Foundation Tips From The 1920s To The 1960s

Makeup Trends Through The Years – 

By Jane Thomas 

Makeup trends have evolved over the years, and with each decade, women learn new tips and tricks to look more flawless and polished by using foundation or makeup base. From the flapper-style makeup of the 1920s to the hippie chic look of the 60s, advancements in the formulation of foundation and the aesthetics of the times have influenced the way women enhance their looks. If you’re looking for some beauty inspiration and would like a unique makeup look, try any of these foundation tips from the 1920s to the 60s.

The 1920s

1923 Dixor Velouty Powder Cream - Image: cosmetics and skin
1923 Dixor Velouty Powder Cream – Image cosmetics and skin

Before the dawn of the 20th Century, women were discreet when it came to using cosmetics, but by the 1920s, most women were not afraid to sport bold makeup to transform their looks. Though liquid foundation and concealer weren’t available at the time, women found a way to enhance skin with a makeup base that was widely available during those times. Face powder was the foundation of choice during the 20s, and women chose pale or ivory-colored powders to get that porcelain skin look. To mimic the look of the 20s, apply loose powder liberally to your face, and do touch-ups within the day to keep your skin looking matte and perfect.

The 1930s

Joan Bennett wears Pancake foundation in – Vogues-of-1938

During the 1930s, Hollywood makeup names such as Max Factor and Elizabeth Arden produced various foundation creams commercially, which they had developed for some of the leading actresses. Max Factors foundation cream was originally sold under the name Society Makeup. But in 1937 a new innovation in makeup devised for the technicolor process and first demonstrated in Vogues of 1938, became an instant favorite among movie stars and women all over the U.S.— Max Factor’s pancake foundation. Containing a highly pigmented powder incorporated into a dehydrated cream, how you applied it was different from using typical powder makeup. The result was a beautiful and extremely matte finish that made it ideal for film or the stage. It was to set the stage for all easy to apply foundations thereafter. To use, apply foundation using a dense, damp sponge. Blend well around the eye area. For best results, use pancake foundation on bare skin.

The 1940s


The look of the 1940s was all about having red lips and arched eyebrows, and women paired this look with heavy foundation that was a tad darker than their skin tone. Max Factor’s Pancake was the market leader in the early 40s. To mimic the look of the 40s, use liquid or powder foundation that’s a half shade darker than your complexion. Next, apply loose powder to set your foundation.

The 1950s

Max Factors Erace Concealer stick – Image Cosmetics and Skin

The 50s was all about glamour, and pastel pink lip colors became popular during this time. Though the makeup look of the times was still polished, it was softer and more youthful looking than the look of the previous decade. Liquid foundation also became more popular during the 50s, and the first concealer was launched during this decade.


Get some beauty inspiration from 50s icons Grace Kelly and Esther Williams and use a liquid foundation to even out your skin, then set with a matching powder.

The 1960s


The 1960s both captured the more refined look of the 50s and the easy, carefree look of the 1970s. In the early 60s, women applied pale cream foundation and lashings of powder for a flawless look. But by the mid 60s, the London look began to evolve as hippie chic became popular, so women started easing up on the makeup base as they began to embrace a more natural look. The 1920s retro look came in with fresh clear skin, freckles revealed, pale lips and heavy mascara thanks to the likes of Twiggy and Lisa Minnelli in Cabaret.  Get the look of the early 60s by using foundation with a satin finish and top it off with natural colored pressed powder.

This year, get inspired by the foundation trends of the past decade. Try these tips for a beautiful vintage makeup look to bring out the glamorous side of you.

That’s all !
©Glamourdaze 2018

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