In Mad Men, we’ve recently seen Peggy Olson going after the Heinz Ketchup business. Women in advertising were often in charge of accounts catering to women – dishwashing liquid, hosiery, and cosmetics.
Looking through the advertising in issues of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Mademoiselle from 1968, it’s fun to imagine who these magazines imagined their readers to be. Vogue, with its mix of jewelry, fashion, and travel ads obviously caters to the wealthy society set (who are also featured in its editorial spreads). Mademoiselle is fully a college magazine, with its Breck Girls and slumber party facials. And Cosmopolitan, with as many liquor ads as those for cosmetics and hosiery, lives up to its party reputation.
1968 was fully into the swinging sixties (even Vogue and Mademoiselle ran articles about drug use and counterculture), and the Pop Art sensibility in some of these ads contrasts with the the innocence in others. Two of these ads feature the same product – one with wild 60’s Pop zing, and another with collegiate slumber-party innocence. But they’re all pretty fun – some of the looks could pass muster with the current beauty police, even if the copy wouldn’t.
Here’s a gallery of several cosmetics ads from 1968:
So what’s your 1968 makeup personality? If I were time-travelled back to 1968, I think I’d like to be a Cosmo girl, Pop Art, lashes and all.