Thursday, October 01, 2009

End of a childhood nightmare

A few weeks ago, Rattling On wrote a very tempting post about Boots Original Beauty Formula Products. (If, like me, you have a love of social history and all things nostalgic, you will find lots to interest you over there - click on Nostalgia in her sidebar and enjoy!) Well, I decided that I could resist temptation no longer and headed into our nearest town to see what Boots had to offer.

Isn't the packaging gorgeous? I did, however, have another reason for buying the pot of Vanishing Day Cream. It wasn't that I wanted the day to vanish but to solve a mystery from my childhood. My mother always had two little white glass pots of cream on her dressing table, one of cold cream and the other was called vanishing cream. I used to hide the latter because I was terrified that she would use it and disappear. It became the subject of nightmares in which my mother and the Cheshire Cat would be sitting in a tree and gradually fade from view.

Looking back, I wonder why I didn't simply ask her why she had this dangerous substance on her dressing table but if children behaved sensibly there wouldn't be any terrifying fairy stories, would there? At least I can put the terrors to rest now. I haven't quite plucked up the courage to open the pot and it will probably be a long time before I dare to apply the cream but I now understand its name: Our Original Beauty Formula Vanishing Day Cream is a classic formula, which literally vanishes into skin.

Mystery solved, nightmares banished.  Or was there something different about Pond's Vanishing Cream.......


  1. That is such a gripping story of how you worried your mom would vanish if she used the dangerous vanishing cream.
    The things that children worry about that parents don't even suspect.
    Thank goodness she didn't vanish.
    Are you going to dare to use the cream to test its powers?

  2. Dear Monix,

    So loved this post; I think you are a kindred spirit. I plan to do a post sometime in the future about small items I purchase simply because of the packaging. Also, I really enjoyed your childhood memory--so sweet. I didn't have nightmares as a child, but I did have bouts of insomnia. Late at night when everyone else was asleep, I would snatch my mother's Pond's Cold Cream and give myself a facial, pretending I was doing a cosmetic commercial. I was about 6-years-old. I could days without sleeping and I never told anyone, either.

  3. Terra
    Wouldn't it be lovely if I could apply the cream to all the bits that I would like to vanish?

  4. Jodi
    This makes me wonder what secret fears my own children had. Parenting is a very tricky business.

  5. Maureen, thanks for the link.
    I love these products, the packaging is just a bonus really.
    My own mum never used anything interesting, and didn't have a dressing table. She kept her bits and bobs in a drawer. I once asked her what the box of Tampax was, and (prude that she is/was) she said 'They're something of your Dad's'. Years later when I discovered what they actually were...well!!

  6. Rattling On
    You don't just provide bucket loads of nostalgia, you make me laugh out loud!

  7. I can't ever remember my mum using any kind of cosmetic except lipstick, but do recall rummaging in my Granny's draw to look for the jar of Ponds Cold cream and puzzled to know why the cream was called 'cold'. The jar was such a lovely shape and I remember cupping it my small hands thinking that perhaps if I held it long enough it would, in some magic way, become cold.

  8. Crinny
    The jars were a lovely shape, weren't they? The plastic containers they use now are the same shape but not so nice to hold as the glass. I don't think my mother ever used eye make-up but she took great care of her skin and never left the house without applying face powder and lipstick. She was incredibly vain about her feet, which she pumiced and creamed every night!

  9. Ah, the imaginations of children. What else could you think? My mother never used cold cream on her face but both of my grandmothers did. Each of them kept a jar of Pond's cold cream on their bathroom shelf. I used to open the jar just to smell it.
    They sell Boots products at our local Target now. I've not really looked at what they carry but I think now I will be looking for vanishing cream!

  10. Karin
    Yes, that distinctive smell! My sister and I never realised that was what gave us away when we had been playing with my mother's cream.

  11. Ponds cold cream in an Opaque white glass jar? that brings back distant memories, I remember kissing my mother goodnight it always evokes the memory of the scent of her face powder ..I think it was Max Factor..just a small amount and on special occasions a little lipstick... Gosh you just made me think of eau de cologne in a distinctively labeled small bottle..4711 I think, my Grandmother used it. It makes me remember long crepe draped dresses, a gold locket and a kind calm presence... (she was born in 1889)gosh you stirred my memory up there!Monix

  12. Wow! 4711 - I used it when I was kid and still keep a bottle on my dresser.

  13. Val and erp
    I had forgotten 4711. what lovely memories that brings back - the textured label and the lovely little flat bottle to carry in a handbag. These trips dpwn memory lane may be highly selective but I do enjoy them!


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