makeup 1910 - 1950
Cosmetics, Fashion, Vintage

Makeup over the decades: 1910 – 1950

I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to makeup and have quite a collection going. I buy everything with the intention of using it to boost my makeup in some way (whatever justifies buying it!), but I’m stuck in a total rut at the moment.

In my hunt for a new and improved look, I’ve put together a list of makeup trends across the decades to help get me inspired! I hope find it useful too!

 

 1910’s

makeup 1910
The early 1900’s was all about natural and youthful makeup.

Skin
Pale skin was fashionable at the time so rouges were very light in colour.

Eyes
Eye makeup was minimal. A light lid colour was often used to blank out the eyelids. Sometimes eyes were completely lined with  grey or brown but this was more of an evening/glamour look. Mascara wasn’t widely used at this time but was available.

Eyebrows
Eyebrows were left natural and usually untouched.

Lips
Lip colour was used very lightly in a peach or light red shade.

 

 

1920’s

makeup 1920

The roaring 20’s saw the rise of dark makeup.

Skin
Pale skin continued to be fashionable but rouge became slightly heavier and focused on the apple of the cheek.

Eyes
Greys and browns were used on the lids for a sultry, smokey effect. Eyes were often lined with pencil with a coat of mascara.

Eyebrows
Eyebrows became much thinner and more defined often filled with one stroke of a pencil.

Lips
Dark lips became fashionable. Lips were un-lined and often painted to look smaller. Lipstick stencils rose in popularity at this time.

 

 

1930’s

makeup 1930

The 30’s introduced colour into ladies collections.

Skin
More powder based skin products became available during the 30’s.

Eyes
Blue, green, brown and grey eyeshadows became very popular. You would usually chose your eyeshadow to match your eye colour.

Eyebrows
Dark, pencil-thin brows were fashionable. They were usually extended past their natural point. Sometimes women would shave their brows off and re-draw them on.

Lips
Out went the dark lip colours and in came lighter raspberry and purple tones.

 

 

1940’s

makeup 1940

Natural makeup returned in this decade.

Skin
Cosmetic bases like petroleum were short in supply as they were being used in the war effort.
Home-made makeup became the norm in the early 40’s such as beetroot stain for rouge and for lips. Despite the more natural feel to the makeup, thicker pan-stick bases were popular.

Eyes
Light lid colours returned. Liner was rarely seen but darker eyeshadows were used at the root of the lashes with a coat or two of mascara for definition.

Eyebrows
Brows became natural looking with a touch of light powder or pencil to make them look fuller.

Lips
Over-lining the lips became popular. Lipsticks were matte and satin rather than glossy and were usually red or raspberry in tone.

 

 

1950’s

makeup 1950

With war rationing coming to an end, a wide range of cosmetics became available once again.

Skin
Pan-stick was still a popular product, but bases became lighter during the 50’s. Rouge was used lightly and peach or pink.

Eyes
Lids had a natural shade swept over them with a light or mid brown in the crease. Eyeliner was widely used and elongated past the eye. Sometimes it was flicked upwards to lift the eye which has inspired the popular winged liner that is fashionable today. Mascara was layered and focussed on the outer corners.

Eyebrows
Brows were still full looking but were now arched and filled with darker powders and pencils.

Lips
Red was a staple lip colour but oranges and corals became popular. Over-lining the lips was a continued trend.

 

What’s your favourite decade for makeup?

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