My 1940s makeup look

September 22, 2013

Many have asked me the question how I do my makeup and thus I decided to explain it by using a blank face chart (I am working on my video tutorial skills, promise). I have been using makeup for a long time but not necessarily to beautify myself; no, I use it to show the world who I am. It shows my style. My way of living! Yes, makeup is a part of my 1940s outer shell. Now, I do know that makeup was very, very scarce in wartime but since I have a choice in the way I look anno 2013; I find my inspiration with in the looks of the Old Hollywood movie queens. Except, ofcourse, when I have an event where I have to portray the dire situation at the end of the war. Looking all glam is 99% of the time a no-no then.

But, since I love to look impeccable as if I stepped from the silverscreen into this modern world, ánd since I never set a foot outdoors without makeup, I like to make the most of it. Ofcourse authentically done like they did in the 1940s. And I am gonna show you how.

Let's get started!

First and foremost I clean my face entirely and then I start coloring my face by putting on some foundation. Now, my mother is a redhead and I have inherited those ginger genes! My skin is very, very white. I cannot tan (I only get lobster red) but you know ... to be quite frank with you ... I don't even wánt to tan. Yes I know: having a tan was very desireable in the 1930s and 1940s and they could do so as the sun was less damaging in those times.

Even though I like my white skin, I do have had difficulties in finding the right foundation ... they were all too dark for me. But my search payed off and I found the right one in Maybelline Fit me no.115 Ivory. That is the lightest of the serie. When I have an evening out I use a darker tone; the Maybelline Fit me no.120 Classic Ivory.

To apply this to my face the best way, I use a makeup sponge and break it in half. I use the roughest edge where I have teared it apart and apply it onto my face with a stippling technique. Never forget to take your earlobes, neck and décolletage along the way, too.

Then I start to work on my eyebrows. I don't have to do much with them as my eyebrows are typical 1940s ones. I brush my eyebrows clean, brush them up and then apply eyebrow pencil along the upper line of my brow and softly use feather strokes to fill them. I use a dark brown color.

Then I apply a brown eyeshadow. Browns were not only a popular eyeshadow color in the 1940s; it also brings out the green in my green eyes. I use the color Cacao mania no.118 of LÓreal. But I don't always use eyeshadow, sometimes I use vaseline which was a very cheap trick if you didn't had any eyeshadow but still wanted to give your eyes a shimmer. 

What I dó use most of the time ... is eyeliner. In the 1940s, to enlarge the eyes, a black eyebrow pencil was used to draw a thin line along the upper and lower eyelids with the two lines meeting about a quarter of an inch outside the outer corner of the eye to create a faint shadow by smoothing the lines and this is how I apply my eye makeup aswell. And then I finish with black mascara but only on the upper eyelash, multiple layers. If I do use mascara on the lower lashes I might aswell apply for a job as Morticia Addams. It looks like spiders are crawling out of my eyes and it creates a fake shadow that makes me look tired.

After that I apply some rouge powder. I use a peach color that I use véry lightly to keep that natural effect.
If I have a photoshoot I use some bronzing powder to shape my face. Then I powder my face (the rouge needs to be únder the powder to keep that natural glow) but I don't always necessarily use powder. When you do, make sure you remove the excessive powder with a tissue.

Last but not least: I paint my lips in a dark red from the Dita von Teese Art Deco line no.628 Maitresse. I really like this lipstick as it is very longlasting and doesn't bleed or dries the lips out. I start with a lip pencil and draw along the lines of my mouth and then finish by filling it with the lipstick. 
I also love the 1930s alót! and when I am dressed in a thirties ensemble I also apply my makeup like they did back then. I will go through those steps with you aswell, so stay tuned!

Face charts are courtesy of © Bobbi Brown

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