1940’s Makeup – Easy Tutorial by Lauren Clark

How to make up simple but accurate 1940s face!


There are plenty of glossy retro 1940s video tutorials abounding on YouTube, but we found this simple and accurate guide by makeup artist Lauren Clark. You can visit her YouTube channel for other makeup era videos and the Lauren Clark website for lessons.

Lauren quickly highlights the main points of achieving a 1940s look. Bearing in mind that for many – it was a frugal period of rationing. ” In the 1940s, very natural colors were used if any at all, Vaseline on lips for a little shine “. See our Christmas Beauty tips for London women during the Blitz of 1941.

” Really the two features that were played up in the 1940s were the lashes and very bright red lips.”

1940s Eye Makeup.


For her 1940s eye look – Lauren goes on to avoid using fancy things like a base and applies a medium to light brown on her lid. She then highlights with a matte beige, and not applied too thickly. Just to even out her skin tone. In the crease she uses a cork color. “That’s all there really is too the eyeshadow” she says. She then goes on to line her eyes with a gel liner – no fancy wings, just to make the lashes look a bit fuller. Lauren notes from her research – though there is no specific mention of it that women seemed to have a very bright shade to the waterline – so Lauren suggests using a nude colored eye pencil on the water line.

1940s Makeup Foundation.

Lauren goes on to point out – ” In the 1920s and 1930s, a lighter more ivory type complexion was in style and by the 1940s we see that transition to a darker more rosy colored foundation!” Pink based foundations were indeed very popular in the war years. Lauren herself chooses a mix of pink based and yellow – since she has yellow undertones. Quite rightly Lauren points out the fad back then of setting foundation always with a ‘lighter color’. This was the case well into the 1970s from our own research. Powder was the one thing used lavishly back in the 1940s, and as can be seen in our archive 1960s makeup tutorial film from the Harold Baim archive – this was still the case by the early 1960’s.

1940s Brow Makeup.

“The thin brows of the 1920s and 1930s were no longer in style” says Lauren, so fill those natural brows and glisten with Vaseline.

1940s Rouge Makeup.


For rouge, Lauren suggests a peachy tone, right on the apples of the cheeks and brought down a tad.

1940s Lip Makeup.


Then the lips. “In the 40’s, they accentuate the top lip and leave the bottom alone, but accentuate it in such a manner to make the top appear fuller and wider.Very bright reds were popular, orange reds, blue reds” Lauren uses an orange red here [ which I personally feel is the definitive 1940s lip color ]. Start with a red lip liner.

1940s Mascara look.


Lauren finishes off with mascara. [ it would have been a cake mascara then – applied with a brush!]. Lauren suggests to do yours in whatever way you choose.

The final look achieved by Lauren is gorgeous and looks very accurate. Check out Lauren Clark’s website and YouTube channel for more great tutorials.

That’s all !

©Lauren Clark

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