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Beauty Secrets: Creating the Perfect 1940s Makeup Contouring

1940s Makeup Secrets

A detailed guide from Hollywood make-up artist, Bud Westmore, where he reveals secret makeup tricks on how to achieve real 1940’s style and glamor. How to create the perfect 1940s makeup contouring along with the correct hairstyle for your face type. Words of wisdom from one of the masters

Excerpt from Make-up & Beauty – 1940’s Guides. A compilation of vintage makeup advice ,given to women of that era.


Bonny Granville explains her make-up secrets in 1946 –



1940s MAKEUP, new and gay and dashing, is the magic that gives a girl an extra sweetness to your lips, your cheeks, your eyes; that gives you glamour. “And,” says Bonita Granville, ” if you have makeup know-how you needn’t spend a long time each day at it.”



“Of course,” she goes on, “screen makeup is another matter. A much more expert matter. It involves the cameras’s searching ye. But, just among us girls, and don’t tell the boys how we do it, the makeup that gives you fresh, clear loveliness, is basically a pretty simple matter!”


We asked Bonita to explain and here in substance is what she told us. Bonita never powders directly onto her skin and advises you not to, no matter whether you have a dry or an oily complexion. Instead, use either one of the popular cake makeup which gives your skin that quick velvet texture draws attention away from any tiny lines or blemishes; or else spread a light foundation cream evenly over the face and throat.

Over your foundation blend your rougewith care. Never use very much, just enough to accent your natural color. If you want to make your face look shorter, apply the rouge in a horizontal fashion across the cheeks. If you want to lengthen a too-broad face, dot and blend the rouge in a more vertical fashion up the cheeks.Now you are ready to dust on the powder!



Be generous here. Pat on a plentiful amount and brush away any excess with a soft tossie, or a facial brush. be sure to match the shade of your face powder with the changing color of the skin. If you have tanned this summer, but your skin is now fading rapidly back to its natural pink or pale tone – then use a lighter powder. Pu away that dark powder till next summer!


Before you apply your 1940s lipstick, blend a little foundation cream around your mouth. Smooth it in particularly well if there are any little lines, for it will help make these invisible. Now on perfectly dry lips outline the shape of your mouth – just a tad outside the natural line for that 1940s look. Fill it in with a lip brush and allow the color to set for a few minutes while you attend your eyes.

Bonita finds that her lipstick stays on longer if she dusts some powder over her lips and then blots them with a tissue.


  In the 1940s eye makeup for daytime she is conservative. She mascaras ever so lightly. And she has a trick for it that is well worth knowing: after applying her mascara in the usual way brushing gently up and out, she allows or almost to dry, then brushes over with a dry brush to separate the lashes. The comes the clever little trick. She applies a second coat of mascara to the lashes at the corner of her eyes to give her that “big-eyed look.”



Her brows are natural so she leaves them alone – just a a brush over with Vaseline.

Her brows are natural so she leaves them alone-just a brush over with Vaseline.

“But,” says Bonita, ” if your brows need darkening, then use an eyebrow pencil very lightly in feather strokes before applying Vaseline.

“If you follow these simple rules – you will look so glamorous!” enthuses Bonita.

”But it doesn’t end with your makeup – your crowning glory so to speak is your hair, and only a girl knows how to make the most of her mane. I would certainly also recommend painting your nails in a color near to your lip shade – and then you have real glamour!”


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