How to do Vintage Style Makeup : 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s

If you want to learn how to do vintage style makeup you can look up videos on YouTube, or read a how to article, or look at pictures and try to mimic the style. Plenty of women try these tactics however the result is often still very modern, or very movie star glam, and not real everyday women’s vintage makeup looks. The best way to learn authentic vintage style makeup application is from original sources. After-all that is how women in the past learned from books- not You Tube.

Lucky for us we don’t have to scour eBay, garage sales, or our grandmother’s attics to find these guides. Fellow fashion blogger, Stevie at Glamour Daze, has digitally remastered four vintage makeup and beauty guides and made them available for sale. They are exquisite!

While each full color guide clearly explains and illustrates the techniques for applying makeup from each decade they also go into quite a bit of detail on how to choose the best shade of rouge or lipstick, and how to compensate for facial features which are not ideal to the time. I have a square face, thin lips, and a big forehead so I was very pleased that each guide had solutions for enhancing or un-enhancing my unique features plus era specific tips on getting the correct look.

For example in the 1920’s guide I learned:

 ” A small bit of of cold cream rubbed on the upper lid and under the eyes near the nose gives it that natural “dewy” look we read about in poetry and sometimes in real life! It is most attractive.”


From the 1930’s guide :
From the 1940’s guide:
From the 1950’s guide:
These are just a few tips I picked up. The advise in these guides is endless and very thorough. Be assured my next vintage event I will be consulting these guides for my makeup application. (Stay tuned to the blog for examples.)
Beyond makeup the guides go on to give advice on improving your beauty. Much of the advise is more interesting to read from a history perspective rather than applicable to today’s modern women however a few areas are helpful such as:

* Choosing a hairstyle to enhance your face

* Choosing a perfume to add more beauty

* What colors of clothes complement your hair color

* How to lose weight: what to eat, how to exercise (sample exercises included) , and how to practice good posture.

I wish I could go into more detail about all the interesting and useful tips I have gleaned from these vintage makeup guides but I think it would be better for you to get your own copy and see for yourself. (Seriously, I don’t recommend products lightly but this one is worth a five star rating.)

The guides are available as one bundle with all four guides or you can buy them individually if you are only interested in one decade. Click the picture to read more about each guide:


I have a few tutorials/History lessons on vintage makeup: So far you can read about:

1920s Makeup History and Tutorial

1940s Makeup History and Tutorial (with a bit on finger nail polish)

Other decades will follow soon.


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