Glamour Witch, 1941

The caption for this Cutex advertisement is “Picture Book Glamour.” The witch is, apparently, one of the picture-book variety and, as we all know, picture-book witches are glamorous! (Personally, I can’t recall many glamorous picture-book witches from before November 1941, when this advertisement appeared in Mademoiselle, but perhaps I should look more closely at the illustrations of Glinda in L. Frank Baum‘s Oz series.)

As you can see, the Cutex advertisement is for two shades of nail polish: Sugar Plum and Gingerbread, I think it is Sugar Plum on display, but it is hard to tell from the description: “deep, dark, exciting!” If you find deep, dark, green an exciting colour, then Sugar Plum may be green; if deep, dark blue gets you going, then it could be blue: very confusing. But I think they mean deep, dark red. The alternative, “warm and amber-tinted” is possible, but amber suggests a shade of orange to me. It would be a whole lot easier if they used an exact measurements of RGB wavelengths (red, green, and blue) or HSL colour (hue, saturation and lightness), or, even the ISCC-NBS lexicon of colour names. Then again, if they did that, we would never had got this delightful witch, would we?

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