Prell Shampoo: Fabulous in the 1950s, Fabulous Now!

FINNFEMME: Prell Shampoo ad vintage 1955Prell shampoo, with its distinctive green color, has been around since 1947 and is still around today.  This great ad from 1955 touts the fact that ‘extra rich’ liquid Prell creates “Radiantly Alive Hair”. It says that some shampoos are too thin, watery, messy and hard-to-use. Some shampoos are too heavy, with cloudy ingredients that leaves hair with a dulling film. Whereas Prell has a smooth, “just right” consistency that won’t run, and it never leaves a dulling film.

What’s funny is that I just started using Prell again, after not using it since the 1970s. I saw the Prell “Classic Clean” 13.5 oz. bottle on the shelf at my local Walmart for about $3.00 (it’s still green), and decided to give it a go. I’ve been feeling that all the modern ‘color protection’ shampoos that I’ve been using are not really getting my hair clean. In fact most seem to not rinse off well, and leave a filmy coating that builds up on my hair and scalp.

Prell is water-based and alcohol-free, and is now touted as a ‘Thick, Rich Formula For Clean, Healthy Hair”. What I’ve found is it leaves my hair and scalp incredibly clean without feeling stripped dry. My hair seems a lot thicker and fluffier, not being weighed down by all those newfangled silicone-formula shampoos that I hate. I color my hair, and it doesn’t seem to affect the color except to brighten it. I wash my hair two times a week, and I find that Prell keeps it cleaner longer between washings. Probably because it is getting my hair clean in the first place.

Prell is still made in the USA; which is good since it is a classic American product. Some things, when they are excellent to begin with, never change. And I am glad for that!




Pretty in Woodbury Dream Stuff, 1955

FINNFEMME: Pretty in Woodbury Dream Stuff, Vintage 1955Woodbury Dream Stuff: When you’ve just got to be beautiful in nothing flat…

Such a pretty ad from the August 1955 issue of Woman’s Home Companion! I love the gorgeous model in flowers and pastels – so feminine.

Dream Stuff was a sheer, clinging foundation-and-powder in compact form. It was intended for the busy modern woman who must look lovely in nothing flat. Slide the velvety consistency on the puff from nose to cheekbone. It leaves a clear path of beauty! The stunning new ivory-and-gold mirrored compact cost $1.00. The blue-and-gold box cost 49 cents.

I rarely see women use compacts anymore, but they were a really useful and handy beauty tool.


Vintage 1955 Wonder-Power Pink Dreft Washes Everything!

Finnfemme: Vintage 50s Wonder-Power Pink Dreft Washes Everything!Could anything be more vintage 1955 than this swell dishwashing detergent? Presenting the amazing Wonder-Power Pink Dreft! What’s cool is that it came in granular form, which apparently made water feel like a lotion, while the wonder-soft suds dissolved grease the fastest way possible. Plus it is pink. PINK, people! (I love pink, if you haven’t noticed).

But what gets my laundress heart racing is that you could use pink Dreft to wash your laundry too. Be still my heart! It washed everything from diapers to precious underthings, from fine woolens to new miracle fabrics. Plus your dishes. And had the Good Housekeeping seal to boot.  If I could score some of this fine stuff, I’d be a most happy camper.


Vintage 1955 Brides Love Camay Beauty Soap!

Finnfemme: Camay Beauty Soap for Brides, Vintage 1955It’s astonishing to me how many vintage beauty ads are for plain old bar soap. What’s even more amazing is the beauty claims it makes. Who knew that washing your face with soap and water was such a beauty secret? Apparently Camay’s tender touch will caress your skin to a new loveliness.

This is such a pretty 1955 ad for Camay Beauty Soap ‘The Soap of Beautiful Women’. The gorgeous bride, Mrs. Charles J. Gossner, claims that “there is nothing like it. Cold cream Camay is the perfect beauty soap as far as I’m concerned. It’s so mild and gentle on my skin. And so delightfully fragrant!” In any event, Mrs. Gossner is just lovely, with a stunning bridal veil and bouquet.

With all the complicated multi-step skin care routines that are in vogue now, it’s rather refreshing to see such a simple wash-your-face method. As for me, I’m off to wash my face…with soap. 🙂


Loretta Young for Max Factor Pan-Cake Make-up, 1946

Finnfemme: Loretta Young for Max Factor Pan-Cake Makeup, 1946This is an interesting tie-in ad from 1946 that has actress Loretta Young promoting both a product (Max Factor Pan-Cake makeup), and her movie (“The Stranger”). It makes sense to have a beautiful Hollywood actress promoting Pan-Cake makeup, as it was initially developed to be used in Technicolor movies. The old-style greasepaint makeup used in black and white would reflect colors from the surrounding scenery and reflect on the actor’s faces. Many screen stars knew of this issue and refused to appear in Technicolor films. Thus, the “pancake” matte style makeup was created by Max Factor Hollywood to solve the problem. Pan-Cake makeup was first used commercially in the 1937 Technicolor Process 4 film “Vogues of 1938”. The new makeup was very successful and was soon embraced by the Hollywood studios.

“Look Beautiful Always…today and tomorrow” suggests that Pan-Cake makeup will give you a glowing complexion and hide imperfections today, while safeguarding the skin against sun and wind which bring aging signs tomorrow. Which, considering all the anti-aging/sunscreen promotion now, was a little ahead of its time then.


Cutex ‘Play Red’ Nail Polish, Summer of 1946

Finnfemme: Cutex "Play Red" Nail Polish - Summer 1946This is such a beautiful, modern-looking ad from the August 1946 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. Cutex “Play Red” Nail polish – the newest color under the sun. Brilliant, sun-sparkle color that glows in daylight – moonlight too… spice for the browned-butter shade of your skin.

I love the intensity of colors used in the artwork. The elegant legs and hands reaching out from under a beach umbrella show off the polish so prettily. Nice touch with the long red ribbon too. The beach scene shows three lovely bathing beauties doing ballet poses, while a dog looks on. Just a gorgeous way to sell nail polish!