Living in the past

In my head I am an anachronism. Sure I love my technology, rights over my body and ability to hold the job I have. Beauty and fashion wise, however, I’ve always felt like I’m out of step. Which I suspect many of us feel.

Part of the way teenage me lived out this fantasy was through Ponds Cold Cream and glamorous old advertisements.

pondsfacecream
Image from Duke University archive

In my first home away from home, shared with a girl from my college course, I festooned the bathroom and my bedroom in photocopies of old adverts. Relatively recently to moving in there I had discovered the joy of a craft product that transferred images on to fabric. My room was therefore festooned in Audrey Hepburn cushions. And feathers. And fairy lights. Had I ever lured a male of the species in there he’d probably have instantly run out, such was the high level of retro girliness.

My fondness for Ponds followed my fetishisation of golden Hollywood. After all if all those genuinely glamorous ladies used it and looked like that – well lead me to the jar. Why it never struck me that they were just saying these things because they were paid to, I will never know.

elizabetharden
Image from Duke University archive

For those who’ve never used Ponds Cold Cream it is indeed cold. They may have paid a fortune in endorsements but the cold part is very true. It is a cream cleanser and for years was the third choice against water or soap and water.

To my grandmother (born in the 1920s) using Ponds was tantamount to saying “I believe I am better than you and my skin needs treating better”. Skincare shaming is evidently nothing new. My grandmother’s sister used Ponds, and “too much rouge”. Which tells you all you need to know about that sibling relationship.

Young me didn’t get along with Cold Cream very well. My foray into retro skincare lasted about a year, and it was only that long because Cold Cream never seems to go off. I suspect now I’m a dedicated twice a day two step cleaning kind of girl it might work out a bit better. Cold Cream is not for the exceptionally lazy.

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