Are you an old soul who loves the look of retro makeup ?
The internet is full of videos and articles on the subject. But how authentic are they ? Let's take a step back in time to see the retro beauty trends of the past. Historically speaking of course.
40's Makeup Look
Makeup was instrumental in boosting moral in the forties. During the war effort, magazines and governments encouraged it's use. Helping to create a sense of normalcy and pride for women in their ever changing roles.
The look of 1940's make up was soft, powdered and natural. One exception was the iconic red lips.
Red lipstick became a statement against fascism and sign of patriotism. It even became mandatory for women in the US military.
You can read a great article about Elizabeth Arden's regulation lip and nail color here.
Due to rations and limited availability, women had to make due with what they had and use their ingenuity. Natural remedies often took the place of common makeup items we take for granted today.
Typical 40's makeup items used :
• Vanishing cream (moisturizer that quickly absorbs into skin)
• Loose powder with a puff or compact with mirror
• Rouge, if you could find it. Or a homemade substitute such as beetroot.
• Mascara in cream or solid form, applied with a brush. Or Vaseline and homemade colouring agent as a substitute.
50's Makeup Look
The 1950’s were considered the golden age of makeup products. TV, film and magazines capitalized on the mass consumerism boom after the war.
The 50’s housewife was a major marketing target. New companies and products sprung up with the latest fashion trends and Hollywood stars were quick to promote them.
Max factor created the first base and powder all in one in 1953. And the first concealer in 1954. Later in the decade, mascara in wand form was invented.
The vintage 50s makeup look was impeccable and glamorous. Eye shadow colours were pastels, with pinks and reds lips, Thick arch defined brows were in style at the beginning of the decade and gradually got thinner as it got closer to the 60’s.
Typical 50’s makeup items used:
• Light liquid foundation
• Cake makeup
• Face Powder and puff or compact
• Cream or dry rouge
• Eye shadow
• Eyebrow pencil
• Cleansing cold cream
• Night cream
60's Makeup Look
The 1960’s were a trans formative decade. As the baby boomers explored the changing world. Beatlemania, Mods, Motown, movies and hippies influenced culture, fashion and makeup.
Cosmetic companies continued to grow and create new innovative products. Liquid matte foundation and liquid eye shadows debuted in this decade. Along with false eyelashes, cream eye shadow and liquid eyeliner.
Makeup in the 60’s saw an huge emphasis on the eyes, thickly lined with bright metallic shadows. Often matching the eye color. Blue, white, grey, green and lilac were popular shadow colors. Lips were soft in pinks and corals.
Typical 60’s makeup items used:
• Cream or pan cake foundation
• Face Powder with puff or compact
• Cream or Powder Rouge
• Eyebrow pencil
• Highlighting cream
• Eye Shadow
• Liquid or pencil eyeliner
• Wand Mascara
• Lipstick in soft tone
• Lip gloss
• False Lashes
In closing, I would like to tell you about a retro makeup company called Besame Cosmetics. Besame is based in California. The owner is inspired by vintage makeup and honors the past and it's traditions. It shows in everything they create and sell.
They are a quality retro vintage replica makeup line and are currently featured in the Netflix series Hollywood.
You can shop their amazing retro style makeup here
duke .edu, English Heritage, Glamourdaze, Besame, Pinterest, Skyrock