Perfecting the styles of the Forties to Fifties is an art. But there is something so elegant about perfectly sculpted brows and shockingly red lips, and the nuances to be found in the different looks are quite fun to explore.


Here are certain tips to create a Forties face:-

retro make up


Period-perfect brows are neat and defined, providing the frame for your vintage face.  The Forties brow is softly arched and generally of medium thickness, a change from the dramatically pencil-thin line favored in the Thirties, and not the thicker, more pointed shape of the Fifties.  Apply in soft, short strokes to mimic the natural hairs. I generally soften the penciled line by going over it with a bit of shadow on a damp angle brush.


Eye Shadow

The Forties eye is subtle and clean, but this does mean you must go bare to get the look.  The sculpted shape is enhanced by applying a cream, nude, or beige shade to the lid, with a deep shade in the crease to accentuate the natural hollow.   Soft grays and darker browns work well too. There is a great deal of shades that fall into this category, so you will be sure to find the right color for you!


Eye Liner

Liner was soft and understated in this era, as compared to the heavier cat or doe eye in vogue during the Fifties. Imitate that style.

 retro makeup


Lashes should be lush, full and long.Using a lash primer before applying 2-3 of mascara is also useful. If you are blonde ,  you can use brown mascara over black, but choose the color you feel best accentuates your eyes.



Starting with a flawless canvas is a must when creating a vintage face.  The Forties look calls for a smooth, even base, and this can be achieved with a variety of foundations and powders.  Pancake makeup, a water-activated powder cake made was very fashionable during this time, though liquid and cream formulations were available as well.  Many women applied a layer of vanishing cream as a base for a dusting of powder.

Many of you might be fond of cream and powder cake formulations myself, and in particular like to use products offered by “stage” lines  they offer high quality products in a wide range of colors than the average drugstore of department line.   Apply with a damp sponge in a stippling motion and set with light dusting of loose powder.

Favorite shades of the Forties include bright coral pinks, crimson, and rose pink shades.  To achieve the right look, dust the your chosen color on the apples of the cheeks.  You may choose to softly contour your face to add additional depth with a neutral tone or darker shade of foundation or powder as well. You can enhance your cheekbones with a touch of soft beige shadow.

 retro makeup look


Lip color is perhaps the easiest, most memorable way to achieve a vintage look.  Mouths were very defined, painted in luscious, eye-catching shades, and each era had its preferred shape for the lips.  In the Forties, full, wide mouths were very much in vogue, and women often overdrew their lip line slightly to accentuate the shape as much as possible.

For a Forties look, red is always a popular choice, but don’t feel hedged into a single shade—there are plenty of options to choose from!  Reds run the gamut from cool to warm, soft to bright, and there is a red for everyone.  For a cool-toned, fair blonde, you should  favor bright blue or true red shades to add oomph and a pop of contrast.

Warm-toned complexions will do well to try warmer, orange-based shades, or those with a brown base.  If you have trouble with red lipsticks pulling a quick-change act and turning a less-than-desired fuchsia tone, you might try experimenting with a brick tone, as these may pull a truer red shade when paired with your chemistry.

When wearing red, lip liner is a must to define the shape of your mouth and help prevent the lipstick from straying outside that line. Line the mouth and fill it in with liner to give the lipstick something to cling too.  Application with a lip brush also helps in applying a smooth, even layer of color, blotting the color, applying a light dusting of loose powder, then a second application of color, and then blotting once more, will serve to increase the staying of the lipstick.  If you’d like to experiment with overdrawing your lip line, apply a light layer of foundation to your lips to blend over the natural lip.

Red is not the only shade to choose from however, and pinks and corals are also quite suitable for a vintage face.  Softer rosy shades, shocking pink, and bright corals are all good options to look for.



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Riya Lokhande

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