These 13 Old School Beauty Products Are Still The Best Around

Hair and beauty experts told us which vintage goods have stood the test of time.
<a href="" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Hair Mayonnaise" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="645042c3e4b039ec4e86759c" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Hair Mayonnaise</a>, a deep conditioning mask for weak and damaged hair, is just one vintage beauty product that still rivals modern formulations.
Hair Mayonnaise, a deep conditioning mask for weak and damaged hair, is just one vintage beauty product that still rivals modern formulations.

As a self-proclaimed nostalgia-seeker and lover of all things vintage, I’m fascinated by the fact that beauty products of yesteryear can not only still be purchased, but are still recommended by experts.

Everyone from makeup artists to dermatologists (and retro-obsessives like myself) agrees that these untouched formulations of the past continue to be favorites, despite many modern-day innovations, simply because they’re just that good.

In just one short scroll you can learn which old-school beauty items graduated from your grandmother’s bathroom cabinet and made it onto our list of classic staples. Find skin barrier-healing creams, foolproof makeup-removing balms and even a near-replica shade of lipstick worn by none other than Marilyn Monroe.

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A pancake-style powder foundation
Erin Parsons, a makeup artist and seasoned vintage collector, told HuffPost about "pancake foundation" initially launched in 1935 by Max Factor. Although those particular formulations have long since been discontinued, Parsons said that Lancôme's Dual Finish powder foundation can function similarly.

"[Pancake foundation] was a product that started like a dry compact powder. You would wet the sponge and twirl into the product which would create a cream foundation. Apply in quick strokes and it dries down to a velvet powder like finish all while providing medium to full coverage," Parsons wrote.

This multitasking product by Lancôme, a luxury beauty brand founded in 1935, comes in 30 shades and offers a buildable, long-lasting and matte coverage that can be used both wet and dry, as Parsons explained.
A "Marilyn Monroe" orange lipstick
Parsons recently conducted a near journalistic investigation to find out which exact shade of lipstick Marylin Monroe wore. Her diligent research concluded with Parsons winning, at auction, an actual tube of Max Factor lipstick formally used and owned by Monroe herself! Parsons determined this coral-orange shade by Revlon is a close modern-day substitute for Monroe's lipstick. It has a comfortable, creamy texture that's been fortified with vitamins and hydrators like avocado oil.
A classic eyelash curler
"The eyelash curler was actually patented in 1924 and hasn’t changed much since the original design. It’s still the best way to get a lift in the lashes," Parsons said.

This highly rated option by Revlon features a classic tried-and-true construction and is made from a titanium-coated stainless steel that will last you ages. The cushioned latex lash pads prevent pinching and are also easy to replace.
A versatile styling and smoothing brush
Our pick: Although the Denman hair brush was created in 1938, it wasn't until the '50s that it really caught on as a must-have hair tool, essential for creating those gorgeous Rita Hayworth-style coifs and iconic pin-curled tresses. The brush face features seven rows of round-ended nylon pins that won't drag or catch hair and can be used wet or dry for detangling, blow-drying, styling, defining curls and smoothing the hair. It works for all hair types, especially naturally tight curls, is easy to clean, and has been a beloved item in my own vanity drawer for over a decade.
A cloud-like loose powder
Our pick: This silky soft Airspun loose powder by Coty, a product that hails all the way back from 1935, is the only facial powder I will ever use. The talc-free formula, which can be purchased in five shades including translucent, never feels cakey on my skin nor does it settle into fine lines. Instead, it helps to smooth texture, absorb excess oil and set my makeup — all without leaving an overly matte finish or a weird cast like other setting powders I've tried. It's also insanely affordable and lasts forever.
A conditioning shine gel
Licensed hair stylist Shaniqua Garcia recommended this conditioning shine gel by SoftSheen-Carson, a Chicago-founded beauty brand that's been around for over 100 years.

"This shine gel is great for slicking back ponytails or achieving clean parts for knotless braids," Garcia told HuffPost. "It provides a high gloss finish and reduces flyways. I recommend this product for those looking for a flexible hold without a stiff hard feeling."
The original Dove beauty bar
According to Miami-based board certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, the Dove beauty bar soap is "truly cold cream in a bar." She said that this timeless formulation is a good facial cleansing option that's great for dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin because it effectively hydrates while it cleanses. It contains the brand's signature one-quarter moisturizing cream, is pH-balanced for skin and won't strip away all those essential natural oils needed for a healthy complexion.
A multi-tasking face cream and makeup primer
This multi-purpose French pharmacy staple, which dates back to the 1950s, has earned itself quite a reputation here at HuffPost. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré was brought to our attention by Los Angeles-based makeup artist Susan Zeytuntsyan, who favors this emollient moisturizer for not just hydrating the skin, but for offering the perfect base for foundation and makeup. As it turns out, the timeless and virtually unchanged formula, which includes calming aloe vera, protective beeswax, nourishing soy proteins and skin-softening shea butter, has been a longtime secret weapon among makeup artists.
A softening vitamin E concentrated cream
Ciraldo said that Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula cream, marketed as a dry skin panacea, is "actually one of the original and very effective barrier creams." A unique solid and concentrated cream formula, this skin-softening product includes vitamin E, shea butter and a blend of luscious oils that heal and nourish skin.
A luminous version of a classic sunscreen
"While there might be newer SPFs out there, this brand is the one that most of us grew up with and it's a tried and true formula," said board-certified and Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Geeta Yadav. According to her, Coppertone sunscreens, which date back to 1944, have what it takes to help prevent skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.

"If you're not into the classic formula, Coppertone is always producing new versions including this fun, luminous iteration," she said of the brand's Glow Shimmer lotion that leaves a hint of golden shine and has SPF 50 sun protection.
Vaseline healing petroleum jelly
Yadav said that Vaseline has come a long way since its old-fangled origins that date back to 1870. According to her, this multi-purpose jelly can do everything from healing scrapes to alleviating diaper rash to taming unruly hair.

"Most recently it has gotten its acclaim for its occlusive properties via the skin slugging trend," she said. "I personally use it this way, as a top coat over my existing skin care products, in order to help seal in all the goodness." Yadav explained that this popular skin care method helps to prevent transepidermal water loss and can make the active ingredients used in your regimen more effective.
A moisturizing makeup removing balm
Dr. Loretta Pratt is a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC in New York. She previously told HuffPost that the Albolene moisturizing cleanser has been a favorite among her patients that have more mature or dry skin. This classic fragrance-free hydrating balm contains ingredients like ceresin and beta-carotene, which can help to condition the skin, while removing all impurities including stubborn sunscreens and foundation.
A deep conditioning mask
For hair that is dry, damaged or over-processed, Garcia recommends Hair Mayonnaise, a deep conditioning treatment that gets its name because of the addition of egg protein and olive oil in its formula.

"This mask helps to revive your tresses and give a bounce-back to curls while also strengthening strands and reducing breakage," she said.

Before You Go

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