The Top Hollywood Beauty Gifts of Christmas 1931

1930s beauty report –


by Anne Van Alstyne for

It was all perfumes and powders this festive season. We scurried about amongst the cosmetic counters – as usual at the very last minute. According to our sources, the popular names this year included Coty,  Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden, Tangee lipsticks, Richard Hudnut,DuBarry, Houbigant among others. There was also Yardley of London and one of the younger brands – Seventeen !


It is not uncommon also to see a shopper slip away from the beauty section of your nearest department store – armed with a choice of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Despite their on going rivalry – it does seem odd that they go so well together. atleast as gifts. A rouge or powder compact from Arden slipped in with a perfume set from Rubinstein.


The ‘new’ popular perfume is “Seventeen”, its rare fragrance capturing the very spirit of modern youth. Other common gifts I personally observed being purchased included brilliantine in a lovely green jar, Seventeen dusting powder and Seventeen lipsticks by the younger women.


Helena Rubinstein’s Christmas vanities was a huge seller. Among them – the Magic Make-up Vanity “1931.” In its gold case splashed with red and black it is the epitome of chic this year, also of convenience, presenting a complete make-up box with large loose powder compartment, creme rouge for cheeks and lips, creme eye-shadow, and eye crayon in a tiny gold case. Ideal for the evening bag or weekend visit.


Coty’s, aside from their incomparable perfumes, are showing attractive gift novelties. One of the most practical is the perfumed manicure set suitable for the dressing table. A clever feature is a removable bakelite tray.


Everyone knows about Richard Hudnut’s splendid DuBarry beauty creations. You’ll find them on all the cosmetic counters. For milady’s evening bag what more enchanting than the Deauville Chatelaine, a round silver case with Dubarry design in black and red, containing loose powder, rouge and mirror?


With the winter hats in full swing, natural eye make-up is important. The smart black and silver mascara Cosmetique Box by Elizabeth Arden contains cosmetics in black, brown and dark brown.


Of course – Max Factor’s Hollywood makeup, with their magic color harmony was also a big seller in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The Max Factor Make-up box – seen here proudly displayed by Joan Crawford – is in all in one kit for achieving Hollywood glamour, complete with color harmony charts.

Noted also were the crowds of girls hovering near the colorful Tangee lipstick ranges. Tangee lipsticks always male charming cost effective gifts – usually from one woman to another.

That’s all !

Transcription©Glamourdaze 2014
Originally published in Screenland 1931.
With thanks to the Media History Project.

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