1940s Beauty & Makeup – From Summer to Autumn

 Virginia Mayo shares her Fall beauty tips for 1948 –


Sterling 1940s beauty advice from Virginia Mayo, on how to use foundation and powder in dealing with a fading summer tan!

With the first whisper of Autumn, a revolution in color takes place. Our whole outside world changes from lush greens to tawny shades. Inside our homes, colorful draperies and rugs again take their place after a summer rest in moth balls. Our pastel cottons and play clothes are replaced by deep, vibrant tones in woollens or chic black. hats follow the costume trends. Everywhere there is a leaning toward a vital change in color – everywhere that is, except where it counts – on a woman’s face!


Most of us are too prone to let a tan fade naturally without further ado. And this, of course, a tan will do. Meanwhile, however, you miss an important beauty cue for Fall – a skin radiant and flawless with as much of your natural tones as possible.

This is important, especially if you try a new color, for the general effect upon yo is the gauge by which you find it becoming or not.

1940s Makeup Guides
1940s Makeup Guides – click image

By contrast to the tan, there is the fair skin that has discoloured beyond the limit of the outdoor, rosy glow and now looks frankly florid, or the girl who freckles and presents a mottled look to the world.

What is the quickest way to return Summer skin to Autumn naturalness?
First, sensible care. This means thorough active cleansing followed by the use of a lubricating cream to offset dryness. Physical action on the skin does induce added circulation and it does hasten the removal of dead cuticles.

Virginia applies her makeup in the modern approved manner

I consulted with Perc Westmore, the director of make-up at Warner Brothers here in Hollywood.
A tinted foundation or make-up base is the happy beauty transfer to naturalness.
“Your foundation shade should match the successive fading of your tan” he explained to me. “Three different shades of foundation are necessary to make the transition” he advises.


With your foundation, preferably a liquid cream at this season, you work on your face for background. once you have your base set, you make a refreshing change in powder. Instead of the usual, prettily tinted kind, you use a completely neutral shade with no colouring. The base has the colouring and the only purpose of the powder is to give your skin a velvety smooth finish.

Did you tan this summer? Is the tan beginning to fade? Does your face now have a drab look in spite of your skin texture? To return its coppery glow, you begin by using a corresponding shade in foundation. This you will later replace by a lighter one, possibly a peach-buff.
Now freckles come to the fore. there are two schools. One is the golden type. poems and songs immortalise this “sprinkling of gold” over a beloved’s nose. These are the freckles that should cause little worry. They fade rapidly. The problem freckle is the dark one – that refuses to budge and has no claim to beauty and your best resort is a base that will, to a degree, conceal.

Lotion for dry skin – cake for oily skin – evenly applied

If you have dry skin – use a liquid base – and dot cheeks, chin and forehead and neck, and then spread evenly. Finish with a light pat.
Then press on your neutral powder until your face is well covered. With a powder brush, remove all loose powder and marvel at the fineness and beauty of the face before you.

For you of the oily skin type, this same fine foundation also comes in a cream cake form. apply this with fingertips, using the same general technique as for the liquid cream type.


That’s all !
©Glamourdaze 2014
Picture Play 1948

Sharing is caring!