Revlon Through The Ages

Cosmetics brand Revlon are celebrating 80 years of making women look beautiful this year.

To celebrate Heart Beauty is taking a look over their stunning archive of advertising from the 1930s to the present day.

Revlon - famed for using red - was created in 1932 by Charles Revson and his brother Joseph. A chemist, Charles Lachman, completed the trio of founders. He contributed the "L" in the Revlon name.

To commemorate their rich history, Revlon are holding an exhibition, Enamoured, from 30th November - 2nd December in London.

It tells the story of the cosmetics house and how the brand changed the appearance of women throughout the world.


The 30s advertising campaign used the tagline: "The nail enamel your manicurist recommends." The brand originally started by creating a new type of nail enamel - using pigments instead of dyes to create an opaque effect. Red was used as the accent colour in the stunning visual.

Revlon Through The Ages


Move forward to the 40s and Revlon red was called 'The fashion red... the elegant red... the new red...' A glamorous lady is seen wearing a white one-shouldered dress and about to hop into a black car. The brand has now added lipstick to their range.

Revlon Through The Ages



The 50s campaign was aimed at women who 'love to flirt with fire ... who dare to skate on this ice'. Revlon's signature shade can clearly be seen on the model Dorian Leigh's lips and fingernails.   Dorian, one of the world's first supermodels, was photographed by Richard Avedon for the Fire and Ice campaign. In the original snap, she was seen with her hands - complete with red nails - over her breasts but Charles Revson deemed the image too sexual. It was re-shot with her hands over her cheek and hip. The pictures of the brunette was accompanied by a full page quiz on the right hand side. 

Revlon Through The Ages



Fast forward to the 60s and the brand have introduced a range of new frosted translucents for Lips and Nails. The advert says: "The look that's setting the world aquiver with a delicious little shiver of frost!"

Revlon Through The Ages



In the 70s Revlon says they have discovered "the next exotic zone for lips!" with their campaign for Panama Hotfrosts. The deep-frosted tropical colours are "brimming with sizzle and shine". The range takes in a "mellow yellow, a luscious lime, a hot black coffee, a deep-jungly plum and a wild juiced-up grape." In the same decade, Revlon became the first American cosmetics company to feature an African American model, Naomi Sims, in their advertising.

Revlon Through The Ages



Moving forward a decade, the next campaign from Revlon has all the hallmarks of the power 80s. This time using purple as a hero colour, this visual introduces the "Wall Street Violets". It reads: "Clearly feminine. Definitely powerful. Even when they come across as soft. Because Revlon has taken all the shyness out of them. "There's a violet as wild as the futures market. A purple as rewarding as capital gains. "The rate of return is up to you." We love the tagline: "Because imitating men was never a good idea".

Revlon Through The Ages


Audrey Hepburn starred in a campaign for the brand in the late 80s. Using the motto "The most unforgettable women in the world wear Revlon", the Breakfast At Tiffany's star looks absolutely stunning in this archive image. She was 60 when she starred in the ad. In the same decade, actress Milla Jovovich also was booked to model for Revlon when she was just 13. 

Revlon Through The Ages



Model-turned actress - and the star with the most amazing eyebrows in the world - Brooke Shields starred in a 90s campaign for Revlon. Showing off her natural beauty and healthy body, Shields is shown three times in a simple back t-shirt.

Revlon Through The Ages



The current face of Revlon is Emma Stone. The gorgeous actress who has starred in Hollywood movies including The Help and Crazy, Stupid Love can be seen in this current campaign image with a defined brow, a red lip, dark lacquer on her nails and holding a flower between her fingers.

Emma Stone - Revlon


Enamoured: 80 Years of Revlon will run from 30th November to 2nd December at the London Film Museum, Covent Garden, 45 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7BN. 

30th November: 10.00am - 19.00pm.

1st and 2nd December: 10.00am - 18.00pm.