Made Up in Boston

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." -Oscar Wilde

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Homage to the 1940s

Today the husband and I are going to see "Captain America". I will admit to a few (somewhat self-contained) dorky tendencies, and a love for comic books and comic book movies is one of them.

I'm also really excited because the movie is set in the 1940s, one of my favorite eras when it comes to makeup and hair. I think women of the 1940s were just so much more glamourous then women today. Something about red lips, big lashes and creamy pale skin is just so beautiful.

Captain America looks like it'll bring the vintage beauty eye candy:
I grew up spoon fed on movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and no one was ever more glamourous to me than Betty Grable, pinup for the WWII crowd. Like all good American G.I.s, my Grampa adored her, and thanks to classics like "How To Marry a Millionaire", now I have a soft spot for her as well.
To help me get into the mood for a time period movie, I decided to do a 40s inspired look based on the photo above; soft, natural looking eyeshadow with some serious liner and lashes, and a bright, bold lip. 

The things that I love most about a 1940s face is that the foundation was used in ways to brighten up the face. Typically (from what my Nana has told me), foundation was applied only to the areas of the face that are normally sunken (e.g., the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and under the chin). This was to combat shadows and make the face look bright in pictures. Blush was only applied to the sides of the face as a contour, and in the 40s, a true lady never left the house without a face full of powder (lol!).

But this is 2011, and I'm no Dita Von Teese; I need functional, easily wearable makeup; no pancake powder, please. 

I didn't want to overdo the look, so I intentionally kept the shadows neutral, using MAC's Shroom, Patina, and Satin Taupe to just wake the eye up and give it a brighter appearance. I then lined my eyes with a heavy cream liner (E.L.F. Studio Cream Liner in Black), flicking the ends into a soft wing. I used a wet liner brush to apply MAC Shroom to my waterline, just to help open the eye and make it look bigger (white eyeliner was a must in the 40s). 

I applied two coats of black mascara to the upper lashes. Most actresses and models avoided emphasizing their lower lashes because they would cast shadows on film and in pictures. I felt the look needed some balance and I just quickly flicked the ends of my lower lashes with the wand, keeping it light.
I also wanted to keep the red lip from looking too retro. As gorgeous as red lips are, they aren't very practical for day to day wear. Instead I used Revlon's Cherries in the Snow over a dark purple brown lipstick, just to darken the fuchsia undertones of CITS. This color combo prevents the look from being too dated (it also keeps the look feeling young).

I also applied CITS as a blush. This gave me a gentle flush of color without looking overdone.
I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille!

I'm lucky that my hair curls and waves pretty well on its own. I barely had to touch it to achieve a looser, more modern take on the classic Veronica Lake side part and waves.

Is there a beauty time period that you love? What looks inspire you?

P.S.-FOTD bonus!
Last night for a dinner date with the hubs I wore a soft, navy and gold smokey eye with a sheer pink lip. My new Stila palette was a very wise investment, I think. I'm obsessed with it!

Happy weekend!


  1. Hi there!!
    How are you doing, Tiffany?
    I think your 1940s inspired makeup is beautiful!!
    I really love how you introduced the 40s trend, because I am an admirer of the historical period in terms of fashion and beauty!
    I hope you write some more posts like this!
    You look definitely stunning in the pictures!
    Greatings from a new follower from Spain!

  2. Hi Catanya, and welcome to my blog!

    Thanks so much for the kind compliments. I'm glad you liked this post and I'll do my best to bring you more of the same in the future! I have a few more period looks floating about in my head ;)

    Take care!

  3. What lippie do you have on in the last photo? It's exactly what I'm looking for!

  4. Scotophobic, the last lip color is actually a Victoria's Secret lipgloss from their Beauty Rush line. It's called "Strawberry Fizz."

    I hope that helps :)