Bobby pins, pomade, hair spray… what else… Oh yeah! Curlers and a comb! Where did the mascara go…?
Hello my dears! I am on a rampage today with vintage hair and makeup things as you can see. Why? Well, for one thing it is because this is the second to last post of the H.W.W.V., and for another, I have never ever done a post in this series before, so I am trying to “pin” down my thoughts. The girls asked me to talk about hair and makeup this time, and of course I gleefully said yes. So if you don’t mind, I am just rounding up the last bits of my trailing recollections before we begin… Ok, I’m set now. Are you ready to plunge into the four eras of hair styling and makeup looks? Before we do, let me prepare you for the layout: on the left hand side you will see the vintage icons, while on the right you will see modern day takes on all of the eras presented. Ok, lets go!
Hair – After the Roaring twenties ceased to dazzle and blind the world with its stupendous glamor, the humbled thirties bore the Great Depression with a grim face; however the women did grace this era by reclaiming the fashion of longer locks. Truly, the hair trimmings that took place every 4 to 6 weeks were far too expensive to keep up, and so the trip to the barber shop ceased to be the “thing”, and growing out that new bob was a pressing thought on many ladies minds.
Pin Curls certainly helped with this, and there were many wet sets that came out of the late twenties and into the thirties that helped keep the elegance. The finger waves stayed in style, and a new, low chignon, or bun was soon worn in the back at the nape of the neck.
Create the Style – So to create your own thirties hair style, all you would need to do is texturize your hair (Braiding small french braids into wetted hair over night really works well. Three ought to do the trick; one on each side, and one in the back.). Then take out your hair and roll it into a nice little bun in the back, teasing it a bit to create some volume. Oh! And make sure you cover your ears! They never really let their ears show very much in the thirties, as you can see in the picture above. You could even go so far as to make several low buns across the nape of your neck. That would look very elegant, and very thirties indeed.
Makeup – The lack of money caused women to rethink every old trend they once loved in the twenties, and practical, modest, and cheap looks were created to cope with the Great Depression. The tight little cupids bow lips were transformed into a more natural shape, the eyebrows were picked extremely thin, and the eyes wore less shadow. It just occurred to me that perhaps because ladies no longer had the freedom to apply as much rouge to their lips, and kohl to their eyes as they were used to, that the last feature they could transform with little or no money was the eyebrow. Just a theory.
Create the Look – To transform your own face to a thirties look I would suggest adding a little bit of foundation on the underside of your brows, and pencil them in so as to make a distinct, fine line. then go light on the eye shadow, or don’t use any at all, touch it up with the slightest sweep of blush, and then round out the upper lip with a nice subtle lipstick. Or again, don’t use any at all. Remember, the average woman was saving her pennies. The thirties did seem to accentuate the long lashes a bit, so if you want you could take your mascara wand and add a touch to the ends of your lashes, including the bottom to get the well rounded eye.
Hair – Ah, the good old forties! How I love this era! The seemingly lost spirit from the twenties was revived and put back into the lives of families on the home front during the great WWII. It is true that the spirit was not so much for fun any more, but most definitely more on the lines of duty and patriotism. Every person wanted to show their enthusiasm to get the job done, and help win the war. The aspects of life had changed with the war; and for the hard working woman, it was how she presented herself to the invigorated society that mattered. Victory rolls were the sign of hope and will to win. Medium to long fluffy curls worn by every young lady were to their daddies and brothers the flags and banners that cheered them on to protect the country and families they loved. Women knew how to say, “We Can Do It” just in the way they dressed their hair! This to me is fascinating that the simple words like “victory” could be laced into the thoughts of men and boys every time they saw their sweethearts’ flamboyant hair!
Create the Style – So if you want to call it a forties day, simple curl your hair the night before with pin curls, and brush them out the next morning. Using your brush, direct the curls, and shape them into submission, then add a victory roll or two. If you don’t want to fuss with curling, tie up your hair with a scarf, and pin a curl in front for a faux bang.
Makeup – Now that the economy was back, and the working woman became the highlight of the home front, this meant that mothers and daughters had to look their very best. The makeup was still far from being as overdone and glamorous as it was in other eras, but it was definitely used during this time as opposed to the thirties. The eyes were made to pop with the help of a lovely brown shadow, mascara, and a natural brow. The whole look was indeed very natural, including the lips–the lipstick did not shy or over exceed the natural line of the lip, but matched it perfectly. Only when we get into the fifties do you begin to see the upper lip exaggerated, but I am getting a little ahead of myself.
Create the Look – To get the perfect forties look, simply enhance the features you have so lovingly been given by our dear Creator with foundation, brown shadow, mascara, red lipstick, and by all means use some rouge on those cheeks! A little color went a long way back in that time, for a rosy face was a cheering comfort to all of the boys overseas.
Hair – Now for the era of the Baby Boomers! What a time we had after the world recovered from the Great Wars! As the girls have already told you, the fifties was very laid back, and the glamor of the working woman was replaced by the lovely housewife once more. I think the simplicity of the hair during the fifties really helped to accentuate the lovely new fashions, as it did not draw too much attention, but was still quite sophisticated. Rollers were now in use, and this gave a softer touch to the hair as opposed to the perky hairstyles in the forties. The Baby Boomer era was a time of rest, a time of party going, and a time for being a family again. I have noted from other resources too that the teens began to take center stage in the mid fifties, along with the debut of Rock ‘n Roll. This brought about the pony tail, the very short Gamine cut, and the fluffy Italian cut. The Bouffant came into fashion at this point as well, and thus begins the switch over to the sixties with the very. big. hair.
Create the Style – To create a fifties hair style, a curling iron or a more “sausage sized” set of pin curls will do, which ever one suits you best. Brush out those curls and shape them around the face for a soft Pageboy look, or if you have shorter hair, tease, spray, and shape it into a bouffant. Teasing is another name for the backcombing technique; this is done by taking a fine-toothed come and brushing a section of hair in the wrong direction. Typically, the crown of the head is teased, and the the top most layer of hair (where it is parted) is then brushed over to hide the frizzed sections. Teasing is only used to create volume, but what volume one can achieve by doing it! If you don’t like all the work, then by all means, just pull your locks back into sleek pony tale! To make it more sophisticated, pull your bang section forward, swoop around to the side, pin, and then draw it back into the pony tail. You will look every inch a fifties girl!
Makeup – While housewives stayed home, they had lots of time on their hands to relax in front of their vanity. Foundation was already in full use during the forties, and so at this point, every woman made up her face with cream or powder, and then a finishing powder. The eyebrows were coaxed into a lovely arch with the help of a pencil, and the eyes were shadowed with greens, blues, purples, grays, and browns. Mascara was used every day and so was the new eyeliner. Lips had taken on a bit of glamor with the introduction of oranges, pinks, maroons, along with the bright reds. To finish off, the face was caressed with a touch of blush to contour the cheek bones, and the look was finished.
Create the Look – To pull off the fifties look, I would suggest you do every thing you did for forties, only this time, ad bolder color combinations such as the pale blue shadow and bright red lips you see above! Don’t forget to be generous with the mascara, and by all means, try to get the lovely arch in the brows. I have done this before by every so slightly elevating the natural line of my brows with the help of a pencil. There you have it!
Hair – For the sixties era, the girls have already been kind enough to give you the brief talk about the “interesting” things that happened during this era. Despite these historical events, there is a lot of freedom here to play around with the hair on your head. Many girls during the sixties were all about losing any natural curl or wave they had and replacing it with either completely stick straight locks, or else adding a slight flip to the ends of straight hair. The bouffant was in high fashion now, and so was the beehive, but I chose to stick with the more approachable hair styles for this post. The teasing technique I mentioned above was used by just about every girl alive during this time, and so was the horrid hair spray. I can just imagine the cloud of toxic fumes coming out of an open bathroom window on the morning of a school day! Oh dear! But as you already have seen, I too was overcome by the need to use quite a bit of spray for my sixties look yesterday, so I am a culprit too. Ha ha! I really like the side bangs so many of the girls wore during this time, but I have to say that when I took mine out the night of the photo shoot, I had a terrible head ache from the complete vertical shift my hair follicles went through to achieve the side bang! Ouch! It really hurt!
Create the Style – If you want to get a sixties look with wavy or straight hair, curl it, flat-iron it, pin curl it, whatever it takes to get the right texture in your hair, and then tease it into the lovely volume or the era, and finish with a lot of spray. The sixties was all about freedom, and truly, the only freedom I see when I look at the towering beehives, and bouffants is the freedom of creative expression and not practicality. 😉
Create the Look – To achieve the sixties look here is what I would do: cover up with foundation, line your eyelid crease with a dark eyeliner, and accentuate the arch under the brow with white, and then repeat for the lower lid with a light shimmery color. Right above the crease line you will want to shade in a dark shadow. Line the eye above and below the lashes with eyeliner (yep!), and do the same for the bottom lashes. Then contour your face with a bronzer, and finish off with a dousing of mascara, and a very pale lipstick.