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Time Travel Day

“Are you made for Fire & Ice?"

~Revlon, 1952

Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the retro sensibilities of the early 1950s, when exciting Atomic Age appliances and inventions intrigued the populace, and bold colours and luxury fabrics were the aspirational successor for the utilitarian fashions and drab privations of the war years. If there was ever a tartan to bring out the contrasting beauty of hot reds and icy blues, this bright and bold explosion of colours could be it! In the post-war 1950s, even a new lipstick shade could mark you as daring and forward thinking. The ad campaign for Revlon's Fire & Ice lipstick and nail polish duo captured the attention of the optimistic young and fashionable! The two-page spread featured one of America’s first supermodels, Dorian Leigh, and offered a full-page quiz for magazine readers to determine if they were bold enough to wear "Fire and Ice". The quiz included questions such as: "If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars?" Such fanciful musings may very well become reality in the near future as the Red Planet and its icy water deposits become our next target for manned space explorations! Should you want to indulge in a little lipstick nostalgia while waiting to book your trip to Mars on SpaceX, this iconic lipstick shade is still available today! ⚛️ 🚀 💄 👄

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.

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