makeup instruction, vintage

1920’s Fashion – Get the Makeup Look of May Allison

Mary Allison 1923

As a person that loves a bold red lip, I love this 1923 Photoplay cover featuring theater and film actress May Allison. This violet-eyed actress had a long life; she celebrated 98 birthdays. May acted alongside Theda Bara, but her career practically ended when onscreen boyfriend, Harold Lockwood, died during the flu epidemic of 1918. This cover is from 1923. May’s career was dwindling but people still loved her face.  And I can see why.

Here’s what I did to get a similar look:

FACE: With my fingers, I applied Paula’s Choice All Bases Covered Foundation in Nude. With a concealer brush, I applied e.l.f. All Over Cover Stick in Apricot Beige under the eyes and blended. With my fancy schmancy Caron powder puff, I dusted Caron La Poudre Libre in Translucide. With a blush brush swooping in an “u” under the cheeks, I applied NARS Blush in Desire, a matte hot pink.

EYES: I filled in my brows with Benefit Instant Brow Pencil in Medium. It’s a little difficult to see what’s happening with the eyeshadow here, so I’m taking my best guess. On the lid, I applied NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skin Tone (not shown). With a brush, I applied MAC Pigment in Naked, a pearly beige, from crease to brow. On the lid, I applied Lancôme Color Design Eyeshadow in Click, a cool medium taupe shimmer. On the bottom water line, I lined with Jouer Eye Clarifying Pencil in Clair. I curled lashes and applied a coat of Estee Lauder Sumptouous Mascara to top lashes only.

 1920's makeup tutorial

LIPS: I lined lips with Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Wine, a deep wine. With e.l.f. Small Angled Brush, I applied Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red, a really red lipstick.

For a fragrance, I wanted something floral, old-fashioned and with lilac. So, I went for Caron Fleurs de Rocaille EDT.

This is an incredibly easy look. I think I have 3 minutes total in it. This is the power of red lipstick. You can look classic and polished with just lipstick. And there is a red out there for everyone.

May Allison 1920's makeup tutorial

Speaking of flu, I’m recovering from some funk. My weekend will be spent resting and trying to get better before next week. I hope you have better weekend plans than mine. It’s starting to look like spring!  Have a great weekend!

*Post contains affiliate links excluding the Caron Powder and Paula’s Choice. May Allison from

4 thoughts on “1920’s Fashion – Get the Makeup Look of May Allison

    1. 1st year not getting a flu shot and I regret it.
      Before I got sick, I was purging cosmetics. I was very proud of myself. Not done yet 🙂

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