Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let Us Be Tan

I adore these advertisements that managed to fit at least one word of slang into every paragraph.
Fashion dictates that sports shall rule the day...and milady must needs get her a snappy coat of tan. But not--oh, heavens not--by exposing her delicate skin to the cruel rays of a burning sun!

Tangee Tan, the fascinating new shade of Tangee Face Powder, is what everyone (that is, everyone who knows what's what) is using to acquire that charming summer complexion.

No bother. A mere pat of the puff transforms you into the bewitchingest water sprite who ever flounced a fin at Newport!
Incidentally, look at that picture. It's from 1929, but that, my friends, is a gorgeous '30s hairstyle. It's fascinating to see styles, slang, and even typefaces mutate from 1925 to 1929!

PS: 1929 seems to have been the year of the fake tan and the fake hosiery, always involving either a powder or an oil. It seems that bare legs were suddenly fashionable because they were risque (and cheap), but women still had to make them look not-bare.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the ad characterizes the sun as cruel and burning so long ago (before the skin cancer epidemic and the knowledge about the effect of UV on the skin).

Assuming that the chemicals in Tangee were not toxic, I suppose it was safer than tanning. But I thought that a peaches 'n' cream complexion was a part of the '20s?

Mantelli said...

If Tangee's powder was anything like its lipstick, it was probably regular powder, just on the orangish side.

I remember the lipstick well. It was quite definitely a red with strong tangerine orange overtones. Since I had red-to-auburn hair when I was a teen (it started naturally fading to blonde when the white began to show in my mid 40s), it looked good on me. It was also OK on some brunettes. It looked like hell on a lot of other women, though.

I don't think they make it any more.

Adam Thornton said...

When they said "cruel and burning," they were only worried about sunburns. Oh so naive! :)

And peaches & cream was certainly popular through most of the '20s, but from what I can see in the magazines, the tanning craze started around 1928, and in 1929 it's really going strong. Tanning is referenced in the fiction, the advertising, the news, everywhere.

Adam Thornton said...

Mantelli, believe it or not, it IS still made...but it's only available from a little Vermont store! They say it's the same stuff:

And just like the original, it apparently changes its colour "to suit your complexion."