Testing Vintage: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

During my mental health break, I also took a break from wearing make up and styling my hair. Now that I’ve returned to the land of the living, I’ve started getting dolled up a little more which has rekindled my love for a vintage product I started testing. Way back at the beginning of this year, I stumbled upon a 2015 Vogue interview where Dita Von Teese listed her favourite Drugstore Beauty items. The second of items she recommends was Coty Airspun Loose Powder. Dita states, “I love Coty Airspun powder, but I have to confess that I don’t really use it on my face, but all over my body for shows. I love the fragrance, it’s so old-fashioned.” Even though Dita may not use it as a face powder, I was really intreagued and eventually ordered it online. If it’s good enough for the queen of vintage, it’s good enough for me!

Airspun was launched in 1935 in response to the popular “Bite Test” phenomenon that was sweeping the nation. Lady Esther (a best selling cosmetic company in the US at the time) had launched an advertising campaign that urged women to use the ‘bite test’ to see if their powder contained ‘grit’. “Take a pinch of your powder and place it between your front teeth. Bring your teeth down on it and grind firmly. If there is any trace of grit in the powder it will be as instantly detectable as sand in spinach” (source). The success of the bite test campaign sent many cosmetic companies looking for a manufacturing process that would enable them to improve their face powders so that they would pass the bite test and give them a fresh marketing hook that was at least as powerful as the one used by Lady Esther. In 1934, Coty secured the exclusive rights to a new manufacturing process using air-powered micronisers. This process improved Coty’s face powders and, just as importantly, gave them a new marketing angle. From now on their powders would be marketed as ‘Air Spun’ (source).
Coty patented the processing process for their powder in 1934 which involved blasting powder particles with air which caused the powder to be spun into the air and settling into a cloud like softness. “Imagine! A powder buffed by rushing torrents of air! Swirled in a fantastic snow-storm! Spun and driven until it reaches a softness and a smoothness never equaled by any other face powder!”. This is where the name, Airspun, came from.

Ingredients
Talc, Calcium Silicate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Acetate, Zinc Stearate, Fragrances, Stearyl Acetate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, Oleyl Acetate, Propylparaben, (May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide).

Product Claims
Hide lines & wrinkles: Coty Airspun face powder in translucent extra coverage is a loose face & setting powder that helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, scars & other blemishes, giving your facial skin a smoother, softer look. Foundation or setting powder: Coty Airspun face powder can be used to help smooth & soften the appearance of your skin as a foundation coverage, or use the loose powder on top of your makeup as a setting powder so you can get that flawless, smooth look. Lightweight long lasting coverage: Airspun Loose Face Powder is long lasting & helps give full coverage that feels lightweight enough to wear all day. This face powder can be used as a foundation or setting powder & helps your face look smooth & flawless. Flawless finish: Get the flawless finish you want with the help of Airspun loose face powder. Use to set contouring and highlights, or to help conceal and reduce the look of rough skin, fine lines, wrinkles, skin blemishes & help correct uneven skin tones.

Coty describe the powder as “one of the best kept beauty secrets since 1935. Airspun is a loose face powder that’s blended with air to create a lightweight, velvety finish. This finely milled powder hides lines, wrinkles and blemishes leaving a flawless finish. Airspun can be used for ‘baking’ highlight and contour, setting makeup or even applying as a foundation. This timeless powder is a must-have for any beauty lover”.

I’ve been using Coty Airspun powder since about February (about 6 months) and have to say, I absolutely love it. I have the super translucence “colour” and find it works perfectly as a finishing powder after I put on my foundation. Now I normally try to look as matte as possible when it comes to my makeup; after years of struggling with acne, the dewy look just reminds me of my out of control oil production during puberty and there’s no way I want to go back to that look. This powder has a very matte finish which made me very happy. I normally apply my foundation with a makeup sponge but I found that applying my Airspun powder with a brush to be the best application method. The powder itself comes with a powder puff but I found that a makeup brush stopped me looking very dry on my forehead (a major problem I have). By dabbing the powder on with a brush I don’t get as many tiny skin flakes and my skin looks smooth, even and clear.

Miss MonMon tests Coty Airspun Powder from 1935.
Miss MonMon tests Coty Airspun Powder from 1935.

The powder has a light, soft, feminine scent which isn’t exactly floral and more musky. It does smell a little like old ladies but honestly, I’m ok with that. Throughout the day, I find that I don’t normally need to reapply but some days where I’m really running around, I do give myself a little more powder to freshen up. The powder is really lightweight, the scent fades very quickly and the overall effect makes my skin look flawless (you know, as much as it can being acne prone and all). If you do have a minute, I’d recommend watching my review video as I do show you the finish of the Airspun powder over the top of four different foundations including Fenty, Estee Lauder and Charlotte Tilbury. As I have only used the translucent powder, I can’t comment on the tinted powders which can apparently be used as a foundation. After I finish this powder, I will definitely be trying out the tinted powder.

The history of Coty and Airspun is one that is pretty interesting and I have a list of sources that you may find helpful:

“Air Spun” face powder by Coty. (1935). The Drug & Cosmetic Industry 37(2). 195, 200.

Appell, L. (1982). Cosmetics, fragrances and flavors: Their formulation and preparation with an introduction to the physical aspects of odor and selected syntheses of aromatic chemicals. Whiting, NJ: Novox.

deNavarre, M. G. (1941). The chemistry and manufacture of cosmetics. Boston: D Van Nostrand Company.

Thomssen, B. S. (1947). Modern cosmetics (3rd ed.). New York: Drug & Cosmetic Industry.

Toledano, R. B. & Coty, E. Z. (2009). François Coty. Fragrance, power, money. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company.

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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