1937- Cutex Nail Polish Shades, Fashion, and Celebrity Marketing

I love a paper doll, and this ad for Cutex nail polish from April, 1937, combines paper dolls, fashion, and the fun 1930s fad for painting both moons on your nails and French tips 💅

It also gives a great look at what colors were popular (similar muted pinks to those that are popular at the current fashion moment).

Cutex called these “smoky” nail shades. But I prefer that descriptor for my tea rather than my nail polish.

The model was after a New York socialite called Mimi Richardson. In the 1930s advertisements often featured either stars or socialites. Previously, throughout history, almost all fashion advertisements featuring a “personality” were socialite based, and we start seeing a major shift in advertisements featuring movie stars sometime around the 1930s, as film lost it tawdry reputation and became more mainstream, though we do see advertisements from film stars all the way from the inception of the art form. There certainly were ads with stars in the 1910s and 1920s!

Interesting to think how advertising and personalities have progressed throughout history- from royalty and nobility, to socialites who came out of the wealth of the Industrial Revolution, to the movie stars, and now, with influencers on social media who can do ads from their living rooms to reach little film boxes in our pockets.

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