Monday, November 19, 2012

The Miracle of Plasteen

Nail polish has been around for awhile, but when I found these ads I started wondering just when it was invented. I never really thought about it, not even back in the 80s when I painted my nails with purple glitter nail polish (to match the purple glitter I sometimes put in my hair). Well, in the Victorian era, people polished their nails by applying oils and pastes and buffing the nails with chamois cloths. But the first modern nail polish was actually made by Cutex all the way back in 1917 (which is way earlier than I thought). And here's something else I just found out: traditional nail polish is actually pretty close in substance to automobile paint, which makes cars look shiny and pretty. This might make you want to consider using Water Based Nail Polish, a healthy and organic alternative to conventional nail polish - which, as you can see from these old ads, traditionally has all sorts of chemicals in it.

For example, if you were using Helen Neushaefer's brand of nail polish, back in 1948, you'd be putting something called Plasteen on your nails along with the high-fashion colors and "new, jewel-like  brilliance." I'm not sure what Plasteen was, but it doesn't sound like a fingernail-nurturing sort of substance, does it? Ms. Neuschaefer, who headed her own cosmetics company in the 1940s and 1950s, was touted in many ads of this era as the inventor of "creme nail polish" and of the "miracle chip-proofing ingredient" Plasteen.

I found a mention of Plasteen in a 1949 American Ceramic Society Bulletin, which describes it as "a new, tough, and slightly pliable thermoplastic. Melts easily at 250 degrees F. Poured over master molds, it solidifies into very durable blocks and cases. No shrinkage no bubbles..." So no worries if you had Helen Neushschaefer polish on and then went to take something out of a hot oven!..Oh - wait....

P.S. Holiday ads coming soon - I have a very amusing Thanksgiving underwear ad that I will share with you later this week...stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just so you know - I am positively ancient and I remember the Helen Neuschaefer polish with Plasteen, which I used in my preteen and teen years (Windsor Rose in color) and the reason I found this blog was because I wondered if they still made it. Plasteen was fantastic and stayed on and could be mostly removed by just peeling it off. Too bad they don't still make it.