Color television wasn't widespread until, oh, the late 1960s. But don't think that stopped makeup brands from advertising their wares on black-and-white programming. They just had to get creative. Really creative. Weirdly creative.

Take, for instance, this advertisement for Revlon's hot new shade of 1956—Snow Peach. "Won't you come with me to this flowering orchard of beauty to welcome the exciting birth of a fabulous new color? A fantastic color like nothing ever known before! It's the lighter, brighter look in a lipstick and nail enamel that's pure allure for you. Revlon's Snow Peach," declares a very properly attired spokesmodel. Cue a jingle that goes, "Snow Peach! Snow Peach!" and a little clip of fake snow on fake peaches:

You see, without some sort of color image, none of us has any fucking clue what "snow peach" looks like. So instead they create an elaborate fantasia to convey "a peach with a pink complexion cooling its blushes in the snow." So it's... a frosted peach? Still not entirely clear!

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Revlon went in a completely different direction to advertise for Berry Bon Bon, which "lifts red to a never-before-boiling point brilliant on lips and fingertips," "a bright berry red that steals a little freshness and innocence from pink." Because, again, I don't know what the fuck that means, they've borrowed a Parisian street scene set from the local community theater outfit and set a bunch of models to romantic hijinks like very dramatically opening a balcony door:

This advertisement for Viv feels especially like an uphill battle. "Choose your favorite, from six vivid shades," and "never before, a lipstick so red." Of course, all I see is grey, so I guess I'll just have to take their word for it and drag my butt to the grocery store:

Ok, fine, so nobody can get a sense of true color from black and white. Maybe start advertising funky lipstick cases?

Alternatively, you can hire newsman Mike Wallace and replicate the old trick where you smear peanut butter on brown paper. Can't have your husband know the touch of dry lips, ladies!

Photo via Getty.