The wide scope of the definition of ephemera allows the inclusion of objects that often do not come across as traditional ones. Boxes, cases and containers of cosmetic products like lipsticks can transform into ephemera after use if they are unique by virtue of their age, design, brand or content.
Image Contributor: Laboni Mukherjee
To know more about Laboni, follow her Instagram profile @chako_boni
The following image contribution by Laboni Mukherjee is of a “Pond’s LiPS” lipstick from the 1950s. The product was launched by Pond’s in 1940 and the instance in this post was manufactured in England.
Pond’s had forayed into the Asian markets, including those of China and India, and often sought to increase sales by targeting non-elite urban women as the potential consumers. (Jones, 130) Shades of the lipstick range included Honey, Rascal Red, Dark Secret, Heart Beat, and Natural, and later went on to include Beau Bait, Black Blaze, Dither, Heart Throb, and Blue Fire. (Bennett)
In her description of the lipstick (and the container), Laboni Mukherjee writes:
“My father approximately dates this Pond's lipstick (or rather, whatever is left of it) to around 1953. This belonged to my paternal Grandmother (Lt. Mrs. Abala Mukherjee). It didn't open with the screwing up mechanism we are used to, but rather had a tube-like brass cover fitting over the brass body of the lipstick. There was a small push-up mechanism on the side of the main lipstick body.
On the bottom of the lipstick is engraved "Pond's" and "Made in England".”
[Detailed Image Description: The lipstick is placed on a brown (probably wooden) surface in two pieces. The cylindrical metal cap/cover has the words “POND’s” embossed on its top.
The brass cover has a whitish layer with the colour of brass peeking out from the scraped portions. The second piece contains the actual red lipstick within a cylindrical brass container having a U-shaped cavity on its curved side.
Towards the bottom of the cylindrical container are three ridges around it. The bottom of the lipstick contains the texts "Pond's" and "Made in England" embossed on it. In the image, the cap is laid on the surface on its side while the actual lipstick is in an upright position.]
Bennett, James. “Cosmetics and Skin: Pond’s Extract Company”. URL: http://www.cosmeticsandskin.
Jones, Geoffrey. Beauty imagined: A history of the global beauty industry. Oxford University Press. 2010.