1940s Hair and Makeup
We Can Do It!
We Can Do It!
Remember one of the most famous WWII posters of Rosie the Riveter? A woman in a red scarf with white polka-dots wrapped around her head and knotted at the top, in blue union uniform showing us her bicep with the tag line at the top that reads "We Can Do It!" Well, this Poster epitomizes the woman's story during the decade of WWII. A government group named the War Production Co-Ordinating Committee created the poster. The purpose of course was to enlist women's support back home in the war effort.
Like the decades previous, this one had the war to set the tone and helped to define a woman's hair and makeup choices. Simplicity was the catchword of the day. For women were being called on to do a lot during this decade. Makeup was more natural (i.e. creamy skin, smoothly powdered with a natural looking pinkish hue, lips in a patriotic red. The focus for 1940s eyes is the lashes as mascara had found its place during this decade.
Hair was longer and smooth, rendered in a more romantic, softer look than the previous decade. Simplicity may have been important but not at the expense of looking good. According to freebeautytips.org :
"1940's women were asked to do a lot, and working for the war effort took a toll. But glamour was in, fresh from Hollywood, and women who were earning their first paychecks were also shopping, dressing elegantly and using cosmetics like movie stars. Part of the rationale was that the nation's women couldn't afford to look frumpy in a time of war; the other reason for spending so much time and effort on one's appearance was to stay somewhat positive and optimistic. "Putting a brave face on" was more than an interior process: wearing makeup and nice clothes was a statement of self-worth and confidence. "
As in previous decades woman looked to the ladies of the silver screen for "the look"
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Resources on the web for 1940s/WWII hair and makeup
- Beauty in World War 2: How Britain's women stayed glamorous - Telegraph
It was a major drive of World War Two: to persuade Britain's women to be glamorous above all else. A new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum charts their challenge in the face of a cosmetics blackout
- 1940s Makeup
Really good site with pictures and how to information on hair and makeup.
- 1940s Vintage Makeup and Swing Dancing Fashions
Informative overview of 1940s hair and makeup without pictures
- How To Apply 1940s Makeup | eHow.com
How to Apply 1940s Makeup. The dames in the 1940s were ideally 'naturally beautiful,' not like the tanned, athletic and fresh-scrubbed 1970s women, but in a soft, feminine and rosy way. Vivien Leigh, Jennifer Jones, Ava Gardner...
- 1940-1945 Pictures of Hairstyles and Hats in 1940s Fashion History
Pictures of Hat and Hairstyles from 1941 to 1945
- Hat and Hair Style Fashion History Images 1946-1949
Pictures of Hat and Hairstyles from 1946 to 1950