The Beauty Brand Betty Draper Would Approve Of


BuildYourWebsitePt2When digging through Marcelle’s archives, we couldn’t help but wonder if the company had hired Mad Men‘s Sterling Cooper for its mid-century ads, in which glamorous women are accompanied by the promise of gentle, fragrance-free cosmetics. Those ads are just one portion of the expansive history behind the now Canadian-based beauty brand, which has offered its customers hypoallergenic formulas since 1933. Follow Marcelle’s steps from its Chicago inception in the late 19th century to its rise as one of our northern neighbor’s most powerful beauty players.

1874-early 1900s:

Marcelle launches as a cosmetics company in Chicago by C.W. Beggs Sons & Co. with its crème poudre (better known as cream powder makeup)

April_Marcelle_History_02Early 1900s

The brand dedicates itself to intensive skincare research, looking for innovative formulas and ingredients, as seen in this product insert from 1926.


After meeting several patients with cosmetic allergies, dermatologist Dr. Phil Blazer transforms Marcelle into a hypoallergenic beauty line, offering gentle products like its original Dusting Powder and Cold Cream for patients with sensitive skin.


Marcelle exhibits its safe-yet-effective line of products including lotions, vanishing creams, and rouge at the American Medical Convention in New York City.


Marcelle gains exclusive distribution at Cape’s Rexall Drugs in Quebec and launches its Dry Skin Lubricating Cream, which boasts the brand’s AMA seal of approval on the label.


April_Marcelle_History_06The brand updates its logo and packaging to match the graphic designs of the decade and highlights its gentle, colorful cosmetics (including skin creams and makeup) in glamorous illustrated magazine ads like this one.


Shortly after gaining distribution throughout all of Canada, the brand advertises in Mademoiselle as a leader in stylish cosmetics for sensitive skin.


April_Marcelle_History_08The brand launches its “Recommended by a Dermatologist” ad campaign starring actressVeronica Hamel in magazines like Cosmopolitan.


Marcelle concentrates its efforts on developing its brand in Canada, focusing on its hero products—the Moisture Lotion and Moisture Cream.


Marcelle’s Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes hits the market, and remains the brand’s best seller to date. In Canada, one bottle of the makeup remover is sold every minute.


The brand introduces its hypoallergenic, perfume-free BB Cream-to-Powder, the first of its kind in North America.


Revenge actress Karine Vanasse becomes Marcelle’s newest brand ambassador, speaking out about the brand’s hypoallergenic and perfume-free products.


The brand is moving full speed ahead into the future of beauty, with an expanded array of BB Cream shades as well a new skincare line—stay tuned!

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