Make-Up in the 1940s


We recently stumbled upon this eye-opening make-up tutorial from the 1940s! We’re smitten with the instrumental background music, all of the charming face illustrations, and of course, the narrator’s prim and polished elocution. On the other hand, whoever said having a round, a square, or a long face was such a bad thing?! And if you’re inclined to rock straight, blunt bangs with a square face, we say more power to you! In today’s modern world, we’ve (hopefully) come to recognize beauty in all face shapes, skin tones, and sizes, as well as in a variety of make-up applications and hair styles. However, we’re still downright intrigued by this retro tutorial’s take on accentuating the features of individual face shapes.

Do any of these tips or suggestions ring true to you?

For more on beauty, head over to our illustrated hair and make-up guide.

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10 Responses to Make-Up in the 1940s

  1. Ashelle 10/28/2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Wow ! I didn’t think there was a “perfect” face shape. A little offensive at times but some general good tips… I think?! It was interesting!

  2. megs 10/28/2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Where’s the MST3K crew? 😉

  3. Julianne (ModCloth) 10/28/2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I agree, generally their suggestions ring true, but I’m a square face and I’ve been thinking of getting the exact haircut with bangs and short on the sides that they said not to do! Eek! Haha.

  4. Bri 10/29/2010 at 8:42 am #

    crap. looks like I can’t wear v-necks anymore.

  5. steph 10/29/2010 at 10:46 am #

    my face isn’t any of those shapes! i’m a “heart shape” with high cheekbones and a little chin. Help me, 40’s! What do i do?

  6. RachelC 10/29/2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Loved this! I don’t know what people are talking about–“The perfect face shape”. I think this article is just about making the best of the face you have. I don’t think there is the perfect face shape, lol.

  7. Jessica 10/31/2010 at 12:23 am #

    As a “square face,” I happen to agree with the warning against square bangs. Don’t do it!

  8. Ginnie 10/31/2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Weird, I’m pretty sure my grandmother gave me the same advice. o_O

  9. Alexzondra 11/01/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I love this! The illustrations remind me of a few people I know and they are apparently not wearing their hair appropriately. cute tho. lol

  10. Cat (Midwest Mayhem) 11/02/2010 at 4:48 am #

    This was so great! Thanks for sharing this video! Okay, the advice was a little harsh – ladies should feel confident with whatever look they want regardless of face shape, but I just loved the vintage illustrations!

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