Among the thousands of lipstick shades there are a few that I consider more special, a few that fascinate me with their history, with the thought that may be a beautiful lady wore the very same one back in the 50s. Revlon's Fire & Ice and Cherries in the Snow changed the beauty industry forever.
Ever since they created Revlon the Revson brothers believed that red enamel is a fashion accessory and women should use different colors to suit their outfits, moods and different occasions. In times when nail polish was a mere beauty aid and there were two shades - pale pink and red, they created and array of highly pigmented colors. Ladies that normally wouldn't buy a new polish before the old one is finished, began creating collections of shades to choose from. Revlon's colors kept changing following the trends. Each season the company would release a new color and the women who wanted to keep up with the times couldn't wait to take it home.
Although Revlon was established during the Great Depression Charles Revson did not compete with the numerous beauty companies selling polish for a dime based on price but on quality and creativity. He wasn't selling nail polish, instead he was selling dreams, a touch of class that might just turn the right head, he was selling Fire & Ice and Cherries in the Snow along other popular shades such as Fifth Avenue Red and Berry Bon Bon for six times the price. Women were buying them like hot cakes!
When Revlon expanded into lipstick the famous 1940 campaign "Matching Lips and Fingertips" was launched. That was the first time Revlon's ads appeared in full color in fashion publications like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. "Pick up a tea-cup, light a cigarette, draw on a glove. Your slightest gesture delights the eye . . . with lips and fingertips accented vitally, fashionably by Revlon Nail Enamel." Revlon's strategy to give the masses a chance to be fashionable for the price of a lipstick or nail polish was working better than ever.
It was Fire & Ice's campaign that changed the beauty advertising forever. Introduced in 1952, this is to this day one of the most successful beauty advertisements in history, combining dignity, class, glamour and irresistible sex-appeal. The two page spread featured the gorgeous model Dorian Leigh dressed in a dazzling, form-hugging silver-sequin dress and a fiery scarlet cape. The provocative headline asked "Are you made for Fire & Ice?" followed by fifteen questions. An affirmative answer meant you're of course made for that shade and that shade was made for you.
The advertising demonstrating the duality of women received a sensational response. Over nine thousand window displays were dedicated to Fire & Ice. Every print media talked about it and radio stations kept making references to the infamous campaign. There were even Fire & Ice contests conducted round the country. Beauty icons like Marilyn Monroe and Rossana Podesta were associated with the shade.
Fire & Ice along with Cherries in the Snow hasn't changed since those magical times ruled by the beauty and glamour.
Fire & Ice
Cherries in the Snow