Saturday, 25 July 2015

Beyond Biba┃Barbara Hulanicki Make-Up


The Barbara Hulanicki Make-Up Range

I've recently photographed some examples of the Barbara Hulanicki Make-Up range from my personal collection, which I purchased on Ebay circa 2008. The range was developed in the early 1980s and eventually launched in Autumn of 1983, the decision to produce a Hulanicki range was largely influenced by the continuing success of the Biba cosmetics line that she had created in 1970, which was still available nationwide throughout Britain via Dorothy Perkins and also at Etam branches and selected chemists in the Republic of Ireland, proving unequivocally, that in spite of Big Biba's demise some 8 years previously, the popularity of the brand and the legacy of Biba was still very much alive and well. The vibrant new 1980s Hulanicki range was encased in Barbara's signature Art Deco style packaging and moderately priced, with blushers retailing at £5.85, lipsticks at £2.65 and nail varnish at £1.99. It was initially available through Top Shop and The Body Shop in the UK, and at H&M (known as Hennes & Mauritz at the time) in Sweden and Germany. In 1985 it launched in the USA, retailing through Macy's Department Store and Judy shops in California until 1989 when Barbara sold the cosmetics line to the L.A based investors of Ronnie Wood's nightclub Woody's On The Beach, whereafter it disappeared from view, until now....

Art deco influenced retail display unit from the Barbara Hulanicki Make-Up range, c.1983.

Barbara Hulanicki, sketches for cosmetic colours and looks, 1983.

A selection of shades from the Barbara Hulanicki eyeshadow range, starting at the very top and moving in a clockwise direction, the colours are as follows: Pitchblack No.28; Opal No. 9; Cosmic No.8; Dallas No.27; and lastly Nocturne No.13.

Packaging detail from the Barbara Hulanicki Make-Up range, 1983.

Example of a plastic carrier bag from the range featuring the brand logo.

Four mascaras from the Barbara Hulanicki cosmetic range 1983. Left to Right; Dracula No.104 (black of course,the name speaks for itself); 122 (a bright metallic jade green, this one had no specific identifying name other than the number but it may possibly have been called Goblin); Queen No.107 (a bright metallic amethyst purple); and finally, Devil No.106 (which is a burnished metallic red).

Hulanicki Nail Varnish in Tremor No.32 (a burnished old gold).

Radium No.3 mini blush (a very bright/neon fuschia).

Hulanicki 'Tremor' nail varnish No.32,  art deco influenced packaging detail.


My complete collection of Hulanicki Make-Up, the two silver compact cases are empty apart from a mirror inside, sadly there is no actual product or indication of what it may have originally contained, but i'm assuming that it would have been pressed powder or perhaps a larger format blusher.

All Hulanicki cosmetic product images photographed by Sweet Jane from my personal collection, Barbara Hulanicki illustration 1983 scanned from The Biba Years 1963-1975, Special thanks to Likrish Marchese of Barbara Hulanicki Design for personally providing me with the photograph of the cosmetics display unit and all additional information. You can find Barbara Hulanicki Design here. Barbara Hulanicki on Facebook & Twitter. My post about Biba's American debut, and a make-up tutorial with Biba girl Ingrid Boulting in 1971. And finally, a contemporary make-up tutorial inspired by the Biba look can be found on the Lisa Eldridge website                                                


  1. I have one of these fab stands and a whole selection of cosmetics. I need to find a new home for it all as I am running out of space !
    Is there anybody out there interested ?
    By the way Jane, the silver compacts contain some very vibrant coloured blushers ... I have 2 unused in this collection ! Fran x

    1. Hi Fran,
      So good to hear that one of the stands (and some more of the cosmetics) have survived!
      I have no doubt that lots of people will be interested, I think the Biba Facebook Group would be the perfect place for you to find out x


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