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Lipstick Day

“Are you made for Fire & Ice?"

~Revlon, 1952

Are you ready, ladies? Take this retro early 1950s quiz and find out if one of the most iconic lipstick shades is for you! This is mid-century modern marketing at its best!

Have you ever danced with your shoes off?
Did you ever wish on a new moon?
Do you blush when you find yourself flirting?
When a recipe calls for one dash of bitters, do you think it’s better with two?
Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist?
Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you?
Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet?
Do sables excite you, even on other women?
Do you love to look up at a man?
Do you face crowded parties with panic – only to wind up having a wonderful time?
Does gypsy music make you sad?
Do you think any man really understands you?
Would you streak your hair with platinum, without consulting your husband?
If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars?
Do you close your eyes when you’re kissed?

Can you honestly answer “yes” to at least eight of these questions? Then you’re made of “Fire and Ice”! And Revlon’s lush and passionate scarlet was made just for you – a daring projection of your own hidden personality!

Editor's note: "Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist?" Uh ... what???

Well, there it is! How did you score? 💄 👄

One of the most remembered and successful  lipstick advertising campaigns was Revlon’s 1952 ad for the Fire & Ice Collection, featuring a deep cool red.

 

Richard Avedon photographed model-of-the-moment Dorian Leigh in a sparkling silver gown framed by an amorphous tuft of red fabric (a copy of a Balenciaga cape), her hands drawing attention to her blood-colored manicure and lipstick.

 

The image was part of innovative campaign that unusually for the time, featured no man, no clear romance, and focussed solely on the woman and her lipstick, suggesting that the woman applied the lipstick for her own pleasure and gratification.  

 

The campaign used tagline  — “Are you made for Fire & Ice?” — and had a companion questionnaire that asked the following questions:  


*****

 

Have you ever danced with your shoes off?

Did you ever wish on a new moon? 

Do you blush when you find yourself flirting? 

When a recipe calls for one dash of bitters, do you think it’s better with two? 

Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist? 

Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you? 

Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet? 

Do sables excite you, even on other women? 

Do you love to look up at a man? 

Do you face crowded parties with panic – only to wind up having a wonderful time? 

Does gypsy music make you sad? 

Do you think any man really understands you? 

Would you streak your hair with platinum, without consulting your husband? 

If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars? 

Do you close your eyes when you’re kissed? 

 

Can you honestly answer “yes” to at least eight of these questions?

 

Then you’re made of “Fire and Ice”! And Revlon’s lush and passionate scarlet was made just for you – a daring projection of your own hidden personality!


*****


The ad was hailed as brilliant, and the color became Revlon's top shade (which still sells respectably today after being reintroduced in 2010).  


Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan explores the fascinating juxtaposition of disparate colors of elemental opposites.


To see how lipstick and makeup styles have changed throughout the 20th century, click the 1952 ad for a fun fast-forward video.