Nostalgic beauty products of yesteryear

Find these products familiar? Seen them on the vanity table of your mom or your grandma? Or maybe you’ve tried them when you were younger? The square box of white powder with the fair maiden is probably considered iconic as it’s been around for ages and you can still get it for around S$1.80 or so at the market. I don’t remember if my mom used the powder but she kept one of these in her drawer all the time. I do the same too because it makes such a pretty keepsake.

The pagoda mirror
And the vintage looking mirror. I didn’t know they still sell this. I was told the price has been increasing because of constant demand. And so I paid S$2.50 for this small version at a shop that sells wedding wares. When I removed the wrapper, I realized that the image behind the mirror is still the same as the bigger one in my mom’s drawer – that of a pagoda. I’m sure her mirror is still around. We used to share it extensively, particularly when we were blow drying our hair.

Two Girls Florida Water & Hair Oil
Okay, I haven’t seen these on my mom’s vanity table. But the Two Girls Brand has been around since 1898 and this is the first local cosmetic brand registered in Hong Kong. The brand carries an array of skin care and makeup products but their Florida Water and Hair Oil are popular items it seems. I was laughing over the Florida Water because my first thoughts were: is it Florida Water or is it Floral Water? It looks like a sort of toner to me but this is apparently a multi-purpose water that works as a natural fragrance on the body as well as for the room, as an antiseptic to sterilize and relieve the itching effect of insect bites, and even as a remedy to get rid of a hangover.

Santalia Perfume from Paris
I also can’t remember seeing this perfume but the fragrance is familiar though. The box is all yellow but the packaging says this is from Paris. Maybe it was something my mom used to wear. She loves perfume and she would get herself a cheap version for daily wear and an expensive version for special occasions. Her favorite was Chanel No. 5 and she used to buy it from some Mom and Pop store then.

Yardley English Lavender Hair Cream
Yardley hair cream. You remember this? I remember my dad using this hair cream to style his hair every day. Oh geez. This is too nostalgic for me. And the funny thing was that I spotted a Yardley hand cream but the lady at the store I bought this from told me that that hand cream can double up as a hair cream! Looks like products from yesteryears were indeed multi-purposed.

Lady Rose Facial Blotters
And the Lady Rose Facial Blotters are still around! I definitely used them before when I was younger. They are powdered though and it’s another great multi-purpose product to absorb excess rouge, absorb oil to help re-do makeup easily, as well as for men to absorb facial oil before shaving. It’s also said to be suitable for cleaning spectacles and lens. How much today? S$3.50!

So did these products take you down some memory lane? Well, it did for me. And I fork out about $40 to get these stuff just for keepsake. I’m not using them of course but they really make for pretty eye candy alongside my current cosmetics.


  1. florence says:

    Thanks for bringing back all those memories!!!I still remember when I was young, I use my mum face powder :)And the forida water smell nice too ?

  2. AtelierGal says:

    My mum used to have that exact same mirror! BTW, what is that white powder used for actually? I used to see it on my mother’s dressing table and I was just recently thinking of trying it :p

  3. makeupmag says:

    The square box of white powder cleans silver jewellery really well! ?

  4. stella says:

    the powder is a great silver cleaner!

    and this post makes me miss my late grandma, she used the florida water everyday; in fact, i think her last bottle is still on the vanity

  5. rinaz says:

    Haha, I actually used the Fair maiden powder a lot as a teenager. It was affordable and was said to be cooling for skin as well as an oil soaker for my oily teenage skin.

  6. Happyfeet says:

    I used to tell my late grandma that she looks like the lady printed on the powder box. I thought she looked ‘white, white’ like the lady after she applied those on her face. hahaha… I used it too when i was young for the same sinister effect….. ?

  7. sesame says:

    Yes, the Florida Water smells good…I think my grandma used it then cos I remember the scent on her.

  8. sesame says:

    Actually I don’t know. It’s supposed to be for the face but it’s very white.

  9. sesame says:

    It does? I never knew! Must try it one day. ?

  10. sesame says:

    The Florida water seems rather interesting. I kind of like the smell…I believe my grandma used it too.

  11. sesame says:

    You did? But it’s very white isn’t it? I like the look of it but have never used it. I think my mom might have used it on her face though.

  12. sesame says:

    For sinister effect? To scare people? ?

  13. waiyen says:

    Where can I buy the white powder?

    Heard that it is good for silver wear, dust some on and rub off to bring back shine on the silver ?

  14. youngorgeous says:

    the mirror and the powder reminds me of my late granny =(

    i do remember taking the powder and smashing it up or I would use it to form white streaks on my face (like red indians!)

  15. iheartkoreanbeauty says:

    Never tried these products, but must say the packaging is quite nice! ? I probably would have turned my nose up at this kind of packaging when I was younger but now I appreciate it ?

  16. BT says:

    I never seen my mum or grandma used these products before, they used Hazeline Snow. “v

  17. Rinka says:

    those products are so adorable, they would make great decorations for a bathroom! haha

    my grandma always uses atrix handcream (she has a tin of it in every room) so i guess thats one product that takes me back. my mother always changes her skincare so theres no products that really take me back ;[

  18. sesame says:

    Hazeline Snow was quite a staple back then. I’ve used it too. But they’ve revised the packaging so I didn’t include it because it doesn’t feel so nostalgic.

  19. sesame says:

    You can get it from some of those stores selling cosmetics at wet market. Or go to Chinatown…you can easily find it in many stores.

  20. aichaku says:

    nice post! i remember seeing the white powder and the mirror on my grandma’s table. my grandma also used hazeline snow for everything, face, hands, neck even for soothing prickly heat. is hazeline snow something like “olden vintagy”? with my mom – i can only recall her using Polar and Elisabetg Arden stuff … sad huh? none of these nostalgic local/SEA products.

  21. sesame says:

    Haha…using it for play? You gals are so creative. ?

  22. sesame says:

    Yes, I feel the same too. In fact, I find the packaging very lovely.

  23. sesame says:

    Yes, I was wondering what I should do with them and figured out they’ll decorate my vanity top for now. ?

  24. sesame says:

    Your mom must be really modern. I would consider Hazeline Snow to be one of the oldies…but I wish they didn’t change the packaging.

  25. CT says:

    i still have the same type of mirror at home…haha

  26. sesame says:

    You do? I guess yours maybe bigger than this.

  27. vivavoomz says:

    So nostalgic!

    Those women doing face threading always use the white powder on the customer’s face before threading. ?

  28. sesame says:

    Ah…this is something I never knew. I saw one of my SILs’ face being threaded before but I didn’t notice what powder was used.

  29. Jol says:

    Yes, my mum’s pagoda mirror is at least of 20yrs and she used to have this round casing of Yardley compact power ?

  30. sesame says:

    Ah the Yardley compact powder! I remember it in my mom’s drawer and I used it before too. ?

  31. Jasmine says:

    Ah! The mirror and Lady Rose I have. Never heard of the rest though. Hazeline Snow Cream is about the same age as well (100+ years). Much as I like oldie-but-goldies I am worried about the lead content in some, like Ly-Na pearl balms.

  32. sesame says:

    The ingredients are not great…the Twin Sisters stuff has got alcohol and mineral oil. So no, I wouldn’t use them. I haven’t seen what’s in Hazeline Snow though.

  33. Yvonne says:

    hehehe, those were the days. I used the “Sam Foong” pink powder to polish my silverware & jewellery since i handmade jewellery, esp on silver plated chain n parts…very hard to find except in the chinese grocery shop or villages.

  34. sesame says:

    I’m guessing you’re not based in Singapore cos it’s quite easy to find it here. Hmm…I must try the powder on my silver plated stuff since so many of you said it’s great for cleaning them.

  35. Michelle says:

    Those are great pictures. Do you take them yourself? I particularly like the one of the mirror!

  36. sesame says:

    Yes, I did. ?

  37. poohz says:

    The mirror is available in Tokyo too! I bought one at the 100-yen shop. But the back is updated to a reflective silver, no nostalgic picture ?

  38. sesame says:

    Oh it is? Very surprised! I thought it’s more Chinese.

  39. Indulgent Diva says:

    Ahh..sweet, sweet memories. Reminds me of my grandma who used to use these products all the time! She absolutely loved the powder! You’re right though, they look very pretty on the vanity corner.

  40. aichaku says:

    no lah my mom not modern just very vain like me haha. i think pola and EA are very old companies with pretty long history … i don’t see pola much here in Singapore now & EA i always associate with old ladies haha :p

  41. sesame says:

    Yes, they make very pretty keepsake and decor items. ?

  42. sesame says:

    I think she’s considered quite “modern” then with her choices. But I do see Pola around in some of the stores…but can’t remember where now. I have no idea it’s an old brand though.

  43. Dwtokidoki says:

    Hi. I haven’t been to Sg but I’m familiar with Florida Water. I will be visiting Sg next month. Where can I find them? Hope u could recommend me a place thats accessible to go to (hopefully around Orchard) THANKS!

  44. sesame says:

    I don’t think you can get it in Orchard. Head down to Chinatown. You can find it in a number of the old shops there.

  45. Natalie says:

    I am 19 years old & I have been using Lady Rose blotting paper for about 4 years now. I love it!

  46. sesame says:

    Oh you have been? That’s interesting to know. ?

  47. Kaye says:

    I havent tried or use this products. But O wanna try it plus it looks really cute!

  48. Di says:

    It does! One of the best kept secret of the trade ?
    definitely cheaper than those silver liquid cleaners ?

  49. Di says:

    Reading this post reminds me of my grandma’s (Hk based) stuff…:) thanks!!! she is 92 now and in the 80s she used to have oil of ulay/ulan…ponds cold cream…nivea creme in big blue metal jar..yardley soap that smelled like sandalwood…there was also spray net as hairspray was a staple for her then !!! ?

    btw where do u get the blotter paper & yardley cream (didn’t know yardley still existed)? I’m curious to see both in real life ?

    i am remembering papier poudre brand of blotters when I was very young…it was paper with powder on it!

  50. sesame says:

    I got these from a store at Chinatown here. Unfortunately, they do not have Olay products or Snow Cream in the old packaging otherwise those would bring back lots of memories.

  51. kaye says:

    I love how it looks ? so cute

  52. mimi says:

    These are interesting products ? But no memories of them because my mom used Avon and Mary Kay and all that

  53. sesame says:

    They would be more familiar to those in Asia…guess you’re in US cos we don’t get much of Avon or Mary Kay here.

  54. jeannie says:

    do you rmb which exact store from Chinatown you got it from? would love to get the facial blotters

  55. sesame says:

    It’s a bit hard to describe but it’s in one of the shop stores at ground level.

  56. nel says:

    The powder contains a chemical compound that absorbs oil, so it’s used before threading to ‘dry up’ the surface of the skin, so that the thread won’t snag the client’s skin and hurt the customer. It’s also why it’s a wonderful mattifying powder. And because it’s so finely milled and perfect as a pore/wrinkly filler, it was the HD powder of yesteryears. I love this stuff! Only wish it was available in a skin tone shade in Asia. In USA, they have 2 skin tone shades.

  57. Sesame says:

    @nel: They have 2 skin tones? Oh wow, I didn’t even know!

  58. Ray says:

    not forgetting the cologne 4711..

  59. Sesame says:

    Oh ya…I think I can vaguely recall the scent.

  60. sara says:

    Do u know where cn I get the santalia perfume??

  61. Sesame says:

    Try those neighborhood stores or Chinatown.

  62. Ethel Loveridge says:

    Do you know where to buy Santalia Perfume? Thanks

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