Learn about the makeup trends of the 1940’s and come along while I create this iconic makeup look!
Hello, everyone. Today, we're doing an iconic 1940s makeup look. I've taken some inspiration from stars like Rita Hayworth, Vivian Lee, Veronica Lake and co. It's feminine and elegant. One of those era makeups that I think translates really well even today because it's just classically beautiful. This is also a super duper exciting video because it's part of collaboration called Makeup Through the Ages. So I've teamed up with some amazing YouTubers. I'll link their era make up looks in the description box down below and on the screen at the end of this video so that you can check them out after you watch this video.
Okay, so let's start. We are going for complexion perfection today because that's something that stars at the time would have worn. So I'm blending a medium coverage foundation all over my face. And then I'm going in with my beauty blender which is my tool of choice when building coverage because it seems to keep the skin looking really touchable and tactile. Today, I'm using the Armani Luminous Silk which is the most photogenic foundation that I've ever encountered. If I were getting married, which I'm not by the way, this is an heirloom; but if I were, I would use Luminous Silk because it just pictures flawlessly.
For the brows, there is quite a distinctive brow shape in the ‘40s. It's quite full and natural with a very exaggerated arch. Okay, so achieve this brow shape, I've brushed all my hairs upwards and I'm adding a few extra hairs to the highest point of my arch. I'm also really accenting my brow here, my brow tail. We're going for a lot of length. So more often than not, I notice that ‘40s brows are very rounded but I do notice that some stars like Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman, they have quite angular brows and so do I. So we're just going to work with it.
Okay, on to the eye look. It's not a big eye look. It's actually quite simple. I'm going to start by taking an eyeshadow that's about one shade lighter than my skin tone and I'm dusting that from lash line to brow. This is going to act as a subtle highlight later on because I notice that the brow bone and the mobile lid were really prominent in this era. So for this look, I want really deep sunken sultry sockets and I don't got that naturally so we're going to fake it. I'm starting off with a medium chestnut shade and I'm blending that through the crease to give it more depth. I'm taking that right in to the inner corner.
I'm also going to swoop that shadow here in sort of a c-shape. I notice the shadow a lot in photos and it makes the look as though the brow bone is protruding even more. And then going in with the deeper gray shade and nestling that tighter in to the crease. This is not meant to really register as a makeup. It's more clever definition to make the eye look deepset. Okiedokie, from what I can tell, it doesn't look as though there was a huge emphasis on liner. It was more about the lashes. So I'm going to be using these Physician's Formula liquid eyeliner in the shade black. It's not actually, it's gray, and that always irritated me but it's actually perfect for this look. So I'm creating a very thin line all the way across the top lash line. Now sometimes I see a wing and sometimes I don't. So I'm going to add a little wing.
Another thing that I always do when I do what I do what I do, I don't know. Another thing that I always do is I tightline the top lashes. This is just to get those distracting gaps of skin that really condenses the lash line. On to the false lashes and it is a big part of the ‘40s look and I love false lashes, so this is my kind of era. To me, the lashes look perfectly separated and fanned, so you want to avoid anything too wispy or lashes with a criss cross motions. I've chosen these lashes by Sephora. They're very separated and very fanned and they fit the build. So to apply the lashes, I'm going to drop them first just on the middle of my lash line and then I'm going to pull the lash band and anchor as far as I can towards the outer corner of my eye.
So by anchoring the false lashes very far towards the outer corner, what you get is this effect with the lashes extend and they cast a shadow to give us that sort of sleepy, bedroom eyes, femme fatale kind of thing. So the last step would be to add some mascara just to blend the false lashes to the natural ones. I'm just adding that mascara to the top lashes, not to the lower lashes because to me the lower lash line looks entirely bare. So back to the rest of the face. If you look at the black and white shots of the ‘40s starlet, you'll see that they have this incredible bone structure, cheekbones that could cut eyes. And I was actually quite surprised to discover that shading was popular at the time.
Now before I contour, I'm going to highlight and for this, I love the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind. It erases the dark circles. What I don't love is this damn sponge. Does anyone know if I can rip this off and it will still dispense the product? Because I just find that really yucky. Okay, so I've dispensed some of the product on the back of my hand and I'm going to dab that on to the tops of the cheekbones, a little bit towards the center of the base, a bit between the brows, a little bit on the chin, all over my face, and just some quick concealer before I forget. So now that I've done all my wet products, I'm just going to set my entire face with some setting powder.
So '40s skin was very matte but also I'm using a powder contour today and it will adhere much more evenly over a powdered surface. I want all of the cheekbones so I'm going to be using my favorite Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and my favorite Rae Morris Ultimate Cheekbone and I'm dipping the shorter bristles on to the contour powder and carving out those cheekbones. I'm also running a bit of that contour powder directly on the jawbone to slim it down a little bit. So now for the lips, definitely the most striking and iconic part of any ‘40s makeup look. Red lips were seen as a sign of strength and patriotism. And the lips shade is also really interesting. The upper lip is very rounded and full. So I'm going to start by making some alterations to my lip shape with a red lip pencil. If you don't like overlining the lips, look away now.
I'm adding some volume to the outer portions of my upper lip but I'm keeping the shape very round. No pointy edges. I'm also feathering that lip pencil inward so that my lips wear evenly and I don't get that sort of ugly outline after a few hours. So picking a lipstick for this tutorial was excruciating. These are my first of all problems. Finally, I decided upon this one and this is By Terry Funky Ruby and it's a blue base pinky sort of red. So using a lip brush, I'm going to really work that lipstick in to the lips so that it becomes a satin stain. Forties lips whether they be orange red or blue red were always more of a satin finish. It wasn't the glossy finishes that we saw in the ‘50s with Marilyn Monroe, so give the lips a really good blood.
Once the lips are on, I can really gauge how much blush I need. And I'm actually going to be using the same lipstick. I put a little bit on the back of my hand and I'm really buffing it in to a stippling brush. So the point where the brush is pretty much dry and all we have is a dry pigment and that way I can apply over a powdered base. Blush placement was sculptural so I'm starting on the side of the apple of the cheek and making my way up the cheekbone. So lucky last step and totally optional but I'm going to decipher exactly where my lashes cast the shadow and I have that darker eyeshadow on an angled blush, I'm going to exemplify it. So it's almost as though my lashes are so heavy that they're casting this incredible shadow. And that guys is my 1940s face. I really hope that you enjoyed this as much as I did and maybe learn something a little bit new.
As I was doing research for this look actually, I kind of started musing to myself what do you think would be the defining make up trend of this era, our current era? Is it the Kim K highlight? Because I'm not entirely sure and I'd be really curious to know what you think. Make sure you hang around for a few seconds to see the other era looks. I hope you all have a wonderful day and I will speak to you very soon. B-bye.
Click the links below to check out the other era makeup looks, courtesy of my favourite Youtubers! You did an amazing job, each and every one of you <3
And just for fun, the vintage edit (not my work sadly, I contracted this out but I think he did a great job!)
Nail polish I’m wearing in this tutorial
Illamasqua Throb (chipped in the time it took to make this tutorial? WTH).
Complete List Of Products
Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5
SUQQU – Brow Pen in Moss Green
MAC – Eyeshadow in Blanc Type
Rouge Bunny Rouge – Chestnut Napped Apalis Eyeshadow
Rouge Bunny Rouge – Blackpepper Jay Eyeshadow
Physicians Formula – Eye Booster in Black
Pixi – Endless Silk Eye Pencil in Black Cocoa
Sephora – Celebrity Lash
Benefit – They’re Real Mascara
Maybelline – Age Rewind Concealer in Light/Pale
Ellis Faas – Concealer in S202
SUQQU – Loose Powder in Natural
Kevyn Aucoin – Sculpting Powder in Medium
MAC – Lip Pencil in Redd
By Terry – Rouge Terrybly in Funky Ruby
Historical elements of 1940s makeup
The most prominent influence on 40’s makeup was in fact a dark one – world war 2. A strong association between red lipstick and patriotism was born; a red pout became a widely recognized symbol for boosting soldier morale and the will to win.
World War 2 had other implications; production of cosmetics declined and makeup became increasingly scarce. Nonetheless, makeup was valued, so women hustled and repurposed and even resorted to home made potions. The surge of females entering the workforce also meant that makeup had to be practical so compacts, frequently embellished with national pride, were a cherished possession.
Aesthetically, 40’s makeup undertook a transformation from the 30’s trends – thin and severe brows made way for fuller, exaggerated arches. Where lips were preferred thin and bowed in the 30’s, they became round and full in the 40’s decade. Simplicity was key: matte complexions, socket contouring, red lips and rouge were pronounced the war time uniform.
In contrast, 40’s starlets amped it up a knotch – false lashes, facial shading and perfected lighting to accentuate the heart shaped contours of the face. Glamour aside, 40’s starlets retained an air of simplicity and elegance; the more elaborate glossy finishes and heavy winged liner arose much later in the 50’s.
I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did 🙂