How to Do 40s Makeup

Written by tal cohen | 13/05/2017
How to Do 40s Makeup
Woman in 1940s style make-up. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The 1940s was an interesting era for make-up as it starkly contrasts the ideals and standards for make-up today. During the 1940s the purpose of make-up was to enhance the wearer's natural beauty, not create a completely new look. If you desire a more natural look, mimicking the style of 1940s make-up would be ideal.

Apply a foundation slightly darker than your natural skin tone all over your face. Blend the foundation up into your hairline.

Apply a facial powder slightly lighter than the natural skin tone all over your face.

Sweep a red rouge with pink undertones or a bright pink rouge with fuchsia undertones across the cheekbones. The undertone colour of make-up is the low or subdued tone beneath the main colour.

Apply a muted grey or brown eyeshadow to the upper eyelid.

Apply a dark brown or black lengthening mascara to the upper eyelashes.

Apply a bright red lipstick to your lips.


The idea behind 1940s make-up is that "less is more."

Tips and warnings

  • The idea behind 1940s make-up is that "less is more."

Things you need

  • Foundation
  • Face powder
  • Rouge
  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Red lipstick

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