Clothing, Hair, Makeup

Letters with Kisses – Glamour me up

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Makeup has and still is a huge industry for centuries.  Makeup was still worn by a woman in the 1940’s during World War II. A woman wanted to look their best despite being in a war, makeup was not going to halt in advancing as a sense of fashion for woman.

During the 1940’s makeup had a look of its own completely different from the last decade revealing a trend of its own. The trend was red lipsticks, pale face, and prominent arched eyebrows. Powder Compacts were used to set the foundation. Makeup had to be ‘on the go’ for women because of them working in unfeminine conditions, for example, aircrafts factories.

The red lips created a deep luscious full mouth. Women were encouraged to use a pencil to draw an outline the outside of their natural lip line to enlarge her lips. The shape of the lips is also significant and that defines the 1940’s. The fashionable lip during this period was to have a Hunters bow. A Hunters Bow is a deep, rounded, and full lip. Lipstick during this time was matte. They used Vaseline as a way to plump and add gloss to their lips. Vaseline was also used to keep eyebrows well groomed. Lipsticks were also used to contour their faces or used as a blush.

Lipstick in the United States was essential because it was for the war effort. It was to keep morale up. One way lipstick was used as a way to keep morale up was by encouraging women to keep buying lipsticks and kiss the front cover or the letter to boost the morale of the soldiers. Lipstick bullet got its name because of its resemblance to a bullet cartridge. During the 1940’s cosmetics were using military aspects to incorporate into their cosmetics. They were applauded for using lipsticks.

Foundation- A shade darker than your natural shade.

Powder- Used a lot of power and a shade lighter would have been patted on.

Eyes- Light-medium browns, beige highlighting.

Eyebrows- Much thicker than natural eyebrows.

Lashes- Cake mascara.

Blush- Rose colors applied out of the cheek apples.

1940’s War Makeup Rationing

There was war rationing. Women still used makeup from their teens and onward. Makeup was not rationed in the United Kingdom but was scarce. War gradually impacted cosmetics too.

Foundation was something very few women wore back in the 1940’s instead they used a lot of creamy colored powder for the pale feminine look. Foundation was meant to create a healthy glow almost as if their natural skin was sun-kissed.

Eyeliner and long eyelashes were kept simple because they believed less is more. Eyeshadow was not worn. Mascara came in liquid, paste, and solid cake formulation, and with a brush. Cheek colors were called rouge during the era. It came in little cardboard pots of compressed powered. They had popular colors which are peach, color, and pink. Rouge was not available during the war so women used their lipstick to color their cheek.

Makeup Substitutes

Burnt cork was used for mascara and cochineal or beetroot juice for lipstick were all ways British women kept up with their appearances.

My take on the 1940’s makeup

Eyebrows were made to appear fuller.

White Eyeliner

Lipstick used as a blush and to contour ones face.

 Women used lipliners to outline their lips.

 After, overdrawing the natural lip line is something that still occurs today. The foundation is lighter on my face because during that time period women would wear a shade lighter than their skin tone.

Work Cited

“1940s.” Glamourdaze,

Team, AuthorH&MUA. “Women’s 1940s Makeup: An Overview.” Hair and Makeup Artist Handbook, 7 July 2016,

1 Comment

  1. I love that you recreated the 1940s face. It turned out great! I also like the depth you go into about some of these makeup items. I’m curious what else you found out about substitutes. Also, you mention above that the foundation women used was darker, but then at the end say it was lighter. Which one would have been more common?

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