce that as of August 29, 2013 Vintage Powder Room has joined Los Angeles Magazine’s style blog, THE CLUTCH!

Please look for VPR there, and new posts coming to this page soon too.




It’s been too long since we last visited Anne Rodman’s 1939 beauty advice book, “Lady, Be Lovely”.  I decided to turn the page today and see what my favorite beauty authority would have in store.  I was delighted to find information on how to have beautiful bosoms, back, and shoulders.  


Anne makes a case for plastic surgery for a woman’s breasts but only if, as she states, it is absolutely necessary.  Her preference is for an uplifting brassiere. Things don’t appear to have changed much since the publication of “Lady, Be Lovely” — women are still pursuing pefect breasts. I believe that Anne would approve of Dita Von Teese’s choice of underpinnings and, like the rest of us, be envious of her incredible form. 

Dita Von Teese in a Wonderbra


 And what about the “…youthful contour, after the manner of the Balinese maidens” Anne mentioned? Below are “Two Balinese Maidens” by Theo Meier, and I’d say that “youthful contour” is an understatement. 

Two Balinese Maidens by Theo Meier

Two Balinese Maidens


In the 1930s a beautiful back was crucial if a woman wanted to follow the trend in evening gowns.  Bette Davis looked stunning in her frock.  She had the back and shoulds to make the most of it.

Bette Davis


According to Ms. Rodman, a woman could achieve a beautiful back by stretching backward over a hassock. 


Now, according to a woman’s magazine, we can have a ball! 


I’ll see you at the gym!

According to Anne Rodman, no matter what your figure you MUST exercise. I couldn’t agree more. In fact tomorrow morning I’ll be at the gym for a spinning class, followed by Pilates.

If I’m not symmetrical, it’s not for lack of trying.

Health spas and liquid diets aren’t new phenomenons, so it isn’t surprising that Anne Rodman would spend a few paragraphs on them.

I think a few days at a Milk Farm are exactly what I need.

Most of the celebrities who have appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” have said that they’ve lost weight. Anne Rodman, author of “Lady, Be Lovely”, knew as much in 1939.

Here’s what she had to say about dancing your way to beauty.

So, ladies, get up off of the sofa and shake it!

When I’m not writing about women, I’m reading about them; so, I was delighted when I received the latest catalog from ReadInk entitled: “Skirts, in Jackets”.

I’ve been poring over it for days now and there is so much to see (and desire). There are books from different eras covering topics ranging from flappers to girl gangs in the 1950s. As a woman who has purchased books strictly for their dust jackets, I’m having a difficult time deciding which of the glorious tomes I want to have grace my nightstand.

Oh, and the titles are simply amazing — “Ladies of the Evening”, “Women in the Wind”, “Yesterday’s Sin”. 


You may order a hard copy of the catalog and/or view it online. Don’t wait — these are some restless dames!





Okay, ladies, drop the bon-bons and step away from the extra helping of pie. I know, it’s holiday time and everyone seems to ignore their diets in favor of partying; but I don’t think that Anne Rodman, author of “Lady, Be Lovely, would approve.

Instead of packing on those extra 5-10 pounds this season, focus on your ideal figure and you will begin the new year svelte and gorgeous!

Here are a few tips for attaining, and maintaining, your ideal figure.


See, your mother was right — Stand Up Straight!


So, to sum up, don’t eat between meals, and beware those frequent bridge luncheons and cocktail hours! As Anne says, “…you cannot eat as a lumberjack, and still keep slim!”