The History of Makeup: 1940s

October 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Let’s take a look at the History of Makeup: 1940s.

15eea39e265bee796bcc9ea5ed5b757eThe 1940s was a time of classy and sophisticated fashion and beauty. Makeup during this time was clean, and naturally glamorous. Although the war had a serious impact in the European makeup industry with key ingredient shortages of petroleum and alcohol, makeup continued to live on. Women became creative and began to make products in their kitchen with whatever they could find in their homes.

In the USA, makeup was continually manufactured during the war because it was said that the government believed it helped the morale of both the woman wearing it and the man that admired their beauty. It was actually encouraged for women to wear makeup every day!

NOTABLE 1940s FACTS: arkiv_maxfactor

  • Due to the war and women working, loose makeup powders were replaced with powder compacts.
  • Bright red was the most popular color of lipstick.
  • In 1947, after 26 months of development, Max Factor, Jr., released “Pan-Stik” and was later successfully released to the public in 1948.
  • Some major brands during the 1940s were Max Factor, Helena Rubinstein, Maybelline, Elisabeth Arden, Coty, Tangee and Dorothy Gray.

yvonne_decarlo_1940_s_by_slr1238-d77ae3cTHE LOOK:

FACE: Women wanted to keep their makeup looking as natural as possible which is why they used foundation and loose powder that matched their skin. Along with foundation, they used cream Rouge (blush) in a rose/pink shade all over the cheekbones.

Did you know? Due to shortages of rogue in Britain and Europe, women began substituting their rogue with lipstick.

BROWS: Women were no longer painting on their eyebrows and instead kept their eyebrows groomed by combing them. When using an eyebrow pencil the wearer chose to have their eyebrows one shade darker than their hair color.

EYES: Very little eyeshadow was worn during this time, but the rule was, shadow should match eye color. Neutral colors were much desired for evenings which would have a matte finish with no shimmer. Mascara was only worn in dark brown, black or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

LIPS:  Much like the previous decade, the fuller look was desired which was achieved by drawing outside their natural lip line and then applying a matte red lipstick which could be glossed up with Vaseline.

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The History of Shoes: 1930-1939

October 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

History of Shoes: The changing times of 1930-1939.

img-thingWe have made our way through the Victorian/Edwardian Times (1901-1910), the Titanic/Pre-World War I Era (1910-1919), the Roaring 20s (1920-1929) and today we begin the history of shoes during the Great Depression (1929–1939).

The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929 when the stock market crashed—hard! This caused more than 15 million Americans to be without work and looking for ways to stay out of complete poverty. Because of little money, everyday people had to find ways to be entertained for little money which is why this time what considered, the Wishful Era which referred to the attraction of the big screen and radios which they used to escape their reality.images

Although, money was hard to find, fashion had become much more versatile and original due to the lack of funds to get imported fashion items. Some amazing additions included new hemlines like the mid-calf for the day and maxi for the evening.  There were also new shoe styles.


There was a big bloom in innovations for comfortable active footwear with the invention of tennis shoes, a shoe that was made of linen and rubber soles, which was developed in 1934 to be worn by the wealthy when they played sports.

0db2426bed25d3ab9f98afe7b6e77aefThe platform shoes which were shoes created with wood, crock and other materials made their debut in the late 1930s by such designers as Salvatore Ferragamo and André Perugia due to the shortage of leather and the war ban placed on rubber.

There was also a change in the way people wore their shoes, no longer was there a need for men and women to stuff their feet into narrow shoes when there were wider and more comfortable shoes available. Even sandals came back into style which weren’t seen since the Roman times!


Much like men’s fashion, men shoes didn’t have much change with shoes still being found in the colors of brown, thumbs_fred astaire spectator, tailored dreamsblack and tan. Some small changes included the love for two toned brogues due to the multi-talented, Fred Astaire and boots became out of style unless you were a laborer.

What do you know about the shoe era?

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The History of Makeup: 1930s

October 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Let’s take a look at the History of Makeup: 1930s.

lorettayoung3During the 1930s, women took all their inspiration from the glamorous Hollywood actresses they idolized. This was also the time period when women were more than excited to further experiment with their looks and styles which included their makeup.

Amazingly, the 30s has become known as the decade that birthed the famous Kim Kardashian makeup technique, contouring. Women were beginning to contour their eyes to widen then and to beautify their cheeks during the day. They often used blushes, and conservatively used cream rouges and powder. And with the addition of cream eye-shadows, women were extremely excited about makeup.


1931- The British Daily Mail” reported 1,500 lipsticks were being sold to women for every 1 sold in 1921.

1939- Helena Rubinstein launched the first commercial water-proof mascara.


Magazines like Photoplay were created to be beauty guides for everyday women so that can achieve their favorite daily Hollywood celebrity’s looks.

ea91c2d2bb6887901e20eb0118da9420THE LOOK:

FACE: Women were now contouring their faces and using a triangle technique with their rouge. The technique was tracing a triangle effect from the tear duct out to and beyond the natural edge of the eye.

BROWS: The main focus of the 30s look, eyebrows were often over plucked which caused women to have to draw them on with a thin tipped pencil to achieve the perfect upward arch.

EYES: The popular colors during this time were blues, greens, pinks, and purples which were applied lightly and in pear shapes beyond the natural eye. Unlike the past, mascara was now being applied at the bottom lashes as well to create perfect looking eyes along with the use of contouring.

LIPS:  The fuller look was much more desired during this time which was achieved by drawing thin horizontal lines over the cupids bow with popular colors of raspberry reds and maroon.

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The History of Shoes: 1920-1929

October 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

History of Shoes: The divine and fashionable times of 1920-1929.

1920's shoesAfter traveling back in time to the Victorian/Edwardian Times (1901-1910) as well as the Titanic/Pre-World War I Era (1910-1919) we are now reaching forward in time to the roaring 20’s.

The Roaring 20s (1920-1929) was a time of fun, fashion, freedom and the end of WWI! People wanted to have fun and live freely. The stock market was on the rise; factories were in full bloom, and after work they hit the clubs that were packed and popping with jazz music and fancy moves that had people out of their seats and on their feet!

The era of the Gibson Girl was over and there was a new ideal of being an independent woman which could be seen in the growing fashion and beauty industry.

With the combination of prohibition, organized crimes, and a blooming financial situation, men were changing their mindsets and so were women with a whole new persona of short hair, shorter skirts, Chanel dresses, fabulously risqué shoes and a completely new name, Flappers. Influenced by Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet there was lots of change seen in fashion especially the shoes.

WOMEN SHOEStumblr_ks9d4315y41qz5q5oo1_400

Some notable changes in women’s shoes included the addition of Bar shoes which were worn for dancing in the evening, t-straps on pumps for daytime wear, and a less pointed toe.


Casual became more in style with black patent-leather shoes becoming on-trend for formal evening wear, two-tone shoes of white/tan or white/ black being found on the market frequently, Shoes for men - 1920s style clothing menswear - gatsby brooks brothers MH00324_BROWN-WHITE_Galong with Oxfords, brogues and Lace-up style shoes becoming a must-have.

When it came to shoes, you could bet on black as the shoe color to wear!

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The History of Makeup: 1920-1929

October 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Let’s take a look at the History of Makeup: 1920-1929.

The Roaring 20’s (1920-1929), was a very exciting time for fashion and beauty with the end of WWI, the stock market on the rise, factories in full bloom, and the big club scene packed and popping with jazz music and fancy dancing.

THE HISTORY (1920-1929):

Influenced by Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet, the era of the Gibson Girl was over and there was a new ideal of being an independent woman which could be seen in the growing fashion and beauty industry with the rise of Flappers.

The history of the name Flapper did not have a polite meaning. A flapper was a reference to a prostitute in England during 1835. The name took on a different meaning in the early 1900’s representing the liberated woman.

tumblr_nnhntcHc4f1sq1f7mo1_500The flapper woman was a woman who wanted to get rid of the old time thoughts of being lady-like from the dress to the makeup. The new mindset and beauty regimen really set in at the end of WWI with women becoming open about wearing makeup and being proud of it. This was a huge change from the previous years where women tried their hardest to hide their makeup in vanities. Now books and newspaper stories were being published with information on how to keep up on the trends of makeup and beauty.


Beauty had become a major part of every woman’s life during the 1920’s so to the point that beauty products jumped drastically from a few dozen to about 450 different brands by 1924.  By the end of the 20s, there were over 1,300 brands and shades of face powder, 350 rouges, and 100 red lipsticks making the beauty industry a $52 million dollar industry.


SKIN: The tanner skin became in-trend during this time. tumblr_n3e4diPdoP1sqyiebo1_r1_500Elizabeth Arden created powders to give the wearer a sun-kissed tint and glow. Although shades were still limited, the skin had become a big deal with women wanting to alter their look using face powder (applied with a puff) and either rouge powder, paste, or cream which they applied with two fingers in a circular motion on the apple of the cheeks and sometimes on the knees.

EYES: Applied with fingers, women would aim to get the theatrical effect of Clara Bow’s dark eyes. To achieve that look, Kohl was used for eye-shadow. Dark colors like gray, were very popular amongst women but women really loved the idea of matching their eyeshadow with their eye color along with the use of an eyeliner pencil to outline the whole eye. In the later years, cream eyeshadow became available for purchase.

LIPS: Lips were a focal point during this time as women wanted the perfect Cupid ’s bow. Matte red lips, also known as “bee stung lips” and “rosebud pout” were aimed to make the lips look thinner with a full looking bottom lip and pointed small upper lip. This was a time when lipstick was kept inside the lip line for a neater appearance.

BROWS: The eyebrows were shaped in a thin and curved line with a slight downward point at the inner end. Sometimes eyeliner was used to outline the brow.

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Quick History of the Manicure: 1920s

October 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Take a look at the quick history of the manicure: 1920s.

06b5899de880573e5df367b93e58e3e7 The roaring 20’s were a time of great fun when it comes to nails! Flappers had a new attitude and were ready to show it with dynamic clothing, lots of makeup, and nails in a bold red.  From Brooklyn “It Girl”, Clara Bow getting lots of attention with her manicured nails, to Beauty Culture Magazine being published in NYC—beauty became a big staple in big cities like New York.

During this time, women were all about showing off their nails. a3c786dc3851d2d6891f42b42cfa92b3Some women grew out their nails and sanded them into oval tips to bring more attention to their nails. The comeback of regular and reverse French manicures was everywhere!  There was even the introduction to pink nail polish in 1925 which was often used to create the “lunar manicure” which was a manicure that featured a stripe of pink down the center of the nail which had no polish!

annamaywongOther great inventions and milestones in the beauty industry included:

  • 1920- Michelle Menard created the first glossy long lasting nail polish which was inspired by car paint.
  • 1921- The National Hairdressers Assoc. (later known as the National Hairdressers & Cosmetologists Assoc., then the National Cosmetology Assoc.) is formed.
  • 1924- The non-profit organization, Assoc. of Accredited Cosmetology Schools (AACS) is founded to better the beauty industry through education in cosmetology arts and sciences.
  • 1929- The shortly lived perfumed nail polish was created.

What history do you know about the beauty industry?

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