Help with nailing an era

Discussion in 'Beauty' started by Nora, May 5, 2014.

  1. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Hi there. I'm a bit new here, I've lurked around on and off for a while, but I might have missed a similar thread anyway. I apologize if it is so.

    Now, the thing is, I've fallen in love with the 40's pin up look. I've been trying for a while now to get it right, and I've probably read everything there is to know about t out there.
    I'm quite new to makeup, but I've been practising a bit, trying to get the 40's look, for parties and such, and maybe also everyday.

    So I pick out the red lipstick... And no matter what I do I end up with this annoyingly timeless look. Gah! Even with a full on vintagey-outfit and pin curls... Nope. Just that timelessly elegant look. I want to look stereotypically 40's, dammit!
    It doesn't help that a lot of my friends can just slap on red lippy and instantly get that look...

    What's the problem? Is my face that weird? I personally like it quite a bit, it's rather oval, but that shouldn't matter, should it? Is it the fact that my lips would work perfectly with the flapper-girl look?
    I shall add a picture, feel free to pick me apart. Point out any mistake I made and how to make it more period correct. Hopefully that will help me get the look I want.

    http://bildr.no/image/ZTlGWlcz.jpeg
    http://bildr.no/image/WFNCUzRX.jpeg

    There you go. Please excuse the zit.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  2. makeupmaven

    makeupmaven New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    los angeles
    Hello Nora,

    I think you are quite close. You have a very pretty face shape and your hair is perfect for soft waves or victory rolls. The 40s look is all about the brows and lips. Make sure your brows are neat and filled in. Look at your favorite actress from the period and look at the brow shape. Also, for the liner, keep it ti just the top of the eye. Do not extend into a cat eye. It would not be correct for that period. If your lashes are thin, add false lashes that are soft and light. They wore really long soft lashes during the 40s. Finally, find the right red for your lips. If your skin has a lot of pink, try a cooler red, without orange or too much yellow in it. It will suit you better. Make sure you apply 2 coats and blot in between.
    Let me know if you get closer to what you need.
     
  3. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Ah, thanks a lot, that is very helpful! I'll keep it in mind!
    Do you think I should overdraw my top lip to get that hunter's bow shape, or would that just end up odd...? I've tried a couple of times, but I just can't seem to get it right without a lipliner...

    Oh my, it seems the pictures ended up tiny anyway!
    Now they should be fine...

    http://postimg.org/image/zdn27g4kb/#codes
    http://postimg.org/image/es8afjmzf/
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  4. Dexter'sDame

    Dexter'sDame One of the Regulars

    Makeupmaven's advice was excellent! I'd also add, while it's hard to see from the size of your photo, yes, do a modified Hunter's Bow lipline. You can do this too, though in a slighter way than would be done for cameras.

    After a lot of vintage product research research and staring at tons of '40's portraits to figure out where I was going wrong with my own 40's look, and asking a makeup artist friend for help, here's the method I cobbled together:

    1. Google some portraits of Rita Hayworth where you can really see the shape of her lips. Betty Grable, too, and any other '40's starlet you admire. There's also a good photo of the '40's lip shape here: http://glamourdaze.com/2012/02/1940s-make-up-guide-how-to-have.html

    2. When you do your foundation, blend your foundation over your lips, too, to "erase" them. Then use a lipliner that's the same pink as the natural color of your lips to slightly overdraw and alter the shape of your mouth to a '40's shape, and fill it in with that same liner. The pink color makes your new lip shape look more convincing, because lips are pink. (Smashbox makes good one called the Nude Lip pencil, and it comes in pink shades according to your skin tone to match your natural lip color.)

    3. Now do your lips in your red, following your "new" lip shape. Depending on your lipstick, you may or may not need to draw a matching red liner over your new lip line. (I usually don't, to avoid "coloring book lip" when the lipstick fades--and I find mine look fuller without the red liner.)

    4. If they still don't look full enough or pouty enough, blot a little of the lipstick from the center to lighten it a little, or apply a slightly lighter red to the center and blend thoroughly.

    5. Contrary to popular belief, '40's lips were NOT always matte, especially for a pin-up look.( If you look closely at portraits of '40's stars, you'll see varying degrees of shine on the bottom lip. Hedy Lamarr's almost always had a shine for example, and Rita often did, too.) A dot of Vaseline or Max Factor lip pomade was often applied to the center of the "roll" of the bottom lip to make the lips look more "luscious"--especially for pinups or sexy characters in the movies. (Max Factor's lip pomade was the first commercial lip gloss and came in a little metal pot similar to the Max Factor 1930's comedy/tragedy rouge compact. From what I can tell from descriptions and the rare vintage product remnants on Ebay, it seemed to be thicker than Vaseline, and was not as wet-look shiny as today's lip glosses.)

    Vaseline breaks down lipstick and gets runny, so I recommend a clear pot gloss, or Lip Medix in the blue pot, which will still break down the lipstick somewhat but isn't quite as runny if you use it sparingly. Use far less than you think you need--just a tiny, thin amount in the center of the roll of your bottom lip. It will spread out on its own, so I usually apply a tiny dot of Lip Medix with my lip brush then touch my lip with my pinky to help get it started. (Think sheen more than shine.)

    Takes practice to know how much to overdraw without it looking really weird in person, but with practice it can be done. If that still doesn't work for you, instead of overdrawing, the method of "blend the lighter shade in the middle" is what I do daily, along with the dot of Lip Medix on the bottom lip. Regardless, I use the natural pink liner, because if it happens to migrate a little it makes my lips look fuller.

    Did women really do all that every day? Nooooo...but pinup looks were done by professional makeup artists, so if we want a pin-up makeup look, we have to be our own makeup artists.

    You can do it! Good luck!\

    (edited to remove redundancy because we posted at the same time--Jinx! ;-)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  5. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks! That is really helpful!
    I guess I'll have to hurry up and go find myself a foundation, then. I've been a bit perfectionist, so I have been sporting the bare-faced look, because I just couldn't get my makeup the way I wanted.
    Hopefully I should be able to do a daily makeup look I like before school starts again in August... If I can get myself to be that efficient in the mornings. All the things can feel a bit overwhelming when all you've done has been washing the face and sweeping on some lip-balm on cold days...

    Any makeup tips are appreciated, as I don't know... well, anything... My mother hasn't worn makeup since her twenties, and my big sister is blind, so there hasn't been much to pick up on that end either. I'm also very sensitive to little details being off. I find that most mascara looks spidery, no matter what people do, and foundation lines or drawn on brows or.. guh...
    All things makeup quickly look very fake to me, so it's hard to overdraw a lip with suck a sharp "corner" between the colour and non-colour bits as mine.

    ...And then there's also keeping to the promise I made to mum about not becoming dependent on any makeup to feel confident. She has a point though, one should be able to go swimming bare-faced without any worries...


    Oh my, I'm rambling. I am truly sorry. But yes, any makeup tips or product recomendations are very much appreciated, especially if you have something that can cut down on the amount of different products, or time one needs!
     
  6. swinggal

    swinggal One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,386
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I think hair is very much what makes a 1940s look - 1940s. Without it, the look can't really be pulled off. Personally, I'm not a fan of taking inspiration from pin-ups because they weren't how everyday women dressed at the time. In the day, no woman wanted to be associated with calendar girls etc and unlike today, you would not have found female pin-up calendars hung in any women's home. They were made for men. Even Hollywood stars were viewed by the general public as 'too racy' but women would still take 'elements' of these famous, women's style at add it to their own every-day looks. But, in the end it's up to you as to whether you want to go for the more retro pin-up look or the more authentic 40s look.

    Yes, red lipstick, lovely shaped brows and clear skin were part of the 40s look, but there was also a naturalness to the beauty as well. Waved and rolled hair is the signature look of the 1940s and without it, the other elements just look, as you say, timeless (which is also fine - but does not really say '40s', which is what you are after).

    I would look for photos of everyday women of the era and copy those for a more genuine 40s look. I find the girls who do the pin-up thing, wear their make-up lean more towards the 50s with their winged eyeliner etc (which was not a really a 40s thing). I did the 40s look for a long time bit then realised the 1930s was what I loved the most, so I have a lot of experience with trying to recreate the 40s feel. Fresh and simple works so well for 40s with the 4 main elements:
    - rolled and waved hair
    - dark lips (reds)
    - clear skin
    - slightly darker (not obviously drawn) neat arched brows

    I think TicketyBoo Tupney from the UK does 40s amazing well :) Added her blog for some inspiration for you. She keeps it a very fresh-faced look using the elements I mentioned. Not a tonne of foundation makeup either. With brows, I always just used a shade similar to my own to touch up the shape but darken it a little. No one could ever tell that I had done it because I made it appear natural and undrawn. I only ever used mascara (no liner) and lip pencil filled in with lipstick. My foundation was a nude shade and lightly applied. Sometimes all I did was dab a little powder on. Nothing complicated at all.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    http://ticketybootupney.blogspot.com.au/p/tupneys-wardrobe.html
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  7. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Oh my! Thanks a lot! That's very close to what I'm going for! I'll have to look closer at that blog.

    And it seems I'll have to pick up a pin curl tool the next time I go to Oslo. I usually roll my hair in these bendy sponge rollers, and it does help quite a lot, but I find it difficult to do victory rolls and such afterwards...
    I've also heard that besame's cake mascara is a great and versatile product, so I'm going to get one of those as well, but do you think black or brown would be the most use for my money...?
     
  8. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    So.. Following most of the tips here we end up with this....
    Now, I tried makeup a couple of times, but with the little experience and few products I have, I went for a very authentic bare face...

    Now, with curly-wurly hair in some vaugely voctory-roll-ish pinned back shape, and freddies dungarees this should scream of at least a decade somewhere around the 1940's.

    (Warning, the file is enormous.)
    http://i.imgur.com/QIvRwPZ.jpg


    Aaaaand... It doesn't. What is this? Why can I not... Gwah! WORLD, WHY DO YOU HATE ME???

    *sob*



    Edit: I'm sorry...
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  9. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,852
    Location:
    Colorado
    I agree with Swinggal...the hair is what really makes the look. The hair more so than any makeup or outfit. If I have my hair done in a retro style I can be makeup-less and in jeans and a t-shirt -- and ALWAYS have people on the street tell me my look is "old fashioned" or I remind them of Grease (even in 30s waves...lol).

    You are lucky today. You have a plethora of youtube videos to help you. When I started out I had to read books (confusing) or figure it out myself. If you like a more pinup-y/rockabilly look, a mix of 40s/50s with heavier makeup is the way to go. For a more traditional 40s look, swinggal is spot on. Good luck!


    PS -- you are on the right track with your hair! Watch youtube tutorials and see what techniques you can get from them.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  10. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Ah, yes. I'll have to experiment with different old-fashioned styles... Once I get one of those pin curl tools I'll man myself up enough to try some set patterns!
    But I do wonder, maybe my face just doesn't work with the 30's-50's period, if you look right simply with wavy hair. :p
     
  11. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,852
    Location:
    Colorado
    I don't think you need a pincurl tool. It's easier (for me) to wrap them with my fingers. I guess it's different for everyone, though.

    LOL. My face is HARDLY "period accurate." I'm a redhead and summertime is freckle time! I have a long, slim "horseface" -- not a cutesy round face that was the beauty standard among the 1940s pinup girls. I also wear real period glasses so that might also have a lot to do with the "old fashioned" comments I get. I also mash up decades -- I'll wear a high 1960s beehive with a modest 1930s dress. I like to confuse people...lol.
     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Always remember there were all kinds of faces in the Era -- heart-shaped, square, oval, narrow, thick, pointed, whatever. You only got to see the "perfect" faces in the pinups or the ads, but go to the Everyday Women of the Golden Era thread and you'll see how Sally J. Ordinaryface was able to get the most out of what she had.
     
  13. Nora

    Nora New in Town

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    37
    Location:
    Norway
    Oh, well in that case. :p


    I see, but where on earth can I find out what she did to achieve that...? :confused:
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Believe it or not, I think it was mostly trial and error. The women's magazines of the Era didn't put an awful lot of emphasis on how to apply cosmetics -- a lot of the technique you see in photos and movies and such came from professional makeup artists, not the women themselves, and you didn't see a lot of articles in fashion magazines about how to duplicate those looks at home.
     
  15. MissNathalieVintage

    MissNathalieVintage Practically Family

    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Chicago
    In reading Lauren Rennells book Retro Makeup. In the 1940s section it is mentioned that not every woman wore foundation or used lip liner. Face powder is what most women used and applying lipstick straight from the tube too. The lip liner was not available until the late 1940s, max factor had a lipstick brush or some women would use a camel hair paint brush to apply makeup. Plus rationing hit the cosmetic industry hard. If a lady ran out of lipstick, beet root juice stained the lips well and vaseline covered shine. I personally am glad to know this since I refuse to fiddle with foundation after many hard fought attempts at trying to find the right color and making sure to blend well. I learned my combination, acne prone, large pores, and sensitive skin dislikes foundation. My current favorite face powder is Wet n Wild Fergie Take On The Day Mattifying Powder.
    Which I apply with a powder puff, I find the powder puff blends in the powder best. I noticed when I applied face powder with a brush the powder did not sink into my skin it just sat on my face and looked uneven.
    Actress Ingrid Bergman wore very little makeup on screen and off. Her eyebrows were natural and her lipstick choice often looked like it could be her natural lip color. In Retro Makeup on page 72 there is a super easy way to apply a more natural 1940s makeup look.

    Here is a quick and easy makeup retro look
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlAw...ent=mv-google&app=desktop&persist_app=1&guid=

    In the end you have to find out what works best for you. Have fun trying out hair and makeup. Don't worry to much on being 100% period perfect if you have a retro or vintage flare you've already achieved greatness since no one really knows how a truly vintage style looks you will be fine.
    The comments I get by men, teenage girls, and women go like this. Oh! I like your 1950s look or I like your retro look. Only three times has anyone gotten the era correct. I just except every wonderful compliment and smile.
    Just this week a man said I looked like Patsy Cline :)
     
  16. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Norway
    I guess I'll just have to experiment then. :p (Goodbye moneys)
    I did however find that just a red, tinted lip balm worked wonderfully, at least with my glasses on! Wohoo! :D
     
  17. Nora

    Nora New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks a lot for that guide! I've looked for a lot, but hadn't seen that one before! :)

    Hehe, yeah, people usually have no idea. I remember turning up to paint this cellar in our church that the youth club is going to use in dad's old blue overalls with a belt, and a headscarf, and getting compliments for my very 80's look. Well, I guess that one is sort of close, but not the birthday I went to in a very period correct 40's look, where everyone was all "I like so much that you dare to dress how you want, and that 20's look suits you real well too!" :eek:

    Patsy Cline is all-right to be compared to! Then you must at least be looking vaguely right! :p
     
  18. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,852
    Location:
    Colorado
    The average person who is not into vintage really won't know what era you're trying for. To them, everything from the 20s to the 80s is the same lol. I could be in 30s head to toe with fingerwaved hair and I'll still get the "Grease" compliment (I take it as such because that seems to be the average person's vintage reference point in my experience!)

    As for nailing the era, my best advice is don't try too hard. Experiment, have fun, learn and play with eras you may not be into and see what you can pull from there. I get most of my style inspiration from ordinary pictures of ordinary women. You'll always see a dress that's just a bit too big (most likely a hand-me-down), some scuffs on the shoes, frizzy curls and/or messy curls that half didn't want to hold, all kinds of eyebrows, all ranges of a made-up face, saggy boobs, a bulge here and there....I like seeing the "imperfect" women of the day. I love movie stars, too, but I get more out of Jane Q. Public.
     
  19. Nora

    Nora New in Town

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    Location:
    Norway
    Haha, yeah. :p

    You're probably right, and as you say, most people have no idea anyway. :eek:
    I do wonder if grandmother has some tips to share with me, she was a teen back during the exact times I admire...
     
  20. vintageTink

    vintageTink One Too Many

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    Location:
    An Okie in SoCal
    That just struck me as really funny.

    And yet there were a lot of babies born to "ordinary" women. ;)
     

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