Avon for Christmas

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I loved getting Avon products as Christmas presents. This ad from 1971 shows a dazzling array of Avon items, any of which I would have loved to get for Christmas. I think I actually had the Snoopy in the bathtub. This ad, like many in the early Seventies, reflects the growing diversity of models appearing in ads.


Clairol Skin Machine

Clairol’s Skin Machine was a motorized facial exfoliating brush that gave your skin a deeper cleanse than soap and water alone. It was better than a washcloth too! In the commerical above (you’ll have to get through the Head Start hair vitamins ad first), you can see how versatile and convenient the Skin Machine really was. Use it while talking on the phone! Use it in your funky yet extremely tiny bathtub! Use it to take off makeup from the high school play! Heck, even the kids love it!

I had the Skin Machine when I was in 7th grade. I remember a commercial for the Skin Machine from around that time that featured a girl in a combat helmet, using the Skin Machine to fight the battle against acne. I think the Skin Machine came with a tiny bar of soap that was really drying. I used the Skin Machine with a bar of classic Neutrogena soap.

In the age of advanced skin care technology, Clairol’s Skin Machine may be obsolete, but the idea was innovative for its time. Without the Skin Machine, newfangled skin care gadgets such as the Clarisonic might not exist. It’s like the Sony Walkman paving the way for the iPod.

Lip Smackers

Bonne Bell sure had a goldmine on their hands in the Seventies with Lip Smackers. Every girl I knew in junior high had at least one. My friends and I had several. These were the days before everyone and their mother were marketing lip balms, so the only choices were Lip Smackers and ChapStik. So naturally Lip Smackers were a huge hit with young girls. In those days Lip Smackers used to come in giant sizes as well as the regular size of lip balm tubes. There’s even an episode of Rhoda where Rhoda and her family are trapped somewhere, I think it was a cabin, without food. Rhoda pulls out her giant Strawberry Lip Smacker and tells everyone not to worry.

For a while in the Nineties, Lip Smackers had lost the “je ne sais quois” that had made them so much fun. Most of the branded food or soda flavors, like Dr. Pepper and Good ‘n Plenty, disappeared. The flavors that remained were the usual fruit flavors, which were kind of boring. But today it looks as though Bonne Bell is trying to restore Lip Smackers to their former glory in a market glutted with lip balms. I noticed some of the soda flavors like Dr. Pepper and 7 Up are back, although I still miss Bubblegum and Birthday Cake. The larger size has even returned, at least with the Dr. Pepper flavor, although it doesn’t look as big as I remember it, which means either it’s smaller than it used to be, or I’m bigger than I used to be.