1940s Makeup & Evening Routine

Learn how to do a simple 1940s makeup routine and evening skincare regime with these handy videos.

With a bit of time off for the holiday season, I decided to make a couple video tutorials inspired by the 1940s – a simple day makeup routine and a nighttime routine inspired by classic Hollywood.

What ones should we try next? 1920s, 30s, 50s or 60s? We can also get Conor to do a proper shave and show what the men went through back in the day! Let us know in the comments.

Advertisement

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Makeup Lover

Vintage-inspired gifts for the makeup & beauty lover on your list!

1. Glamorous Faux Lashes:
Besame Cosmetics

Fashion photography's reluctant poster boy - BBC Culture
For years I wondered how I could accomplish this look without filling my eyes with melted wax.
Bésames Decades of Lashes: 1920s,30s,40s,50s & 60s styles

ABOUT: “Longing to bring back the simple glamour of her grandmother’s beauty routine, designer and cosmetics historian Gabriela Hernandez started Bésame Cosmetics.  Founded in 2004, Bésame Cosmetics has gained a cult following with our meticulously designed, historically inspired, and highly pigmented cosmetics that surpass expectations.  

Our simple yet luxurious formulations are made with pride and a labor of love for Gabriela, each one being 100% cruelty-free and created for sensitive skin. They do not contain gluten, parabens, or mineral oils. Owned and operated by Gabriela and her family, all products are produced locally in California with Gabriela overseeing every batch. All Bésame products are long-wearing, minimal waste, and packaged to be displayed proudly.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: While Bésame is based in the US, it is still a female-lead, family run business, and they create cruelty-free makeup in a range of shades meant to suit all skin colours. Buying from the US can get a little pricey, but luckily our very own Gigi’s House Of Frills carries some of their products, so be sure to check her out before ordering online. Then you can support local as well!

WHAT WE LIKE: Bésame has a wide range of vintage beauty products and all of them are great, but I chose to share these because they are unlike anything I have ever seen. It’s not hard to find a vintage shade of red lipstick, and a fair number of companies make a powder that can give you that Hollywood glamour look, but this is the only place I have seen faux eyelashes made to suit a decade, and when I saw the 1920s ones, my mouth dropped open. I’ve been wanting a way to emulate that style since my early teens.

2. Cosmetics Made With Authentic Vintage Recipes:
LBCC Historical

1936 Velour Setting Powder Matte Face Powder Vintage Face image 4
Face powder made from the exact 1936 recipe, this one is perfect for pale skin.

ABOUT: “Welcome to our shop. We specialize in researching and reproducing historical Apothecary & Cosmetics products. Our recipes are extracted from the historical archives and were used by our ancestors. We carry everything from historical hair care, to ancient salves that will heal even the worst wounds and sore muscles. Our ingredients are 100% top quality, natural, and almost always organic. If you have any questions or have a historical family recipe that you want replicated please feel free to inquire.

In my spare time ( which isn’t very often) I replicate Historical clothing for museums, forts, and interpreters. I specialize in custom orders and authentic recreations for your reenactment and museum needs. I have been replicating historical clothing and reenacting for 25 years. If you find a picture of a museum piece, please feel free to inquire if I am taking orders. I have pieces in many Museums and Forts across the US and world wide.”

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: This small, female owned and operated business is preserving vintage and antique recipes, the products they make come in reusable or recyclable materials, and they are cruelty free and mostly organic.

WHAT WE LIKE: I’ve talked about this brand before as I have many good things to say about them. I love that they use the real historic recipes and the reproduction labels make for an adorable addition to a vanity table. At the moment all their face powders are for lighter skinned folks (I suspect those recipes are easier to find), but they are frequently adding new products, and their other categories do have a little something for everyone.

3. A Vintage Beauty Parlour Experience:
Vintage Mrs Ree’s Beauty Parlour

ABOUT: “Mrs Rees’ Vintage Beauty Parlour is a  Glamorous Old-Hollywood style salon for Ladies. This is a salon created around old ideals when women went to the Salon and men went to Barbershop… It’s a place to feel comfortable while receiving the highest quality services with the best products in world. It’s a time to relax and pamper yourself ~ it’s a place you can feel at home! Its a piece of luxury where YOU are the centre of my attention! You’ll go back in time in atmosphere but be pampered with all the latest techniques and products… it’s an experience you won’t forget and will want to share with all the girls you know!”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: Another woman-led business, they use natural, earth-friendly products.

WHAT WE LIKE: I had to go hunting for this place, so I don’t know much about it, but I’m glad it exists. There are several British stylists I follow online and wish I could see to do my hair, but for some reason the same is very hard to find in Canada. This is a bit of a stretch on a list about makeup, I know, but I think this could be a whole “night out” experience with a friend: do each other’s makeup, go get your hair done, special memories for sure.

4. Vintage Beauty Supplies:
Makeup Compacts

1960s Revlon compact  vintage midcentury face powder compact image 1
This one is from CinnamonGirlStuff on Etsy, but vintage compacts can be found al over.

ABOUT: A vintage compact is a lovely gift because you have such a variety to choose from. You can look on Etsy or eBay, or stop in just about any vintage shop and find one to your liking. Prices and styles range so you’re sure to find something for your someone.

PRICE RANGE: $-$$$ (there are highly collectible ones out there that can cost a pretty penny, but I would plan on spending between $20-$60 for a nice one for the average person).

SOCIAL IMPACT: Go green by shopping vintage! And if you can, support a local business.

WHAT WE LIKE: If you carry a purse, you can use a compact. And if you change your purse with your outfits, you can probably use several. They can also sit and look lovely on a nightstand or vanity, and while these are traditionally an item for women, there’s no fitting or anything that needs to be considered, so really this can be a gift for anyone!

5. Reusable Makeup Removers:
Handmade by AVO

Black Flower Reusable Organic Cotton Rounds Organic Facial image 1
I chose these for the pretty vintage floral pattern, but you can get these many places or make them yourself!

ABOUT: These small, washable pads are made to replace one-use cotton pads that are very non-eco-friendly. You can find them many places, often with pretty patterns like these, or even make them yourself.

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: They keep cotton pads out of the landfill, and require so little fabric you can make them with scraps, helping to cut down on textile waste as well.

WHAT WE LIKE: I actually prefer these to cotton pads because they don’t tear up and leave bits of fluff on your eyelashes. When I first saw them my only concern was how often I’d need to clean them, but honestly they’re usually so cheap I would get a weeks worth, change daily, and toss them in with whatever laundry you have at the end of the week. I’ve been meaning to make some with some of my vintage scraps – I’ll post them when I do!

Have something else you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

Modern Vintage Style (The Sustainable Way)

Can’t find the real thing for your authentic vintage look? Check out these modern retailers who are working to keep the style alive while keeping sustainability in mind.

Can’t find the real thing for your authentic vintage look? Check out these modern retailers who are working to keep the style alive while keeping sustainability in mind.

Besame Cosmetics

Created by artist and cosmetic historian Gabriela Hernandez, Besame has a line of truly beautiful reproduction makeup. From authentic period styled false lashes to collections celebrating icons like Marilyn Monroe, you can be sure to find a little vintage something to dress up your vanity and your face. The best part? Besame is creating with sustainability in mind, so you can replace makeup pans without tossing away a whole plastic compact. Plus, their makeup is cruelty free: read their blog post to learn more about that and why it’s so important.

LBCC Historical Apothecary

This company’s motto of “live natural, be historical” truly is the best way of describing their shop. LBCC creates organic, eco-friendly makeup, skin and hair care products based off historical recipes dating from the Regency Era up the the 1930s. Their work is meticulously researched and perfect for anyone who truly wants an authentic vintage experience. Their products feature copies of the original labels, so they look very sweet on a vintage vanity as well. Because they have few ingredients, they tend to be good for those of us with sensitive skin – I haven’t had a reaction to anything I’ve bought from them. And the prices are incredible, they are clearly a group doing this for the pure love of it.

Sheertex

There are times we’re lucky enough to stumble across a vintage pair of thigh-highs, and if you’re like me you wince every time you pull them on, worrying that they will snag and run. By and large stockings and pantyhose are not as common as they once were, but I think most of us who wear skirts or dresses have a pair or two tucked in the drawer for certain occasions. That’s where Sheertex comes in. Yes, they are very expensive, but these babies WILL NOT RIP. You can see on their site the many trials they put them through and I don’t know what magic they’ve used, but I’m here for it. The best part? They make a sheer, backseam thigh high that’s perfect for us vintage lovers.