We all take affordable beauty for granted these days, but when Boots introduced its No7 – then Number Seven – range 80 years ago, in 1935, there was very little choice for women operating on a beauty budget but wanting the best in skincare and the latest in make-up fashions. Launched with the advertising slogan “The Modern Way to Loveliness”, Number Seven became the go-to brand for our grannies (I still have my grandmother’s beautiful Number Seven lipstick from that era, which has a gold tube embossed with little stars) who appreciated the quality of the products.
Great effort went in to making Number Seven as luxurious as possible, and it was described by Boots as “a series of deluxe beauty preparations in which is embodies more than 50 years’ experience of toilet preparations”. The brand launched with a collection of skincare, with packaging designed by the celebrated Carlton Studios and a leading beauty writer named Mrs Dalrymple was hired to help with the publicity. She arranged cocktail parties to which she invited housewives and, from time to time, a few well-known personalities.
Over the years, the advertising campaigns have changed – notably the revolutionary move, in 2013, away from models to real, un-airbrushed, women in the “Ta-dah!” campaign, launched to highlight how great the beauty products can make the customer feel – but the ethos of quality, innovative skincare and on-trend cosmetics remains.
To celebrate its big birthday, No7 has launched a limited edition collection comprising three new lip glosses, a new radiant shimmer palette and two new eyeshadow palettes. The range is available now from Boots stores.