What Makeup did women really wear in the 1940’s ?

What Makeup did women really wear in the 1940’s ?
Gabriela Hernandez

Time for a short retrospective. One of the main cosmetic products pushed now is foundation. The obsession for a smooth skin, no matter what your age. Back in the 1940’s, very few women wore foundation at all. Just lots of creamy colored powder for that pale feminine look.

The three fundamental 1940’s makeup beauty products to have in the old handbag was redder than red lipstick, and rouge,  which came in tiny little pots. Even eye makeup was not an essential ! But the pinups of the 1940’s went  nowhere without standout black eyeliner and long long eyelashes. There was no blusher to speak of. So to be truly authentic, less is more ! Killer lipstick is all a girl really needs.In Cosmetic brands, Max Factor towered over most competition, with only Elisabeth Arden giving them a run for their money.

Like most vintage fashion fans, Besame Cosmetics founder Gabriela Hernandez drew huge inspiration from her own familys past.

“Besame came from my love of Artwork, my love of the history of  makeup,and of course the song Besame Mucho !  I remember when I was little and admiring my aunts, and my  grandmother and my mom.
They really didn’t go out without doing their hair or putting on lipstick. Besame was inspired by the kind of products my Grandmother used to have like her lipstick and her rouge. We make reproductions of 1940’s style cosmetic products. We have the bullet lipstick that was popular in the  1940’s. The line symbolizes the woman of that period.”

The lipstick bullet got its name from it’s resemblance to a bullet cartridge. Cosmetics were so military minded in the 1940’s !

The 1940’s was a pivotal time in makeup artistry. Starlet looks and femininity.The face was to be glamorous but natural ! Rosy red colors and pink undertones.Eyebrows were kept natural and not plucked out of existence as they had been back in the 1930’s. If you are truly interested in learning vintage style makeup,one can’t go wrong by looking up the history of makeup.
These early pioneers changed women’s lives.
copyright 2010 Glamourdaze

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13 thoughts on “What Makeup did women really wear in the 1940’s ?”

  1. Depends where they were, in the 40s. A haggard, gaunt look was what most of my relatives wore. Lipstick was the first thing that reappeared though, that's true, you could get some from US soldiers..
    Recently one of my cousins thought a photo was of my mother, even though it was clearly of my grandmother, it was just that the war years were the only time in her life where she didn't dye her hair blond.

  2. I'm really glad to see this post, as I've been told by my dermatologist recently that makeup is a nono for me while I'm being treated for some nasty dermatitis. All I could think was "How am I going to pull off the beautiful vintage pin up look now?" To hear that ladies didn't actually use that much make up is a relief, I don't have to feel like I'm not living up to them anymore!

  3. Great post. So many gals have it in their head that they need to pile on a crapton of foundation and powder for a vintage look. Hardly the case!

  4. My aunt who is in her 80s still never leaves the house with a coat of red lipstick! Occasionally some powder but I've never seen her apply anything else

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