Monday, August 31, 2015

Vintage Vault: Wet n Wild Edition

Of all the requests that I receive here at Nouveau Cheap, the most popular request by far goes something like this:

"G., will you please bring back the Vintage Vault?"

So I'm delighted to tell you that, beginning with this post, I am officially bringing it back! I may not post weekly, but I'll do my best to publish at least one or two posts per month, from here on out. I LOVE that YOU love these posts, and I'm so excited to bring them back. So thank you, thank you, thank you, for those requests!

For those new to the Vintage Vault, this is where I take time out from "new product sightings," etc., and focus on VINTAGE drugstore beauty products. The majority of what I cover here is from the 80s, 90s, and early 00s, but I may go back even deeper into the Vintage Vault as time goes by!

If you would like to see all of my previous Vintage Vault posts, just CLICK HERE (and be sure to click "older posts" when you get to the bottom of the page, for even more).


To kick things off, I want to extend a HUGE thank-you to reader Elizabeth for uncovering something I never, ever thought I'd see again...

image credit: Elizabeth for Nouveau Cheap
Wet n Wild magazine ad in Women's Wear Daily
(circa 1994)

Do you remember a few weeks ago when the Lipstick League Question of the Week was about the first lipstick you remember purchasing? In that post, I mentioned that the first lipstick I remember buying with my own money was a Wet n Wild lipstick in one of the original white tubes (which I wore to my prom). I could not find a photo online of the original white lipstick tubes from Wet n Wild, and neither could any of YOU (thank you so much to those of you who tried!).

Well reader Elizabeth did some serious beauty-sleuthing and managed to uncover the Wet n Wild ad you see above, which ran in WWD (industry magazine) back in 1994. And in that ad are the original white lipstick tubes! AMAZING, right?

Here's a closer look:

image credit: Elizabeth for Nouveau Cheap

Looking at the photo below, you can see that this ad was published back when Wet n Wild was still owned by Pavion LTD. (they have since changed owners and now belong to Markwins). Also interesting to note, in addition to Black Radiance (which is still a sister company to WnW), is the reference to the brand Solo Para Ti (see pic above). I believe this was the original name of the brand Tropez, which was Wet n Wild's sister company geared toward Latina customers. Tropez went out of business fairly recently, actually. I reviewed some of their products when I first started my blog back in 2008, and I blogged about them going out of business HERE (March 2010). I still contend that the Tropez polish, Blossom, is one of the prettiest lavender polishes I've ever owned (you can see my really crappy, really old swatches of it here). 

image credit: Elizabeth for Nouveau Cheap

But now on to my favorite thing about this ad: the makeup!

image credit: Elizabeth for Nouveau Cheap

I compiled all of the product shots into this little collage above, and that tube you see circled is what I believe to be the red creme lipstick I purchased, and wore, to my senior prom! You have NO IDEA the flood of emotions and memories that came rushing back to me when I saw this lipstick again. Almost brings a tear to my eye! 

Here's another version of this collage, after I sharpened the images and enhanced the colors a bit:

image credit: Elizabeth for Nouveau Cheap

Do any of you remember those Lip Tricks mood lipsticks (green tube in upper right corner)?? And how about those eyeshadow quads and blushes? MEMORIES! 

And I know several of you remember those nail polishes--both the core polishes and the "Crystalic" polishes (you can still occasionally find those Crystalic polishes at Big Lots, Ross, etc.).

If you are too young to remember when Wet n Wild nail polishes looked like what you see above, here's a photo from one of my previous Vintage Vault posts (this post is worth a read; it contains my first WnW, Sinful Colors and Zoya polishes and it's fun to look back on how the bottles have changed!):

My first blue nail polish - ever!
(Wet n Wild circa 1994)

Unless you were around and wearing nail polish in the early-to-mid 90s, it's hard to explain how desperately we all wanted to get our hands on "unconventional" colors like blue and green. We all take blue and green nail polishes at the drugstores for granted now, of course, but I vividly recall a time when THE ONLY BLUE POLISH at the drugstore was the one you see above, by Wet n Wild. My friends and I all had like ten back-ups because this blue was constantly out of stock (because hello! It was the only blue nail polish at the drugstore and we all wanted it). 

I hope you enjoyed this little walk down Wet n Wild Memory Lane, and if you remember any of the WnW products in that ad, I would obviously LOVE to hear from you! 

Once again, if you would like to see all of my previous Vintage Vault posts, just CLICK HERE (and be sure to click "older posts" when you get to the bottom of the page, for even more).

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to reader Elizabeth for uncovering this vintage ad and for sharing it with us. Elizabeth, I am forever in your debt. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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65 comments

  1. I begged my mom so hard for that blue wet n wild nail polish. I'm pretty sure she only bought it for me so that she didnt have to listen to me ask for it anymore lol I treasured that polish with my life

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  2. I had those Lip Tricks lipsticks! I can't believe my mom bought it for me as a kid. All my stuffed animals got makeovers with it 😅

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  3. Loved seeing this!! I feel like I do remember the color change lipstick. I definitely remember the polish! Like you said, I remember specifically buying the blue and green so I had every color of the rainbow - and black! That polish should actually be here in the house. I moved it to the basement to use a small room as an office and it got buried down there. That room is now a polish room....someday I will go on an archeological dig in the basement and find that little Rubbermaid tub of polish.

    Thanks for the awesome happy flashback!!!!

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    1. You're so welcome! And I'm dying over here at "archeological dig"! Lol!! I totally know what you mean. :)

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  4. O M G! I so remember this!! It was the first nail polish I had after only using the peel off kind. I had it in middle school and thought I was so alternative with my blue nails listening to the Cranberries. My mom didnt like it until I told her how the lunch lady had told me it was tacky that I let it chip off. She got pissed and kept buying it for me after that lol

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    1. You have THE BEST MOM EVER!!! OMG I LOVE that story!! Lol! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  5. OH. MY. GOD. I Freaking LOVED that blue nail polish and would punch a kitten for another bottle of it!!! Seriously, not only did I wear it to death (driving my mother insane) BUT I used it to touch up the wee rock dings I got on the paint of my car!! She was a blue 1967 mustang and that polish was a PERFECT MATCH!! *SNIFFLE* I'd keep a bottle in her glove box just in case....god I miss that car AND that polish!

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    1. Sooooo. I guess you kinda liked that polish? Lol!!! Thank you so much for sharing that story....it totally brought back memories of a friend I had in high school who also had a '67 Mustang that was her pride and joy! I haven't thought about that in YEARS! We felt like SUCH badasses driving around in that car. Heck, I would feel like a total badass driving around it in today, if I could!

      And now that you mention it, I had a Toyota that was the same color blue, and I think I used this polish to touch up the paint!! Aaaah, thank you for the memories! :)

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  6. WnW Toasted Coconut lipstick will always be the one shade I try to find in other brands. It was my dupe for one of the original Bobbi Brown lipsticks.

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    1. Omg I think I remember that shade!!! Was it a medium nudeish brown??

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  7. That eyeshadow palette was my first one ever!!

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  8. I had that blue too. And I thought I was the coolest kid in school, let me tell you! Lol
    I think I remember the green lipstick as well, though I never had one. Once a polish junkie, always a polish junkie! :P

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    1. Lol exactly!!! I felt sooooo cooool rocking that blue! And I remember my mom thinking it was so weird and ugly! Lol. What's funny is that now my mom, who is in her 70s, ONLY wears blues and greens. Seriously, I do her nails every weekend and when I bring over new polishes, she gets attitude when there's no blues or greens. Lol!!!

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  9. definitely bought a few Wet'n'Wild nailpolish and couldn't bear to throw the out until recently...

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    1. Aaaah, I will never throw this baby out! Too many memories, even though the polish is dried out to the point where there's no saving it. Lol!! :)

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  10. I had that blue polish in middle school! The only reason my mom let me get it was for "school spirit" days (team colors were white and blue!) I had absolutely NO school spirit but damn if I didn't glop on that polish every chance I got :-)

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    1. LOL!!!! That is awesome!!! We had to do what we had to do back when, I tell ya! :)

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  11. Love this! I remember that blue, had it until a box of my vintage polish went missing in a move in 2006 (with all my SH Prisms :'( packed it but it didn't end up at the new house somehow!) BTW, Bedlam Beauty recently swatched this blue, and the fuchsia from around the same time recently, if anyone is interested ;)

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    1. Thank you for the tip! And OMG the horror!! I'm SO bummed for you!! :(

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    2. I've replaced a couple for nostalgia's sake, but honestly, the indie holos and duochromes available now are sooo much better in formula than the Prisms ever were ;)

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  12. Memories....... SING IT EVERYONE!!! This was great. I had some of those eyeshadow palettes. And I think I had the pink lipstick that is next to the green one. Good Times!!!! Now back to singing :)

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    1. Like the coooooorners of my mind...misty water colored meeeeeeemories, of the way we weeeeeere.... :)

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  13. Yup! Had that blue polish. My first wnw lipstick was a frosty dark purple lol didn't see it in the pic

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    1. Omg I think I remember that purple!!! :)

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  14. I remember when WnW was the only drugstore polish with glitter!! They had two different ones- the confetti color and a white prismy glitter ... I used to buy bottles of it too!!! Memories ... :)

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    1. Omg I totally remember that too!!

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  15. G, I am SO glad you're bringing these back! This is one of my favorite things you do here!

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    1. Omg thank you!!! I'm thrilled that you like these posts and are happy they're back!! xo

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  16. I too had the green mood lipstick! It always went on bubblegum pink.

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    1. Lol I think I remember it going bright pink on me!! :)

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  17. Yay vintage vault! Still trying to find a perfect dupe for 415A, ugh. It was dark, but still looked blue, and was never too bright or primary.

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    1. Yep, it was basically perfection!! :)

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  18. I still have a couple of nail polishes in those old bottles, but I think I threw away the lipsticks that I had from that time period. I hoarded some of the weirdest stuff, but I'll always regret that I threw away the old Jane packaging that my first makeup came in.

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    1. Aaaah, yes, the original, old Jane stuff was great! I loved those lipsticks in the black tubes with the metallic pink band. Each one smelled and tasted like the flavor it was named after, right?? :)

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    2. Yes! I still have half a tube of my beloved first lipstick Vanilla Bean tucked away. I have been wanting to someday learn how to do good swatch photos so I can do a comparison with more current colors.

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  19. OMG seeing that nail polish bottle took me right back to childhood!

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  20. I vividly remember the Cover Stick, next to the Liquid Foundation bottle! I always had one in my purse or backpack at high school. The color selection for those wasn't great so who knows if it actually made a blemish more noticeable, but I still piled that stuff on. Hahah!

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  21. I love the Vintage Vault, I too had this blue polish right around 1994. People would look at me like I had 3 eyes!!! LOL. I also had a bold purple that my husband called my jelly bean nails! I got married back in 1984 (!) and wore a very pale blue shimmery nail polish from WNW on my wedding day and it shows in my wedding photos! I remember buying WNW and being embarrassed that it was all I could afford but now I wave my WNW banner very proudly!!!

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    1. Um, how did I never know that wedding story until now??? Robin that is awesome!!! You were rocking the trends waaaaay before their time, and on your wedding day no less!! That's the best "something blue" story ever! :)

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  22. ooooh wow I remember that nail polish bottle!!! I used to buy multiples of that blue and the black and would blend my own shades, basically add black to everything ;) I made my own shimmer topcoat using the iridescent blue mixed with a tiny bit of black.

    I love the Vintage Vault, please do more of them! I wish I'd kept some of my old L'oreal eye shadows, the ones that came in the tiny square gem-shaped sliders, it had a tiny sponge tipped applicator in one side, really an ingenious design.

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  23. I am so dang excited for this series! I remember those white powder compacts ... whoa.

    And yes, we totally take fun, crazy nail polish colors for granted these days ... I remember as recently as four or five years ago that it still wasn't the rage. And forget the mid/late 90's -- unless you had access to a Hot Topic, you were outta luck. (Of course, I am a few years behind, so I'm just getting on board with grey/taupe/greige/lavendar while everyone has moved on to yellow or neon colors ... more for me in the clearance bins!) :o)

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  24. I am sure I had that blue polish. I also remember a pearly jade green one and a medium pearly blue from the mid-1980s that I loved. (I'm pretty sure it was Wet n Wild.) Those white tubes bring back memories. Back then I didn't like their mascaras or foundations so much, but loved the lipsticks and nail polishes. I'm sure I had that mood lipstick, too. My mom bought a few of the pearl (perle) finish lipsticks and I had to try those out.
    I used to buy that lipliner, too, I think it was 666 or 999? That was essential for me in the 1990s.

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  25. I definitely had that blue nail polish. And the black one. This was during the "vamp" years and I'd mix their black polish with the darkest one Revlon had at the time (Raven? Raisin?) to make something close to Chanel's Vamp, which I wanted but couldn't afford on a student budget.

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    1. If memory serves me correctly, the Revlon shade 'Vixen' was their version of Chanel 'Vamp'. I wanted Vamp so bad but of course couldn't afford it so when Revlon came out with their knockoff I was extremely excited! I wore that on my toes and both my sister- in-laws said, "Ewww, that color makes you look like you're dead!" I swear, the things we suffer through just to be on trend. But of course, being the non-conformist I am, I wore that shade proudly and have never looked back!

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  26. I found one too! I've been meaning to submit it :) uploaded to imgur, here's the link: http://i.imgur.com/GeA29MF.jpg

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  27. I remember a Wet N Wild sky blue shimmery nail polish in those round bottles from 1989...I was 11 and had just gotten the OK to start wearing nail polish from my parents. We were on vacation with my Aunt and Uncle and my Aunt took me into a drugstore to buy me my first bottle and asked which one I wanted...of course I chose the only blue one in a sea of pinks and reds! But as you mentioned, blue nail polish was like, a punk thing back then...most people didn't wear it. So when we got back my parents threw a fit and said I couldn't wear it and it turned into this whole big thing and they got mad at my Aunt. They eventually let me wear it (reluctantly) and I was the envy of my friends at school. But it's funny because my Aunt still brings up that story to this day!

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    1. My mom's favorite color is blue. She always wore blue everything. I remember her buying this polish you're refering to for herself. She was a lunchlady at my school and she had painted her toenails with that blue polish. She had sandals on and all the other women were completely horrified about that blue polish. I remember talking to her at lunch that day and her telling me the nasty comments the other ladies had made about her toes. She went home and removed it that day. Never wore it again. It's funny how people reacted to this color. My mom liked it because it was blue, no other reason. I've never forgotten that story. I couldn't believe it either. I guess we were just ahead of our time.

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  28. The old highlighter is my holy grail. I have one (shame) I don't use and swatch against everything. I will never be happy until I find a dupe. It has almost a blue tint to it.

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  29. Oh yeah memories for sure! I wore WnW #519 lipstick all through HS, the vampy red one anyway, as I may have the number wrong :) and the face powder and the eye liners, and who can forget their #666 lipliner? Was a staple of mine for years.

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  30. Hey G!

    I saw that in the article that you loved the pastel lilac Wet N Wild nail polish and I wanted to tell you that I found a VERY similar dupe (that I'm actually wearing right now as I write this comment).

    It's called OPI - Significant Other Color

    I hope it's an exact dupe so you can relive the glory of those pastel lavender duochrome nails!

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  31. YES i had that same blue polish, i was thinking aout it at the first sight of the polish bottles at the beginning of this post. it was definitely a staple in my weekly nail art in middle school. every monday, girls would want to see what new designs i had on my nails for the week, i was pretty good, in fact i just got back into nail art this summer.

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  32. I think that was my first blue nail polish too!

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  33. So many memories! I was only allowed to wear lipstick and eyeliner at 15...I loved the navy blue pencil and couldn't live without the fuchsia iridescent lipstick! Oh I wish I could find a pic!

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  34. Oh the memories! I actually still have a tube of the old wet n wild lipstick and a couple of bottles of old nail polish. The nail polish still works. I am still waiting for Black Ice to make a return so I can buy my weight in backups.

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  35. I remember all of these!! I can remember going to WalMart and seeing the displays. There was a red creme polish that my grandmother loved. I would polish her nails all the time for her. I miss her (she passed in 96) and this is a wonderful reminder of her. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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