makeup instruction, vintage

1940’s Fashion – Get the Makeup Look of Barbara Britton

1940's era colored photo of Barbara Britton

This 1940’s look of actress, Barbara Britton features a bold warm red lip. Here’s what I did to get a similar look:

FACE: I applied Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation in Beige Clair and blended. For extra coverage under the eyes, I applied Covergirl Simply Ageless Concealer in Corrector. With a powder puff, I dusted on Coty Airspun Loose Powder in Translucent. With a blush brush, I applied NARS Blush in Orgasm, a shimmery pink-peach, to the apples of the cheeks brushing upwards.

EYES: Barbara is getting my nomination for best brows. Her brows are amazing! I filled in my brows with Lancôme Le Crayon Poudre in Natural Blonde. Eye makeup is minimal. With a large shadow brush, I applied Lancôme Color Design Eyeshadow in Positive, a matte light beige, from lash line to brows. I lined top lash line closely with Estee Lauder Artist’s Eye Pencil in Softsmudge Brown. I curled lashes and applied two coats of Estee Lauder MagnaScopic Maximum Mascara to top and bottom lashes. I did not apply mascara to bottom lashes. I then applied a half strip of Ardell Lashes.

1940's Makeup Look

LIPS: Other than silly curled bangs, this look is all about the lips. Make sure lips are exfoliated smooth and moisturized. I lined the natural lip line with Jordana Lip Pencil in Natural, a nude pink-brown (not shown). I applied Besame Classic Lipstick in Carmine, an orange-red, with a lip brush. With the lip brush, I applied Milani Buzz Worthy Lip Gloss in Bee Rich, a sheer and shiny red.

Barbara Britton makeup

Now for a fragrance, I topped this warm makeup look off with Estee Lauder Cinnabar, my go-to spicy fragrance.

Any weekend plans? We’re getting the house ready for another smooshed face dog. Cross your fingers for me! We should be adopting her next week. So, I’m going to go out today and purchase a harness, food bowls, etc. AND poor Frink looks like he has a flea allergy. I didn’t know fleas even lived in Washington, especially in October. Poor, guy. I guess with some pets, it only takes one bite and they can develop a bad reaction. So, enough of my pet talk (yeah, gross pet talk too). Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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9 thoughts on “1940’s Fashion – Get the Makeup Look of Barbara Britton

  1. I haven’t checked it going back through your posts but I’m under the impression that many of the looks you do include red lips. Is it because you favorite this color and choose more of those pictures that feature red lips or was it a prevaling color in those years?
    Undina recently posted..The Eye of the Green

    1. I’d say 90% are red lips! It seems like red lips were the thing for 50 years. It’s actually very difficult for me to find a look that is pre-1960 that doesn’t have red lips! I went through today and realized that most of my 40’s looks includes orange lipstick. And that it’s getting a bit redundant 🙁

      I sometimes wonder since most of these earlier looks were photo-blushed or for magazines if the makeup artist was pressured into using red lipstick, like maybe it seemed more bold or stood out at the magazine stand. I don’t know.

  2. I like that you do these on Fridays; it helps me get motivated to try at least one new thing with my makeup over the weekend. Good luck with your new adoption! I hope all goes well. Me, I adopted some plants today. Baby steps!

    1. Yeah, I post on Friday to inspire for weekends! I do that and I have not “went out” on the weekends in like 7 years.

      Thank you! I’m a terrible plant owner. I’ve thrown out so many houseplants…

  3. I’d agree that there really wasn’t any colour other than red (of various warm or cool shades) for lipstick prior to the sixties. My mother was born in 1912 and when she was young occasionally used powdered rouge to darken her lips, but started wearing lipstick for special occasions in the 1940s. The only colour she ever had until her death in the 1987 was red and the only other makeup she ever wore was face powder.

    I think this Carmine shade looks great on you — a nice complement to your eye colour. As for the brows, Barbara’s are thin for her day, but an easier look for you than some of the heavier ones of other icons.
    So glad you didn’t go for those ghastly kiss curl bangs (an unfortunate occurrence for the naturally curly). Your gently curled look is much better.

    Best of luck with the dog adoption.

    1. All of the older women in my life swore by red. And they, unlike me, had their signature shade. It seems like you “married” a lipstick back then. If you wanted softer, you’d blot it to make it look sheerer. For nights out, directly from the tube with a little powder on top to matte it. And like your mother, the women that I know born before 1930, only wore powder. Their lipstick was their rouge as well.

      I love Carmine and I’ve been through a few tubes in my day. I feel it makes my eyes appear more blue.

      1940’s hair was awful IMO. There are a few exceptions but most of the Hollywood and fashion looks were wild! I’m always shocked when people say they like 1940’s hair. I’m like, um, I like about 2 hairstyles out of those 10 years.

      Thank you. Currently taking care of Frink and his allergy. These smooshed faced dogs are allergic to everything 🙁

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