One of the most exciting campaigns we have recently become involved with in 2016 involves the new distribution partnership between our sister company VHL Distribution and British heritage brand Papier Poudré, who still make pocket sized natural bamboo based powdered blotting papers just as they were, since launching in England as far back as 1903 in to London’s beauty conscious high society.
The iconic packaging, still in use today, features the painting and sketches of a mysterious lady in traditional 1790s style, proving that “vintage” packaging was in vogue even in Edwardian times. It is believed the lady may well be the French actress Elizabeth-Rachel Félix, who, whilst not born until 1821, was known on stage for a variety of powerful female roles set in all eras. Her name is certainly strongly associated with the term Rachel which has been in common usage for near on two hundred years to describe the colour of tan toned powders and cosmetics. The Papier Poudré range comprises powdered papers in three tones – White (translucent, for pale skin), Rose (gently tinted for medium complexions) and Rachel (tan tinted for warmer and darker skin tones). The trademark associated with Papier Poudré Lehcaresor also appears to spell RoseRachel backwards.
Our own interest in authentic vintage beauty products led us to team up with the brand in order to reach new vintage and makeup/beauty sectors in the UK, and who better to breathe life into this new campaign but National Vintage Awards UK Best Pinup model 2015 Scarlett Luxe, who we have worked with on a number of Vintage Hair Lounge projects. I immediately saw Scarlett’s potential for recreating the painting of the lady in Papier Poudré’s product archive, and was greatly influenced by the filmic styling of many a period movie from the delicate Girl with a Pearl Earring (featuring Scarlett Johansson) to the more eighties/punk interpretation of the iconic story of Marie Antoinette (featuring Kirsten Dunst). The style of our proposed new photoshoot with Scott Chalmers led us to work with the great British period costume house Cosprop and film wig dressers and supplier the Wigstore, in order to ensure that the imagery was in keeping with an authentic period style. One slightly radical touch however, was to create Scarlett’s period makeup with Eye of Horus Cosmetics, using their gold and copper metallic eyeliners on the brows and eyeline and their almost metallic ISIS pallet of eyeshadows of warm peachy tones. Scott’s beautiful photography captured the editorial style required for 21st century hair and makeup imagery, whilst retaining the classic filmic look and the painting style of the period.
Does the Papier Poudré brand still have relevance today? It certainly does. Not only are many generations familiar the products, Papier Poudré has also inspired a whole modern industry of blotting paper type products designed to remove excess oils from the face whatever your age or gender. But Papier Poudré still have an enduring and unique product, perfect for everyday use, and a kit essential for makeup artists everywhere, particularly for on-set touch-ups for both male and female actors and models and for brides, where repeatedly overloading with face powder could create a deterioration in the appearance of the face on camera.
Papier Poudré will feature at their first UK Beauty show with Vintage Hair Lounge and VHL Distribution at the Wales Hair and Beauty Show in Cardiff on 8 May.
All images by Scott Chalmers Photography. Hair and makeup by Sharon Holloway at Vintage Hair Lounge.