How to Do 40s Makeup

Updated July 20, 2017

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."

Things You'll Need

  • Foundation
  • Face powder
  • Rouge
  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Red lipstick
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Tal Beth Rose Cohen began writing professionally in 2011 but has worked in many fields prior to writing, specializing in tropical medicine and parasitology. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin where she received a Bachelor of Arts in zoology and Spanish.