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Vintage Makeup Favorites

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
I thought it might be helpful to vintage newbies if we posted our favorite retro cosmetics and tips.

So, here are my standbys:

The perfect red lipstick—right now my favorite is MAC Russian Red, which is the perfect 40s red on me. I like MAC Ruby Woo, Besame Red and Besame Cherry Red as well; all three are excellent 40s colors.
Also, MAC Miss Dish is a nice deep berry shade that looks very vintage and works well for 1920s looks.

Rimmel lip liners in Red Diva and Red Dynamite are the perfect complements to the above mentioned lipsticks (creamy, highly pigmented and very similar to my old MAC standbys, but about $10 cheaper), and they allow you to draw that 40s mouth just so.

For eye makeup, Besame shadows are also wonderful—very accurate colors with wonderful textures and finishes.

For blush, I love MAC Dame—a raspberry pink that is very pinup-y and brightens up my pale skin.

For foundation, I recently discovered Body and Soul’s 2-in-1 Face Powder. I believe it’s discontinued (figures) but it comes in the perfect pale shade and looks *great* in photos.

For brows, I really like Cover Girl's Brow and Eye Makers in Soft Brown. I like using a pencil because I find I get better control then I do by using powder and a brush.

For powder, I stick with the vintage favorite Coty Airspun—it’s cheap, works great and smells heavenly.

Okay, so what do you ladies like to wear?
 

Lauren

Distinguished Service Award
Messages
5,060
Location
Sunny California
Oooh! Fun post!

For classic lipstick I go for MAC's Viva Glam I, Benefit's Bachelor Pad, or Besame Red as well. Top it off with She-Laq from Benefit and it lasts a long time (even through some kisses ;) ).

Benefit tends to be my favorite, and I love the look Bad Gal Lash gives (looks like false eyelashes if you layer it on) and Dandelion is a great all over blush for the 30's look. For the starlet look I use Hollywood Glo, which comes in a great 20's looking packaging. For eyebrows I like Eye Zing, which you apply with a brush and powder. For foundation I use their Playstick and powder in Get-Even. I switched over from MAC about a year and a half ago, and it took me a while to get used to it. It comes in fewer colors (like the old days) and doesn't go on as thick, but now I'm sold out!

Love to hear some more :)
 

swinggal

One Too Many
Messages
1,386
Location
Perth, Australia
Lipstick - Ive been using L'oreals Endless 'Crimson Joy' for quite a while. It stays put forever and doesn't bleed and is authentic 40s shade.

lip liner - I use 'Lip Ink' from The Body Shop. It actually stains your lips and stays on longer. It's great because the applicator is like a texta and it goes on wet like a paintbrush for nice control. I dont think they make it any more.

Mascara - you gals HAVE to try Rimmel's Xtreme Volume mascara in 001 Black. I've NEVER found a mascara as good as this. The secret is that it doesn't have a brush, it has a comb on the end the applicator. This separates the lashes and coates them better. Its amazing and I've converted a few girls here.

Eyes - I also use a white kohl pencil from Rimmel as eyeliner just above the lashes on my top lids. Apparently this was common in the 40s as it widens your eyes.

Brows -brown brow pencil to sharpen the edges
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
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2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
Thanks for posting ladies!

I too like Benefit, although I can't wear their foundation because the lightest shade is still a couple shades dark for me (I am ultra pale!)

Their Zero Guilt lipstick is another nice red, and I like some of their shadows such as Hey Bellboy! (a really pretty plum.)

I've never heard of the white eyeliner trick--I've always associated it with newer beauty mag tips (it is hard to find makeup tips in old magazines; I find that most articles are very general and unlike today’s magazines, you just didn’t see a lot of space devoted to makeup.) I do have a beauty guide from the mid-40s—I’ll have to read it again and see if I can find something interesting!

Although I wear liner because I like the look, I've noticed that many women in the 40s used eye makeup quite sparingly. I really like this clean look, but for some reason still feel compelled to line my upper lids.

For mascara, I love L'Oreal's Double Extend--it comes in True Brown (a must for fair-skinned blondes and redheads--black looks too harsh on me) and imparts a very lush, almost false look to my lashes. I did try Rimmel's mascara, but just could not get the comb to work for me and ended up returning it.

Some day I would like to try using cake mascara, which was the only mascara available in the 40s. I found this brand online--it's pretty inexpensive, so if I don’t like it, it would be a big deal.
http://www.adiscountbeauty.com/page358.html

I'll have to pop into The Body Shop the next time I am at the mall and take a look at the Lip Ink--it sounds intriguing!
 

MissTayva

Registered User
Messages
164
Location
Arizona.
Foundation -
  • Shiseido The Makeup Cream Foundation -
  • Besame Souffle Foundation

I found the Besame stuff works better w. out a moisturizer! I used this for my wedding and my skin looked like porcelain! Both photograph extremely well.

Eyebrows and Eyeliner
  • BeneFit Babe Cake eyeliner
  • MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
  • Clinique Brow Powder in Charcoal

Yes, I use the same brush and cake eyeliner for my brows.
The MAC Fluidline is to die for! It is a gel liner. It's quite bold and doesn't smudge.
I really love Babe Cake liner, I just wish they hadn't discontinued the seperate containers of black and brown. I HATE the new split one. I always throw it away with half of the product (brown) still inside. I also use BeneFit's She Laq when I use the Babe Cake, because it does tend to smudge on me. I LOVE, though, how bold and matte my liner looks!
I also use Clinique's Brow Powder to set my brows and tone down the boldness.

Cheeks
  • Besame Sweet Pink Boudoir Rouge
  • BeneFit Dandelion powder
  • Urban Decay X
I use the Dandelion and Besame interchangably. I find that I like Dandelion just a bit better, as it is a pale pink and definitely buildable.

Mascara
  • Estee Lauder Illusionist

I've yet to find one I like! It always flakes off and sticks to my makeup... I've tried several brands. If I use She Laq, it just looks icky. I try to skip mascara altogether and go for false lashes (by MAC).

Eyeshadow

  • Besame Alluring Eyeshadow - Black Pearl
  • Besame Alluring Eyeshadow - Socialite Brown
  • Besame Alluring Eyeshadow - Shimmer Beige
  • Too Faced G.I. Jane duo (shimmery beige and dark brown-green)
  • Clinique Like Mink Duo (Similar to Besame's Shimmer Beige and Socialite Brown, just lighter)
  • BeneFit Dear John eyeshadow
I use Dear John to perk up my eyes. :)

Powder
  • Besame Feather Light Dusting Powder (smells so good!)
  • BeneFit Get Even
  • MAC Select Sheer loose powder

Lips
  • MAC Lip Pencil - Brick
  • MAC Retro Matte - Ruby Woo
  • Besame Enchanting Lipstick - Besame Red

I gotta admit... I am really disappointed with Besame's lipstick. The shades are nice, but I must say, I am partial to MAC's Retro Matte lipsticks (Viva Glam I is nice, too!). I don't like the "semi-matte" finish. True, it isn't as drying, but with this windy weather, I have been putting up with serious makeup correction as my hair slaps against my mouth then the rest of my face. Doesn't happen with MAC! Also, the tube doesn't last very long. I find their claims of streamline packaging false. I use a lip brush and have used up a tube in about a month and a half. That's with application and 2 touch-ups a day. The MAC tube I bought at the beginning of the year is still going strong!
 

Jen

New in Town
Messages
32
Vintage-style makeup

Love all the comments and tips!

Alcone is a theatrical makeup supply company. They have a huge selection of makeup that can be used to create period looks, including many brands of pancake foundation and false lashes. I believe they ship worldwide.

http://www.alconeco.com/frame_catalogs.html

Jen
 

MissTayva

Registered User
Messages
164
Location
Arizona.
Jen said:
Love all the comments and tips!

Alcone is a theatrical makeup supply company. They have a huge selection of makeup that can be used to create period looks, including many brands of pancake foundation and false lashes. I believe they ship worldwide.

http://www.alconeco.com/frame_catalogs.html

Jen

Thanks for that link!
Ben Nye also makes similar products (which are VERY affordable).
Cinema Secrets and Camera Ready Cosmetics are some others. I was impressed with the range of foundation colors. Right now, my color has changed and I am having problems finding the right shade of foundation. Luckily, it happened just as I ran out!

Oh, for all you ladies bent on having authentic product, Alexandra de Markoff STILL manufactures the same foundation since the 1920s!
It's oil-based (in fact, you have to stir it with a stick to blend it). It's rather pricey but so exquisite. I know many people who are usually sensitive to oils, have oily skin or break out easily who have had no problems with this. It gives a flawless finish, very vintage looking!
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
Ben Nye foundation is great stuff; if my skin tolerated it I would definitely be on my favorites list!

I recently learned how to make my own pressed powder, so I plan on picking up a tin of their pink loose powder this week to create a custom pale shade!

Where can one purchase the Alexandra de Markoff foundation? It sounds very intriguing!

I did have some luck with Max Factor Pancake foundation; it's been around since the advent of color film, and it is a pretty nice vintage product if you can find the right shade!

I’ve been itching to try their new Colour Perfection lipstick; they have a nice red shade that looks perfectly 40s!
 

MissTayva

Registered User
Messages
164
Location
Arizona.
jitterbugdoll said:
Ben Nye foundation is great stuff; if my skin tolerated it I would definitely be on my favorites list!

I recently learned how to make my own pressed powder, so I plan on picking up a tin of their pink loose powder this week to create a custom pale shade!

Where can one purchase the Alexandra de Markoff foundation? It sounds very intriguing!

I did have some luck with Max Factor Pancake foundation; it's been around since the advent of color film, and it is a pretty nice vintage product if you can find the right shade!

I’ve been itching to try their new Colour Perfection lipstick; they have a nice red shade that looks perfectly 40s!

Max Factor's Pancake does not work for me... there aren't enough shades. I'm usually in between!

Where did you learn to make pressed powder?
You know, I wish I had the funds to start my own makeup line. I've yet to find any one line I really like (I use a mish-mash of everything these days!).
I think the most diverse foundation colors has to be Aromaleigh mineral foundation... but I think I really prefer liquid over everything. I can't find a shade to suit me these days! I really like the Besame line, but it's all too dark for me now :rage:

Here is a link for the Alexandra de Markoff:
http://www.your-cosmetics.com/p/Cou...f.php?cPath=1&products_id=71&refKeyword=7home

Check Nordstrom's, though, they sometimes have it (that way you can try it out). You can probably track it down in Scottsdale.

You know, I've been meaning to email you!! I am such a procrastinator!
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
Thanks for the link! I'm bidding on a bottle of the lightest shade on eBay right now--it's half price so I just had to take the plunge. Plus, her foundation received very high marks on Makeup Alley--sounded exactly like what I am looking for, in fact!

I learned how to mix my own pressed powder from another vintage friend (she is also very pale, and can get away with a darker foundation by powdering over it with a nearly white powder); she has quite a few tricks up her sleeve! For example, she makes the most divine body scrub by mixing brown sugar, olive oil and few drops of lemon juice. Leaves your skin feeling silky soft-- my husband even likes to use it!

Welcome to my world--being pale is beautiful, but an extreme pain when it comes to finding foundation! If you haven't tried Ben Nye, they make a shade pale enough for me; it is also highly pigmented and so provides excellent coverage. I stopped in at Easley's Fun Shop and found the staff to be very helpful in color selection.
 

MissTayva

Registered User
Messages
164
Location
Arizona.
jitterbugdoll said:
Thanks for the link! I'm bidding on a bottle of the lightest shade on eBay right now--it's half price so I just had to take the plunge. Plus, her foundation received very high marks on Makeup Alley--sounded exactly like what I am looking for, in fact!

I learned how to mix my own pressed powder from another vintage friend (she is also very pale, and can get away with a darker foundation by powdering over it with a nearly white powder); she has quite a few tricks up her sleeve! For example, she makes the most divine body scrub by mixing brown sugar, olive oil and few drops of lemon juice. Leaves your skin feeling silky soft-- my husband even likes to use it!

Welcome to my world--being pale is beautiful, but an extreme pain when it comes to finding foundation! If you haven't tried Ben Nye, they make a shade pale enough for me; it is also highly pigmented and so provides excellent coverage. I stopped in at Easley's Fun Shop and found the staff to be very helpful in color selection.

You might ask about the Alexandra de Markoff on Makeup Alley... I think you can use the primer to lighten it. There is some trick to make it lighter, I just can't think of what it is! I know someone on there mentioned it.

I was very surprised to see that it got such great reviews over there. That's actually where I first heard about it! I was skeptical 'cause the gal who told me about it said it's oil-based... but she said she didn't have any trouble with it (and she said she has troublesome skin). I made sure and read the reviews, as well. I think I posted a thread asking about it, and everyone said the same thing. Which is surprising, because things seem to get bad remarks if it's not Stila or Nars or whatever, haha...

Oh man, speaking of sugar scrub... www.pandoraproducts.com, which is not operating at the moment, has THE best sugar scrub I have ever used. There must be some voodoo or something involved, 'cause a friend of mine who makes soaps and scrubs tried making it using the same ingredients listed on the jar, and it didn't come out anywhere near as good!

You need to track down some goth girls and ask them what they use (seriously!). One of my best friends had a goth cousin. She used department store brand foundation and powder to get that super-white look, and she was already pale to begin with! I just don't know what brand

My problem is finding the right shade. It's either too pink or too yellow. I seem to be falling in between shades. My last batch of Shiseido ended up being a bit too yellow at the end. They have plenty of shades, but I swear when I bring it home it's not right. It's those fluorescent lights in there!
I really like BeneFit's Non Fiction foundation, but again... too dark!
 

Kaela

Vendor
Messages
115
Location
California
jitterbugdoll said:
The perfect red lipstick—right now my favorite is MAC Russian Red, which is the perfect 40s red on me. I like MAC Ruby Woo,

MAC Ruby Woo and Russian Red are my absolute favorite, also, and Ruby Woo is more of a matte finish, very lovely, and for some reason I think the finish accentuates the bow on my lower lip better than shiney lipsticks, which is just endlessly charming!

I have a similar problem of being the wrong pale for most foundation shades, my trademark motto is "Palor is Valor" and I try to bring it out a little with make up, but I came fairly close with a Max Factor colour, Natural Honey (I do like your friend does, jitterbugdoll, and put lighter powder over it.) I think it provides too much coverage though, so I really don't wear foundation these days, just a bit of concealer here and there.

I tried millions of expensive and flashy mascaras, but I think Maybelline "Illegal Lengths" works the best for me. You can get really long lashes that have just the right amount of fullness and seperated-ness. I've used that kind for the last three years!

I'm mostly a MAC patriot, I sometimes use pressed foundation when I want a really vintage look, but it is a lot of coverage. Other MAC favorites, "Shhh" and "Powerhouse" are good reds, too, but on farther ends of the colour spectrum, "Powerhouse" is rather bright, pin-up-y, and "Shh" is darker, good lady-sophisticate colour!
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
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2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
Max Factor Natural Honey is pretty good match for me as well; I used to use it pretty faithfully before I discovered MAC Studio Stick (which I loved, but is now too dark for me :cry:) I don't mind the fuller coverage myself; my complexion is rather pink and I like to even it out to a porcelain finish! Being on the pink side of pale is also a struggle, as most pale foundations are on the yellow side, and for some reason the pink-based ones are usually two shades too dark for me! Love your 'Pallor is Valor' motto; I'll have to use it as a comeback the next time someone asks me why I am so pale...

I tried a two of Clinique's Eye Shadow Duos--Spring Wedding (a lovely pair of greens) and Ash Violets (a pair of soft, muted plums)--and one trio--the Sunburst Duo paired with Rum Spice (a rich peach and a pair of champagne and mink browns)--and fell in love with all three sets. I'd never really tried Clinique's shadows before, but I have found them to be richly pigmented, yet still soft and subtle when applied. They don't crease even after a full day's wear (I do use foundation and powder on my lids), and they are not terribly expensive, either.
 

Jen

New in Town
Messages
32
foundations

I am also really fair (don't get a flash bulb near me). I use Shiseido The Makeup Cream Foundation in Very Light Ivory (SPF 16) for a dewey look, and Steins Pancake in Cream A for matte. RCMA loose translucent powder to set (Le Clerc is great but too pricey).

As for lipstick, Coco Red by Chanel, or Cherries in the Snow and Fire and Ice by Revlon (although it tastes pretty vile).
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
Where can I find Steins Pancake makeup? I've tried Shiseido--loved the cream finish, but the color was sadly too dark for me (I practically glow in the dark! :) ) I've heard that Dita Von Teese uses Shiseido foundations, as well as Chanel.

Cherries in the Snow was my first offical red lipstick--I still have a tube of it! It's a great 1950s color, as is Fire and Ice. I believe Revlon was the first company to market collections of matching lipsticks and nail polishes after seeing a women wearing clashing colors!
 

Jen

New in Town
Messages
32
Steins

Yup, I usually stick with the Shiseido in the summer, when I'm marginally darker (I turned beige once!). Alcone carries the Steins in their big makeup catalog.

I love that Revlon still carries some of their iconic shades. It makes me wonder if others might---worth investigating. I think Elizabeth Arden was in business in the 30s; I don't know if Estee Lauder was making cosmetics yet. I have to check out War Paint about the two of them. Have you read the Revlon bio, Fire and Ice?
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
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2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
I sort of tan, if you count being the color of coffee with a lot of milk (read, a glass of milk with three drops of coffee in it) as being tan! If I had a dollar for every time a person asked where I am from because "for someone who lives in Arizona, you sure are pale!", I'd be able to fill an entire room with the vintage clothing I’d buy!

I believe that some of the companies do keep their original shades, such as Chanel. And some companies certainly hang on to their iconic products--look at Max Factor, which still sells Pancake and Panstick foundations as well Creme Puff powder!

You can still buy items like Tangee lipstick at Vermont Country Store (they sell spoolies, too.)

And don't forget about Coty and Helena Rubenstein (she was Elizabeth Arden's biggest competitor)--they're still around!

I found this interesting book at the library that discussed beauty ideals, products and equipment--it covered the makeups of the 1920s-50s and was quite interesting. Let me see if I can remember the name...
 

Jen

New in Town
Messages
32
makeup research

Thanks! I'll check those out. I love the Vermont Country Store.

Yes, in NYC no one really comments about the pallor, but when I lived in California, it cause quite a bit of comment!

I think the NYPL has some beauty/hair manuals from the 20s-50s; I must investigate.
 

jitterbugdoll

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Soon to be not-so-sunny Boston
I'm originally from Connecticut--being pale is kind of expected there! But here, everyone sports those horrid orange tans that come from a bottle or the tanning bed. Not for me!

You know, I run across the occasional beauty article in vintage magazines, and I even have a style manual (thick pamphlet) from the early 40s. However, these articles don't really go into colors, or products, etc., like beauty mags do today. It's kind of frustrating!

I do have a nice hair manual from the late 40s--now that I found helpful. It was quite obvious that '1940s Hairstyles' borrowed heavily from these type of books; unfortunately, they managed to leave out the nitty gritty directions that make all the difference!
 

MissTayva

Registered User
Messages
164
Location
Arizona.
Kaela--
Thanks for the tip on the mascara! I have been through countless brands, and they all suck! I have to carry a plain ol' mascara brush around to constantly get the flakes off my face. It seems like the cheaper brands are the way to go. I never had this problem back when I used Cover Girl and such. (Stay away from Estee Lauder, that's the worst, haha!)

Jen--
Where can one find this Steins stuff? I'm interested to check it out!

Amanda--
I too love Clinique's Ash Violets duo, I have used them for years! :)
Have you tried Chanel (foundation)? My cousin's wife used to model for them, and she used their line exclusively. She was one pale gal (from northern England), and I know a few others lacking in the pigment department who used it.
Are you familiar with the burlesque dancer from Seattle, Vienna Le Rouge? I actually sent her an email asking what she uses... that girl is WHITE!
Speaking of white...
I noticed today now my powder is too dark! I actually really like the pressed powder that comes in the Besame Vanity Case... why don't they market that?
Anywho, I also noticed my face is two-toned. I'm thinking about seeing a dermatologist because I think I have melasma on my cheeks, it's way darker there. My chin and jawline and neck are white! But I can't find a suitable powder, even translucent is too dark these days!

Have any of you tried BeneFit's Hollywood Glow?
I tried it out and really liked it... I think it's great for a '20s/'30s look.

Oh, and speaking of vintage makeup tips, Kevyn Aucoin's books Making Faces and Face Forward have some great tips! Even step-by-step instructions on how to make yourself look like Marilyn, Clara Bow, etc. The transformations he made were astounding! I recently purchased Face Forward... it is a definite beauty bible!
 

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