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Create the perfect ’40s makeup look

Looking to add a bit of fun, oldies glam to your makeup routine? With this simple guide you can have a gorgeous ’40s look in no time. The ladies of this era were all about effortless-seeming elegance. No woman stepped outside the house without makeup on, but it was never overdone, either. To get your ’40s look just right, focus on these five categories.

Old Hollywood glamour


Unlike today, where fake tanner is everywhere, the ’40s were all about either maintaining your natural skin tone or even going a touch lighter. To get the look, go for a powdered foundation that is close to or slightly paler than your natural colour. Apply it on the entire face and blend gently into neck area.


Blush was consistently used to add some colour to the otherwise pale complexion. Bright pinks and pinky reds were among the favourites. Pick a shade you like and apply to the apples of your cheeks and then out along the cheek bone. Blush was applied carefully and delicately to give the appearance of a natural glow without looking artificial.


The ’40s emphasized lips in a big way. Both lip liner and lipstick were used. To get the look, apply lip liner to the entire lip, not just the trim. This will give you a bolder, fuller pout. Top with lipstick. The ladies of this era had fun with reds, pinks and even some oranges. Essentially, anything that could conceivably pass as a flesh tone was fair game. So leave any blues or greys in your makeup case, but anything else is definitely worth playing around with! Women were also known to match their lipstick to their nail colour, so if you have some extra time on your hands consider giving that a whirl.


Eyebrows were plucked into a neat and tidy shape and then further emphasized using a pencil or shadow. Using a colour that is similar to or one shade darker than your natural eyebrows, lightly fill in your brows until they are well defined.


No bright shadows of the ’80s here! Only neutral shades such as light greys and browns were used on the eyelid. And it was rare that they stretched too far up to the brow. The focus, instead, was put on the eyeliner and mascara. Depending on your skin tone, go for dark browns or blacks. Begin by applying a liquid eyeliner along the top lid in a smooth line. Finish with a small wing-tip at the outside of the eye. It shouldn’t be too noticeably or go too far out — just a small flick up wil do, to open the appearance of the eye. Finish with a coat of mascara and your eyes are good to go!

The ’40s had a lot of timeless and polished makeup trends but don’t think, based on what you’ve read here, that it’s all or nothing. You don’t have to look like you stepped off the set of Casablanca to feel like you’re pulling off old Hollywood glam. Simply adding a bold wing-tip to your eyeliner or sporting a bright lip colour the next time you go out is a fun way of making the old new again. So don’t be afraid to go vintage and bring ’40s style into 2012!

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