Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A 1940s Makeup Tutorial

Getting the 40s look is really not that difficult! Go back 70 years and study the advertisements and color photos from the era. Makeup was clean and simple and the focus was on pink cheeks, red lips, lush black lashes, and well-shaped brows.

I have done some of my own research and found that not only was there no such thing as 'matte lipstick,' but also how eyeshadow was not really used for daytime looks. However, when it came to evening and/or special occasion makeup, eyeshadows in shades of grey and violet were used. As for the lipstick not being what know today as 'matte,' lipstick in the 1940s was oil-based and therefore, it had a sheen once applied. In order to make the lips look matte, ladies would blot their lips with tissue.

So, history lesson done! Now, here is how I achieve my 40s face each day:

After making coffee and breakfast for me and the husband, I take my shower. I cleanse my skin with a gel-based cleanser and after I out of the bath, I use a non-alcoholic toner with a cotton round.

I apply my lifting moisturizer and acne gel. I use La Therapie Skincare and Murad's acne gel.

After tending to my hair, I start my makeup. I start with eyes by applying Too Faced's Shadow Insurance from lids to brow bone. This creamy, beige-toned primer helps shadow last longer, makes it crease-proof, and helps it look more vibrant. I squeeze just under and 1/8 of an inch onto my right index finger and then gently rub my two index fingers together. With my left index finger, I apply primer to my left eye and using my right, I apply to the other eye. I have discovered that a little goes a long way and using too much makes the crease effect worse. Using a MAC 252 brush, I apply MAC's Paint Pot in Painterly (a light beige cream with a slight pink undertone). Soft Ochre is another great neutral-toned Paint pot that is a yellow-based nude.

Using a MAC 213 brush I apply a light, neutral shadow to the lids (MAC shades like Bamboo, Era, Orb, or Yogurt are good). On the crease of my eyes, I apply a light taupe, light brown-based nude shade, or darker beige shadow with a MAC 239 brush (MAC shadows in Wedge, Kid, Soba, Omega, and Soft Brown are excellent choices). They thing to remember is that you are mimicking the natural shadow and light of the eye and therefore, try to use colors that look like your skin tones. For the highlight/brow bone shade, apply MAC's Mylar or Vanilla eyeshadow with a MAC 217 brush.

Now, either using MAC's 217 or 227 brush, softly blend the crease shade to make it look seamless.

Apply foundation primer to the face. I use Lorac's Aquaprime. This primer is oil-free, silicone free, and does not cause any breakouts nor any irritation on my oily, sensitive skin. Other good primers to try are MAC's Prep and Prime Skin Visage in SPF 50 and Smashbox's Photo Finish.

Apply concealer under the eyes and apply foundation. I use MAC's Studio Fix in shade N3 and I put it on with MAC's 109 brush. Now, if you should have any blemishes, apply concealer using a MAC 194 or 195 brush. Be sure to blend and unlike the eyes, try to use a concealer that MATCHES skintone. If you go too light, you can actually highlight problem areas! If using a powder or mineral foundation, apply loose powder on top of concealer under eyes. If using liquid, wait until applying loose powder all over face to set makeup.

Using a brow brush, comb brows and apply pencil to define and enhance brow shape. According to my beloved esthetician, Gina, a good rule of thumb for choosing pencil should be this: if your hair is light, pick pencil shades that are one to two shades darker. If your hair is dark, go for shades that are one to two shades lighter. Going too light or too dark can throw off the balance of your face. 1940s brows had well-defined arches and the shape was not thin (20s/30s) nor big (50s). The shape was balanced with lovely arches.

I use MAC's brow pencil in Strut and I also use MAC's Penultimate brow marker. This brow marker came out after Christmas in their All ages All races All sexes Collection. The general color is a medium-toned, warm-based brown that can be kept light or built up. When I had black hair earlier this year, I found this product to be too warm for my brows but now that I am a redhead again, the shade is perfect. The felt-tipped marker applies very light and you can create the look of natural fibers in the brow. The marker lasts a long time and once applied, it is not going anywhere until you take it off. If you make a mistake, you can remove it using MAC's individually wrapped moistened q-tips. This product was limited edition but some MAC locations may have some in stock. If not, Anatasia Beverly Hills has a brow pen that is similar to MAC's but unlike the MAC marker, it comes in three shades, Universal, Universal Light, and Universal Deep. You can find it online and in-store at Sephora and also at Ulta.

Apply blush to apples of cheeks using a MAC 116 or 129 brush. To find the 'apples,' smile big and apply blush to the 'puffy' parts of the cheeks. Taper the shape as you blend toward the temples/sides of the face. Some good shades are MAC's Pink Swoon, Fleur Power, and Well-dressed. The colors of the 40s cheek were tones of soft pink and lighter shades of bright pink. Caramel, brown, and coral shades were not really used. Depending on your skintone, you can choose a cool-based pink or warm-based. If you are not sure if you are cool or warm, look at the veins on your inner arms. If you see more blue, then you are a cool. If you see green, then you are a warm. If you think you can see both shades, then you may be a neutral. Neutral tones can get away with both colors but we tend to lean either cool or warm.

Apply loose powder to set face makeup and apply black mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Now, there is my favorite part! Lipstick! Unlike the dark wine/burgundy shades of the 1920s, the 1940s colors of choice were bright and vibrant, creamy reds. Depending on skintone, pick a red (no shimmer or glitter) that suits you. I am a neutral that leans cool. I can wear most pink-based and coral-based reds. Yet, tawny reds and brown-based shades look terrible on me. Nevertheless, MAC's Russian Red and Julie Hewett's Rouge Noir are great, neutral reds. MAC's Lady Danger and Julie Hewett's Belle Noir are wonderful orange-based/coral-based reds. Julie Hewett's Femme Noir and Besame Cosmetics' Cherry Red are amazing blue-based reds. For less expensive reds, Revlon's "Love that Red" is a bright, classic red that leans warm. This particular shade was introduced in 1951 and is still going strong. Milani's Velvet Lipstick in Red Carpet is perfectly vintage and the price ($5.29 USD) is good for those on a budget.

Apply lipstick and corresponding lip liner. The liner should blend into the lipstick. It should not look darker. If you want, you can blot lipstick with clean tissue. This will also help lipstick from getting on your teeth.

Now, your makeup is done! Enjoy the day and just be gorgeous!

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