The fashion of the 1940s and ’50s has always fascinated me with its puffy skirts and bold red lipstick. I attempted to time travel through makeup and recreate a Marilyn Monroe-esque look.
Quick ’40s makeup history
Makeup had become pretty mainstream and acceptable since the 1920s and had to be more practical since lots of women were working in the war effort and didn’t have time to spend doing elaborate makeup. Eyes were kept more neutral, with the lid highlighted slightly and the crease darkened a bit with beige or light brown shadows. Eyebrows were more towards natural brows after the pencil thin, kind of scary, 1930’s brows. But, they were darkened with pencil and heavily arched. Bright lip colours were encouraged to keep morale up during the war. Younger women wore bright and brilliant reds. Pinks or corals were popular natural options. The look that is now mostly associated with vintage makeup is bolder than the everyday look of the 1940s but, still follows the style from then.
How I did this look
I wasn’t planning on doing a post for this since I hadn’t tried to do vintage makeup before and I wasn’t sure how well it was going to turn out, so I didn’t get any pictures of the of applying the makeup. Just products will have to do for now!
Foundation had recently become easily available in the 40s making flawless skin popular. Powder was worn in a light shade to make the face paler than usual. The first step I did, was applying a green concealer to any red spots or pimples. Green contrasts the red colour. I used Maybelline Coverstick Concealer. Then I covered my whole face in foundation. The one I use is old and the label fell off so I’m not too sure what it is and as I’m writing this I just remembered that they say you should throw makeup away after awhile. Oops! It appears to be a Rimmel London foundation. After foundation, I used Rimmel London Hide The Blemish Concealer in 001 Ivory to cover pimples then Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer in fair under my eyes to cover dark circles. Bright blush was applied towards the ears on the cheek bones as opposed to on the apples of the cheeks like what’s common now. I used a combination of two colours from a NYX kit that I got on clearance. After blush, heavy powder is key to make sure everything is very matte. I used NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder.
Eyes and brows
I started by using a flat thin brush and lining my waterline and cover the lid with a pale shimmery shadow from a random pallet that I got as a gift once.
Then in the crease, I used a combination of several shadows from the above-mentioned NYX pallet to create just the right shade of brown. If you have blue or grey eyes, cool shades like grey or silver would be better for this step but since my eyes are green the brown brings the colouring out.
Leaving the under eye completely clear except a line of Maybelline Eyestudio in brown just 1/4 of the way to make the eye appear wider. On the top lid, I used an unidentifiable black liquid eyeliner to create a wing. Using the Maybelline eyeliner and a Rimmel London Eyebrow Pencil in black I filled in my eyebrows making sure to arch them quite a bit. For the finishing touch, I used false eyelashes instead of mascara because I am obsessed with false eyelashes!
Lips were so important in the 1940s. Women were encouraged to kiss letters they were sending to soldiers, leaving lipstick prints, to keep morale up. Tutorials in magazines suggested using lipliner to overline your lips and make them look fuller. I used NYC Lipstick in 432 Red Rapture. It’s darker than fire engine red but I think this is a more flattering colour on me.
Let me know what you thought about the makeup tutorial! Should I do more? And what decade is your favourite for style?