Make-up: 40s daytime look tutorial

Time to get a little bit Rita Hayworth with this latest tutorial post!
According to my book, Retro Makeup by Lauren Rennells, ‘Rita Hayworth and actresses like her influenced the minimal makeup look of the 1940s. A natural beauty who required few changes in appearance, her sparkling eyes balanced by her slightly overdrawn lips made her what many consider to be one of the most beautiful film actresses of all time.’


What typified this look was neat, arched, elongated eyebrows in a natural colour, minimal eye make-up which emphasised the lashes, faint natural blush and, of course, brick red lips that have a full cupid’s bow with a top lip a similar thickness to the bottom.
So, here we go…
Starting with the lovely make-up free base that I’m working with.
Product: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Bone
My favourite foundation suits many mid-century looks for the flawless, creamy complexion it creates. On it went, with finger application.

Product: Urban Decay Brow Box in Beige Betty

I would have used an eyebrow pencil for this job, but I couldn’t find one in the right colour anywhere so I fell back on my old favourite, the Urban Decay Brow Box. This creates quite a soft line and you may want a sharper one, for which I’d use a pencil. I’ve followed L’s natural brow line and extend it slightly at the ends.


Product: Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes Contour Kit – Cocoa Shimmer

Very easy, simply sweep a warm eye shadow on the lower part of the upper eyelid and blend – I used my fingers for this which I always find easiest for blending.


Product: Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner in Black

You want a very fine line of liquid eyeliner along the base of the eyelashes on the upper eyelid only – you’re trying to make the lashes appear thicker not create a wing (that’s more of a 50s thing!).


Product: Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
Any mascara will do this job just fine – make sure you’re using black to match the black eyeliner.
Cheeks and lips


Product: Cheeks – such an old blusher the details had rubbed off, but was a peachy-pink colour by Elizabeth Arden!
Product: Lipstick – Mac Lipstick in Chili (matte)
For the cheeks, apply either warm bronzer or a terracotta blusher below the cheek bone to contour the face.
For the lips, first use a pencil to mark out the shape of the lips – in this case I have rounded L’s top lip to make a fuller cupid bow and more evenly match the size of her top lip with her bottom. I’ve then filled the lines out with a warm red matte lipstick.


40s make-up tutorial


Mac Chili Lipstick 40s tutorial



1940s day look makeup guide



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