‘Makeup’ Category

Fifties Glamour with Cosmetics

Friday, July 31st, 2009


In the 1950s, colour films made an enormous impact on cosmetics. The huge cinema screens illuminated the unblemished appearance of stars and caused the make up artist Max Factor to invent an everyday version of the foundation he used called “Pan Cake”. This was a makeup to gloss over skin imperfections. He also brought out a range of eye shadows and lipsticks which helped create the 1950s glamour.

Later in the 50s titanium was added to tone down the brightness of products and this resulted in lips with a pale shimmering gleam.

Magazines taught step by step how to use recently introduced lip brushes and young girls began to blend and mix their own lip colours often having first blotted the lips out with Max Factor Pancake make up.

The idea was extended to create frosted nail varnishes of pink, peach, silver and a host of other colours but in this 1955 image below you can see the colour to wear was red. The model below shows scarlet fingernails and lips and finishes off her outfit with a smart beret.

Left 1955 Makeup & Manicure

In the late 50s the make up company Gala had introduced pale shimmering lipsticks with added titanium. Later Max Factor brought out a colour called Strawberry Meringue which was a pastel pearly pink. They really caught on in the late fifties and early sixties as young girls were frowned upon if they wore brazen red lips, so the softened pink and peach colours were acceptable initially to parents and then became a trend.

As the fifties ended, Vogue magazine had started to coordinate the colour’s of the season’s latest clothes with those of the cosmetics on offer. Eventually all the make up houses followed, producing ranges that picked up colour changes.


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