A Guide to 1930s Makeup

The form of foundation worn as makeup that was de rigueur during the start of the 1930s wound up being completely unsatisfactory for use among members of the silver screen industry, and as a result, all of their dedicated fans and devotees followed suit, abandoning the previous standard and making the switch with their favorite Hollywood stars. As technology in film progressed, the older form of makeup ended up doing strange things, and interacting with the camera in highly unsatisfactory ways. Newer makeup, which was pan makeup, was formulated for its undisturbing effect it had on the production of a movie, and it now served to give those beauties a signature glow, when set with special powder. The pale-faced look was in, accomplished by a rather heavy application of both foundation and powder.

1930s woman

A Softer Sensibility
The style of the 30s dispensed with the flapper form that preceded, with a much softer, more feminine look for the 30s woman. The look was more conservative and less attention-getting, seeing as how the times were constantly calling for prudence and thrifty living in all areas. The former rather reckless spending of the 20s was replaced by a calmer, more down to Earth beauty.  The diminished boldness was carried over into makeup, fashion and hairstyles. Longer locks sported gentler feminine curls and waves, outdoing the boyish hair connected to the flapper look. The striking effects of sequins and feathers were replaced by flowing dresses cut on the bias that offered lovely floral patterns and more romantic, homestyle flair.

Cheeky Effects
The application of rouge became popular, and this powdered mix was blended in a larger area of the cheek than what is done now, being far less discreet than today, but less so, from the manner in which the flappers had sported the rosy effects. Colors ranged from pinky pinks to light reds.

Woman using an eyebrow pencil.

All About the Eyes
Eyebrows were purposefully rendered with dark pencils, after having been virtually plucked gone. The finished result was a thin, highly arched crescent above each eye. Eyeliner was black, and ran the entire width of the eye, with an upturn at the outer end. A supreme effort was devoted to the upper lashes to load them down with mascara, with little to none applied to the lower lashes. Various shades of browns, blues, greens and purples for eyeshadow would be applied from the lashes all the way up to the eyebrows, with a dressy effect coming from adding a bolder application of color to the crease of the eye, between the lashes and the eyebrow.

Lip Service
Lip gloss made its debut during the 30s, and in general, the shape of the female lip changed by a different style of applying lipstick. The middle dip in the center of the upper lip received every bit as much attention and purpose as ever, but the obvious points to either side were now gone, and in their place, the width of the entire lip was painted with lipstick, and often a new upper lip line was painted above the actual edge of the lip to create the impression of a larger, fuller upper lip. The trendy colors of the age were dark reds, maroons and raspberries. Chinese red and browns were included in the array.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *