14 November 2012

1950s makeup

For years, I've followed the warm/cool colouring and seasons concepts of co-ordinating makeup and clothing colours with your skin and natural hair colour.

It came as something of a shock, then, to be told on Saturday that lips must always be bright red, blush pink and eyeliner black for 1950s makeup. When I say pink blush, I mean bright pale pink!

While clothing might be coordinated to hair and skin tone, doing so was less of a consideration back then, and these basic makeup colours are constants, independent of everything else.

Then I stopped and thought about it and realised that the whole colour coordination seasons concept appeared in the 1980s as far as I know, so it's not that they were breaking the rules in the 1950s, but that the rules hadn't been written back then.

So, while pink blush and black eyeliner might not be the best colours to compliment my natural colouring, they are period correct colours and I won't achieve an effective retro look without using them. I'm also still getting used to the idea that no matter what colour clothes you wear, the lipstick is always bright red.

So what are the differences between retro makeup and modern makeup?
  • Foundation is basically the same ~ matched fairly closely to skin tone, but nominally no highlighting and contouring. Because I tend to do very subtle highlighting and contouring, I think that I can still get away with it. :) With the hairstyles revealing more of my hairline where I colour it in, I'm going to have to blend the edges more than I have been.
  • Blush is not only a completely different colour, but it also goes in a completely different place. Smile so that you get a pair of bulges either side of your nose, and that's where the blush goes. It's still blended of course, but this position is quite different to the modern line along the cheek bone way of doing blush! I'd already applied a bit of my usual colour blush in the usual place before the class, so my results weren't as effective as they could have been.
  • Eyebrows are longer. Over time, I, along with a lot of women, have reduced the outer ends of my brows and even though my moderately thin brows are okay, they needed to extend in a bit of a curve out and down from the ends to frame my eyes more.
  • Eyeshadow is almost a non-event. At most, a slight hint of white under the peaks of the brows, very lightly applied and blended in.
  • Eyeliner should ideally be a bold black line over the top lid, rising at the outside end of the eyes, but my eyelids are too hooded for this to work. If I apply the ideal line with an eye closed and let it dry, it vanishes into the fold when I open the eye. I'm still not sure what I can do about this short of surgery. There should be absolutely no eyeliner below the eye!
  • Mascara, like eyeliner, is for top lashes only. Full top lashes are the aim, and false lashes or lots of coats of mascara are fine. My bottom lashes are so blonde that they are invisible, particularly since I can no longer get them tinted, and I'm yet to work out whether I should apply one coat of mascara just to define the lashes or leave them completely invisible.
  • Lips not only have to be red but they also need to be full and balanced top to bottom with a bow on top, which means a little overdrawing for me, as well as the usual slightly unbalanced application to correct for my uneven lips. Contrary to appearance, my lips were even in the photo accompanying this post, but it was a candid shot where my mouth was a little wonky.

The explanation for mascara and eyeliner being on the top only was that movie cameras and lighting of the era tended to create shadows from any makeup under the eyes, resulting in the appearance of dark circles. By avoiding makeup under the eyes, they avoided the shadows, and because that's how the movie stars had their makeup, everybody else copied!

The headaches and sleepiness that I mentioned last week are back, so I haven't managed to do any makeup or hair styling since Saturday, but I really hope to have a go at it again within the next few days.

As a footnote to yesterday's post about using Brylcreem to treat dandruff, last night I found a post from last year from when the problem started. It was caused by a Minoxidil solution that I trialled and saw very little result from.

1 comment:

  1. I rather like the idea of retro make up, would go well with some of the new pencil dresses popping in to the shops. I feel a shopping spree coming on!

    Thanks for an informative post.