The 30’s Makeup – Women & Style during the Great Depression

07/13/11 5:44 am | Comments (0) | Posted By: leeorlian

Towards the end of the 1920s, the world felt the tremors of the crash of the stock market in 1929. When people found themselves faced with a financial crisis of monumental proportions, they had to re-evaluate their lives. The moneyed class that had ushered in the fashion revolution in the 1920’s had to abandon reckless spending and practice thrift. The rebellious flapper look fizzled away and what took its place was something more feminine, and this defined the 30’s makeup. Think Mae West, Myrna Loy, Greta Garbo, and Ginger Rogers and you get a good idea of what make up in the 1930s was all about.

Foundation of the 30’s

Since the “vampish” look of the 20’s was dead, more appealing and softer styles took its place. The look of the 30’s could be classified into two main categories. The elegant lady look, or the fresh faced, girl-next-door look. Women began to prefer the Gardenia or Tea Rose Complexion – the former was white foundation with a slightly waxen look to it and the latter was ivory with a dash of pink to it. To sum it up, even though the complexion remained pale, faint shades of peach, light mauve, or pink made their way into the foundation.

30′s Makeup for the Eyes

1930s make up saw heavy use of the mascara, or “mascaro” as it was known back then. However, the application was restricted to only the upper lashes. The lower eyelashes had little or absolutely no application of mascara. Eye shadow colors became more vibrant than before as women began to prefer blues, greens, bright violets, purples, browns, and orchids. Eyebrows were plucked into very fine and thin lines which tapered at the end.

Lipsticks in the 30s

As far as lips were concerned the “rosebud look” was the most typical style of this period. Full lips with a lengthened bow that rounded and flared at the corners of the mouth was considered very attractive and fitted the image of the coy and down to earth girl. Popular lipstick colors during the 30’s were raspberry tones, light rose, orange tones, maroons, and Chinese red.

Blushes and Nail paint

For the first half of this decade, bright pink blush, reminiscent from the flapper era seemed to rule the day. Towards the latter part of the 30’s the colors become more discreet and muted and brown became a commonly used color. Towards the end of this decade, shades of raspberry, purple red, and yellow red became fashionable.

When it came to nail paint, it had its place of importance in 30’s makeup. Women used colors like light pink, pale rose, and cream. However, the color palette for nail varnish increased quite a bit towards the end of the decade and every shade conceivable, from reds to deep corals, from lilacs to emerald greens, from mother of pearl gray to cornflower blue, and from bright gold to sparkly silver was flaunted.

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