Cara Nome brass vanity Rouge compact, “CN-328 Action Red” shade. c. 1930 see description

$50 $ 35
SKU : es-123899241 Category : Blush & Cheek Stain

Vintage Cara Nome brass vanity Rouge compact, “CN-328 Action Red” shade. c.

It is nice to know a little back ground information about a particular item …
that is part of the pleasure of collecting. One should always know something
about their vintage treasures.

This is a vintage Cara Nome brass vanity Rouge compact in a “CN-328 Action
Red” shade in its inner pan. It is almost 100 years old and is in lovely
condition. The front of this sparkling brass vanity compact features À la
corbeille de fleurs flower basket (which is similar to a 1905 painting by Pablo
Picasso from his rose period. The painting depicts a Parisian street-girl,
named "Linda," whose fate is unknown.) Under-neath the basket of flowers is a
stripped Art Deco design that makes the flower basket “appear to” radiate rays
of sunlight from it. It was a very effective psychological design that caught
the eye of the shopper. The inside of the vanity compact features a sparkling
clear mirror and its original rouge puff applicator and a nice amount of almost
new pressed rouge in a pan. The bottom of the vanity displays the Cara Nome
name and below it is the name of the distributor which is listed as Langlois,
Los Angeles. There is also a gold paper label attached that states the shade as
“CN-328 Action Red,” The brass base of the vanity features a tasteful stripped
vertical line design.

As for the name Langlois on the vanity, it was the last name of Frank Langlois
who was an American perfumer that worked for the United Drug Company as a
perfumer. French fashions and French names were the "in-thing" at that time
period because France was considered the fashion capital of the world. As a
result, the United Drug Company decided to capitalize on Frank Langlois’s
“French sounding” name by using it on its perfume and cosmetic products (such
as Cara Nome,) in order to make it “sound French” and be more desirable in the
eyes of American women buyers who prized French products. No one could sue the
company for misleading them because Frank Langlois was a real person whose
French sounding name just happened to be on their products. The United Drug
Company did not state that their perfumes or cosmetic items were French.
Advertising is still shrewd today. It was not false advertising … it was merely
“creative” advertising. One can also find vanity compacts from Langlois,
usually marked as Cara Nome, Shari, or Jonteel products.

Paper boxes were used up to 1919 when metal compacts were introduced by
Rexall. Metal Compacts were just as important in the selling of the powder (if
not more so,) than the product that it contained. Metal compacts were strong
and long lasting and they were made to be attractive and eye-catching. Some
were cute, pretty, ornate, sophisticated, and elegant in order to appeal to
every type of woman’s taste. Young girls loved to pull out of her small purse a
dainty compact and powder her nose or rouge her cheeks in public … which was
quite shocking at the time to do. This small rouge box was most likely used at
home as a lady sat at her vanity table and applied her makeup, it was also most
likely later placed in her small purse for use when she may have been outside
and felt the need to refresh her makeup … especially in the summer months when
it was hot outside and makeup tended to disappear due to one perspiring.

The Rouge in this vanity box was manufactured by the United Drug Company
(UDC,) and was sold by a large chain of drugstores called Rexall. It was one of
many in-store “product brands” that were manufactured by the United Drug
Company and sold in the Rexall drugstores. The United Drug Company created
numerous Rexall products in order for Rexall drugstores to more profits by
eliminating the need to buy a similar product from a manufacturer that would
cost more and as a result, give the drugstore less of a profit. Life today
still seems to be all about corporate profits.

Not only could Rexall drugstores earn more money from selling its own
products, but it could use such products to lure customers (that had originally
bought the product and wished to buy it again) back into its stores because it
could only be purchased in Rexall Drugstores. And when the customer came into a
Rexall drugstore to buy the desired item once more … chances were that she
would buy other products that caught her eyes … impulse buying has been around
a long time! As a result, it was a “win-win” situation for Rexall to
manufacture and sell as many as possible products of its own under a different
brand name in order to give the customer the illusion that the product was made
by a different company and not Rexall.

Small paper vanity powder boxes had been used to package face powder and rouge
for use in one’s purse, but by 1919, the United Drug Company switched to metal
vanity compacts. Large vanity paper powder boxes were still continued to be
offered, but they were placed on a lady’s vanity table and used only at home
(due to their size being too big to be carried in a purse.) In 1919 metal
compacts were introduced to the Rexall drugstores. Metal vanity compacts became
just as important in the selling of the powder and rouge (if not more so,) than
the product that it contained. Metal compacts were strong and long lasting and
they were made to be attractive and eye-catching. Some were cute, pretty,
ornate, sophisticated, and elegant in order to appeal to every type of woman’s
taste. Young girls loved to pull out of her small purse a dainty compact and
powder her nose in public … which was quite shocking at the time to do.

The first Rexall drugstores were established in 1903. There were 12,000 Rexall
drugstores across the United States from 1920 to 1977. Unfortunately, they are
no longer around after being successful for many years. Each Rexall store was
independently owned by a local pharmacist. But they later became overwhelmed by
the discount chains, such as Thrifty Drugs and Eckerd Drugs, which were
well-financed corporations that were able to reduce their costs with what is
referred to as “block purchasing,” the buying of large orders of products at
lower prices (the more a large company bought, the cheaper the price became.)
Today there are numerous large chains such as Walgreens, Duane Reade, CVS,
Walmart, etc. that sell drug and cosmetic products at low prices and as a
result, the small “mom and pop” stores disappear because they can-not compete.
Or think of a place such as Harry’s corner diner that sold hamburgers and then
think of Mc Donald’s that sold them cheaper and faster. Harry could not compete
… so he disappeared … it’s the American way … it seems.

Rexall had an amazing advertising history and existence … even though we are
talking about Cara Nome ... the vintage collector needs to realize how it was
created by the Rexall drugstore chain and why. Many young people do not realize
that drugstores were an important part of the history of cosmetics and that
many cosmetic items were made in the back rooms of drugstore and the
distribution of them was made in the front room of the drugstore. This all
happened before the creation of Sephora and cosmetic companies such as Helena
Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor, etc. … where many people now buy their
cosmetic products … in addition to drugstores and large discount chains such as

Most early beauty products were originally made at home in one’s kitchen. As
time went by and factories and businesses began to form in crowded cities, many
cosmetics and perfumes were professionally made by druggists because they had
the technical knowledge, raw materials, and a place to manufacture them … and
being businessmen, they desired to make money from customers who did not have
access to what they did or the time to even make their own products if they
knew how to do so (customers were busy working in the factories and stores,)
but they had a little money to spend on a few luxury items now and then. As a
result, drugstores started to manufacture and sell various beauty products in
their drugstores.

This Cara Nome Rouge vanity compact was referred to as a “vanity compact” by
its women users. The word “vanity” refers to a sense of excessive pride and
arrogance or overbearing conceit. It is an appropriate name for a product that
is associated with the care of one’s vanity. Vanity compacts were sold in the
“toiletry” section of a drugstore. The word toiletry is a 15th century middle
French word, diminutive form of toile was toilette, which means a “small piece
of cloth.” The English later borrowed the word in the 16th century and settled
on the word “toilet” while still using the word “toilette” in a “grooming”
sense. It was used to refer to a wrapper or covering for clothes and later it
was used to describe a cloth that was used to place over the shoulders of a
person while dressing their hair or for shaving a man’s face (such as a
barber’s cape or a hairstyling cape.)

Later the term was used to refer to a cloth that covered a lady’s dressing
table (also called a vanity table,) or a covering of articles that were placed
on the vanity table or the table itself. Finally, the word was later used to
refer to the entire process of washing, grooming, and dressing of one’s self,
especially at the beginning of the day or for a special occasion. It was also
used to refer to “a bathroom” (if one had indoor plumbing,) where one washed
and groomed themselves and it was referred to as the “toilet.” Those who did
not have the funds to afford an indoor “toilette” were forced to use an outdoor
toilette which was also called an outhouse (it was a very small wooden
structure that had one or two holes in a wooden plank or “seat” so one could
sit down over the hole in order to relieve themself.)

When drugstores started to sell various products that were used for washing,
grooming, and taking care of one's body, such as soap, shampoo & hair pomades,
toothpaste, mouthwash, shave cream, and facial cleansers … other items such as
face & body powders, rouge, mascaro (mascara,) lotions, perfume & cologne, nail
polish & removers, toilet paper, feminine care products, cotton swabs,
fingernail clippers, and ointments …. they were all placed in the “Toiletry”
section of drugstores.

How did Rexall drugstores start to manufacture and sell their own products? …
it was due to one man … A gentleman named Louis K. Liggett in 1902 made a
proposal to 40 druggists, he dreamed up the idea and asked a few druggists to
invest in a drug company that would be called the United Drug Company (or UDC.)
The new company would manufacture and distribute the products that it made to
only its 40 drugstore members (who would be the new United Drug Company
franchise stores.)

It was a very appealing offer because only the products that were manufactured
by the United Drug Company could be purchased by the 40 members of the
franchise. This meant that their manufacturing company was making and selling
only its products to them … this process eliminated the need for them to buy
from various manufacturers and pay higher costs for products and in return they
would earn lower profits. The United Drug Company enabled its members to earn
higher profits by offering its own brand of products, which were high-quality
products and became known as the Rexall brand products. It also made it
possible for re-peat customers to come back to their store to buy the same
product again since only Rexall stores sold it.

All of the drug stores agreed to change the names of their stores and use the
name “Rexall Drugs” as the name of their stores, so it would be a well-known
name and trusted brand. The origin of the “Rexall” name comes from “Rx to all”
… or pharmacy care to all ... RX is derived from the Latin word “recipe,”
meaning “take.” And it is also said to have evolved from the “Eye of Horus,” an
Egyptian symbol that was associated with healing powers. The preparation and
dispensation of drugs has been around for thousands of years. The first
drugstores were established in the ancient city of Baghdad in the eighth
century A.D.

In 1903, the United Drug Company was established and it began operations at 43
Leon Street, Boston, Massachusetts (this is now where Northwestern University
is located.) By 1929, the United Drug Company had 21 manufacturing plants
throughout the United States to supply its members. It employed over 25,000
workers and supplied 10,000 Rexall Drug Stores, and Louis K. Liggett also
operated a chain of over 500 Liggett Drug Stores in the United States (under
the Liggett name … Owl, Sonta, and Rexall brands were sold.)

By 1913 the United Drug Company had started to package its face powder
products in smaller, more portable containers, although it had recognized the
marketing potential of giving away attractive toilet powder boxes with
purchases of face powder products as early as November 1911.

Liggett came up with the promotional idea of traveling across America and
parts of Canada by train to promote the Rexall drugstore products. The train
also served as a national convention place for Rexall druggists to use without
the cost to travel Free tickets were offered to locals to see displays in the
train cars that featured all of the Rexall products that were available at
their local Rexall drug stores. The 29,000-mile trip toured 47 of the 48 states
(it missed Nevada for some reason … maybe it had no stores there?) and the
train visited parts of Canada. The blue and white train of 12 air-conditioned
Pullman cars had displays in 4 of the cars, convention facilities for the
Rexall druggists were in 4 of the cars and a dining car was hauled by a
streamlined 4-8-2 Mohawk locomotive (No. 2783 from the New York Central
Railroad.) It is said that the promotion trip cost over a million dollars at
that time period. The 9-month promotional tour took place from March to
November of 1936. Louis Liggett had the luxury of travelling in the rear
observation car … he must have had a wonderful time.

In 1943/1944, Liggett stepped down as the head of the United Drug Company and
a gentleman named Justin Dart became the new president (he was formerly with
the Walgreens drugstore chain.) Mr. Dart changed the name of the United Drug
Company to the Rexall Drug Company and moved the headquarters to Los Angeles.
Also, the brands Owl and Sonta which were sold in the Liggett stores were
rebranded under the Rexall name.

Rexall gained national exposure through its sponsorship of two famous classic
American radio programs of the 1940s and 1950s, the Amos and Andy show and The
Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. Both shows were often opened by an advertisement
from an actor named Griff Barnett who portrayed "your Rexall family druggist",
and included the catch phrase "Good health to all from Rexall." Rexall Drugs
also sponsored the Jimmy Durante Show.

Each vintage cosmetic has a unique and interesting story of its own.

This vintage item was previously part of the personal makeup collection of
famed Hollywood makeup artist Ben Lane. Mr. Lane was the former Director of the
Makeup Department for R.K.O. Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, and
Warner Brothers Pictures and Warner Brothers Television. He was a makeup artist
on a variety of classic films such as: The Good Earth, Gunga Din, Show Boat,
and countless other films of the Golden Era of Hollywood. His last film before
his retirement was the 1981 lovable classic film “Annie.” He was one of the
original founders of the Motion Picture Makeup Artists Association (MPMAA,)
which later in 1937 became the IATSE - Local 706, Makeup Artists and
Hairstylists Guild in Hollywood (the Film and Television union.) He was also a
member of the Society of Makeup Artists (referred to as SMA on screen credits,)
and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the International Society of Makeup Artists
(also referred to as ISOMA – it is an International Association of Makeup
Artists.) See the ISOMA Internet website:
to see pictures of Mr. Lane working and to read more about Mr. Lanes career
under the heading on the left titled: ISOMA Honors.

Mr. Lane had a large unique collection of vintage Max Factor, Miners,
Leichner, Steins, Chass. D. Hess, Zauder Bros, Warner Brothers, Westmore's of
Hollywood, Chesebrough-Ponds, Colgate, Cutex, DeVilbliss, Don Juan, Dorothy
Gray, Edna Wallace Hopper, Harriet Hubbard Ayers, Kurlash, Charles of the Ritz,
Lady Ester, Lilly Dache, Marie Earle, Llouis Philippe, Luxor, Naylon by La
Cross, Nu Masca, Park & Tilford, Ruth Rogers, Krypolan, Ben Nye, Bob Kelly,
Hazel Bishop, Revlon, Maybelline, Shiseido, Mark Traynor, Makeup Center, Custom
Color Cosmetics, ISOMA Cosmetics, and many more.

Mr. Lane also had other rare cosmetic products that were related to the beauty
and film industry in his collection from his many years of working as a makeup
artist in the entertainment industry of Hollywood ... such face foundations
from the 1935 Elizabeth Arden “Screen & Stage” Cosmetic line (few people today
know that this line existed after Elizabeth Arden spent millions of dollars
manufacturing and promoting it, in. her quest to be the new Max Factor of
Hollywood .... or the Elizabeth Arden of Hollywood. Ben Lane was one of
Hollywood’s premier makeup artists during the Golden Age of Hollywood movie

This is a nice addition for the vintage collector of cosmetic products and for
the vintage collector of cosmetic movie memorabilia or for those that love
items from a bygone era.

If vintage cosmetics could talk ... they would reveal amazing secrets and

Additional Information
Brand VintagemakeTreasures