Against the background of crazy experiments with makeup, retro trends are the embodiment of classic ideas about beauty. For many, they remain the same beauty guide. Therefore, our instructions will come in handy

One of the eras that is still dearly loved for feminine beauty trends is the 1940s. Despite the fact that this decade in the history of the 20th century was painted in tragic colors, women did not forget to take care of their beauty. Most of the trends came from the USA along with films, many of which have become classics of cinema.

Characteristics of 40s makeup

Style icons of the time - Ingrid Bergman, Vivien Leigh, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Veronica Lake. Makeup was full of accents. You can look at any of their photos to easily imagine the classic female image in the style of the 40s. An integral part of this image was a hairstyle with neat curls shoulder-length or slightly lower.


Make-up accents were created against the background of pure porcelain-white skin - an even light tone was the basis of any make-up. Imperfections, if any, sought to be hidden under an impressive layer of cosmetics.

Tone in the forties was supplemented with blush, which not only gave the face a fresher look, but also helped to emphasize the cheekbones. Thanks to this, facial features became more sculpted and thinner.


Macara was the go-to product of this era. It was applied generously - in two layers. The curl of the cilia also played a role. Fluffy, thick, raised at the roots and eye-opening - this is how eyelashes should have been in the 40s.

Now this effect is much easier to achieve. You can use volumizing mascara like Lancôme's Hypnôse Volume à Porter.

Sometimes - less often - the eyes were brought up with a black liner, drawing arrows. The palette of shadows did not indulge in variety. The most popular were gray and brown. These natural shades are universal: they suit everyone and allow you to create literally any makeup option.

Today you will find them in many brands, including the Color Queen collection from L'Oréal Paris.

At the same time, darkening of makeup on the eyelids was rarely addressed. The look remained clear and tender.


But eyebrows, on the contrary, it was customary for girls to tint. A dramatic, even slightly capricious break was drawn with a pencil. Before that, the eyebrows were slightly plucked, but they were not made excessively thin, as in the 20s.On the contrary, the eyebrows remained wide and thick enough, looked natural. The result was an accent that stood out in the image even more than the eye makeup.


Expressive lip makeup is the main characteristic of 40s makeup. It was customary to wear red lipstick (L'Oréal Paris Lip Paint in shade 105, for example).

Sometimes a darker shade was chosen instead - burgundy like Prank Call from NYX Professional Makeup's Powder Puff Lippie line.

Attention was paid to a clear contour and soft stroke of the upper lip - in waves, not corners; no sharpening on the tick.

national makeup features of the 40s

The style of the 40s was adapted in different ways in different countries. Let's talk about these nuances in more detail.


These trends were most relevant for girls in the USA. The war years did not change the usual course of life in this country so much, because the arena of hostilities was across the ocean. Soldiers left for Europe, and women took their places in factories. It was an image of strong-willed beauties who did not lose heart and waited for the fighters to return home, not forgetting to maintain beauty.


European countries followed the same trends, but the situation was different, as cosmetics were in short supply - along with basic hygiene items like soap. Therefore, make-up sometimes had to be created using improvised means. For example, to make eyelashes thick and fluffy, as was customary in the 40s, even black shoe wax was used.


Soviet women were also in a difficult situation. Their make-up was modest enough; girls could only emphasize their eyes with eyeliner, paint on eyebrows. In rare cases, it was possible to use false eyelashes.

Red lipstick also rarely appeared in the image. But Western fashion still seeped through. Women really flourished after the war. A little later, a movement of dudes appeared, who imitated the Western style of dressing. Dior's new look was one of the guidelines for girls, and they complemented it with the appropriate make-up, which we tried to repeat in this video.

40s Makeup Step by Step Photo Tutorial

Retro make-up of the 1940s is easy to repeat, because it consisted of accents and techniques familiar to us today. Therefore, in fact, even today it will not look old-fashioned. How to create an exemplary make-up, shows beauty blogger @mua_anastasia.

  1. Tone

    Equalize the tone so that you get a literally clean canvas. To do this, use a cream (a product with a matte or satin texture is suitable, like Satin BB from Maybelline New York.Apply concealer on top if you need to address any imperfections. Suitable, for example, Infaillible from L'Oréal Paris.

  2. Blush

    The next task is to emphasize the cheekbones. Like the girls of the 40s, use blush or creamy lipstick in a rich pink shade. With their help, perform light contouring (read more about sculpting with blush here). Blend them diagonally under the cheekbone. This will refresh the complexion.

    Apply highlighter to the top of your cheekbones (we used Maybelline's Master Chrome).

    Add powder if needed.

  3. Eyebrows

    Adjust the eyebrows so that the extra hairs do not get out of the general contour. Give them a neat look. However, do not deprive them of their natural width and density. Then use a pencil (such as NYX Professional Makeup's Micro Brow Pencil) to lightly line them to make the kink and ponytail more visible. True, the pressure should be soft: there should not be clear lines.

  4. Eyes

    Use a shimmer eye tint, you can blend it directly with your fingers.

    Do you want to literally breathe retro style from the image? Then complement the lush eyelashes with graphic arrows with the help of a black liner.

    Mask your eyelashes.

  5. Lips

    The finishing touch to the makeup will be red lipstick. Before applying it, work out the contour of the lips. Circle it with a pencil, paying special attention to the "Arch of Cupid" : the lines here should be smooth, without corners. Next, fill the contour with color and, if you want, emphasize the smooth check mark above the lip with a highlighter.

Overview of the best makeup products in the style of the 40s of the XX century

What tools will help create a long-lasting and bright make-up? Pay attention to these. According to the editors, they can be trusted.

  • Tattoo Signature Eyeliner, L'Oréal Paris

    The felt-tip liner is considered the most convenient tool for creating graphic retro arrows.A thin felt applicator pointed at the tip allows you to achieve the desired result, if not immediately (experience in drawing arrows is still needed), then from the first attempts for sure. The liner has a waterproof composition, the formula is designed for 24-hour durability. Contains castor oil. So, by bringing your eyes to the eyelash contour, you help the eyelashes grow he althy and strong.

  • Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in shade 1 Le Rouge, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté

    To get a make-up in the style of the 40s, instead of matte lipsticks that are fashionable today, choose creamy ones with a wet finish. You can use the classic Rouge Pur Couture in shade No. 1 Le Rouge, which looks like “the very” perfect red. This lipstick is a combination of rich color, comfortable creamy texture and the necessary moisture for delicate lips.

  • Dream Satin BB Cream, Maybelline New York

    We'll have to deviate from today's trends again and abandon the tone with the effect of radiance. A more restrained result is needed. A satin finish will be optimal, thanks to which it seems that the skin glows from the inside. It can be provided by Dream Satin BB, which successfully solves several problems at the same time. It not only evens out the tone, hiding imperfections and smoothing the microrelief of the skin, but also moisturizes (there is glycerin in the composition), and also protects against UV rays (SPF 30 is the answer for this).

  • Double Down Brow, Urban Decay

    You can also choose a pencil, but shadows are more convenient because they make it easier to get a softer and more natural result. In addition, the Double Down Brow kit includes a special flat brush.With its help, you can emphasize the shape of the eyebrows, achieve the desired break and paint on the graphic ponytails.

Would you repeat the make-up in the style of the 40s? We are waiting for the answer in the comments.