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Beauty Banter

Did women wear much full makeup in the 1940's, 50's or 60's?

Started 1313464125.667 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1313588293.82 by tartediva21

This thread about neighbors not liking other neighbors who wear makeup got me wondering what our mothers and grandmothers wore on their faces (collectively speaking)

My mother was 30 in 1960 and I remember her lipstick which she made sure was on before Dad arrived home.She also had a bottle of Oil of Olay which she bought form the Hardware Store owner's wife (she used to go to some mysterious place out of state and get supplies of it to sell in our town)

Mom had some wierd green Maybelline eye shadow for evenings out, and a black crayon type eyeliner in a skinny red tube (also Maybelline). Other than a few nailpolish bottles and eyelash curler, that was it. No foundation or mascara or even rouge.

ETA: I do recall the school teachers in Florida were a lot younger than the teachers in NY. The young teachers wore eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara (I think) and very red lipstick. Very high heels and hair in a bubble cut or high ponytail. This was in 1962 - 1964.

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Nightowlz1313467378.379217 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

My mom was about your mom's age. All she wore was lipstick & a little blush. I don't remember neither of my grandmothers wearing makeup. They all had good skin & looked pretty without the makeup.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

only shops­ online1313468495.875495 PostsRegistered 10/17/2006

I grew up in the 60's. Neither my mother, nor my grandmother, wore make-up unless they were going out. Then, my mother would use full foundation, eye shadow, mascara, blush, lipstick, etc. My grandmother would use a little foundation and lipstick. Nothing on her eyes.

I also remember my mother experimenting with all sorts of moisturizers over the years.

My other grandmother absolutely never wore make-up in my memory.

dgluvr1313468528.3475220 PostsRegistered 5/12/2008

Of course some women wore full makeup- they had beautiful compacts with mirrors for touch-ups, ruby red lipstick, panstick( by Max Factor) foundations, cream blush,eyebrow pencil- that artificial black mole by the lips or eye, eyeshadows were generally powder types- blue mostly- It depends on the era as to colors but yes, many women wore makeup and as they entered the workforce, more so- Yes, Mom always put that red lipstick on before Dad came home-- and my Mom wore at least a lighter red well into old age and wouldn't think of going out without it. In the fortys- no trousers unless you worked in the airplane factories- but yes they wore makeup to work there too. I have pictures of relatives.Since mascara was not all that mainstream- they used vaseline to shiny up their eyelashes. Cold cream took it all off at night. ( Ponds of course)

My Mom wore either TABU, or WHITE SHOULDERS fragrance for evenings out. I can still bring those scents up when I think of her wearing them and they are still sold.She passed away almost 2 1/2 years ago- I miss her so. She was beautiful even at 86. When I was a teenager I wore the "beauty mark" for a while- I thought it made me look sultry LOL! And pink lipstick with the eyeliner and blue eyeshadow you mentioned ( maybelline) I also wore my nails relatively long - white pearl nail polish and loads of rings and long necklaces. ( I was ahead of my time - wore rings on all fingers!)and also made my own earrings pins and necklaces- a store nearby sold loose stones, settings and findings. I still have some.One in particular looks a lot like Nolan Miller's design --- I often wonder if he copied old . Oh, and black pencil skirt was like my uniform!

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Last edited on 8/15/2011

Last edited on 8/15/2011

BaileyBop1313470148.2572508 PostsRegistered 2/20/2008

Back then Max Factor was the big thing as that what was used in the movie industry. Also, my aunt sold Avon and I know my mom and her friends used it. Of course I just loved getting my aunt's extras especially the small lipsticks that were samples. Oh, the good ole' days, fun in the 50's and 60's for me.

redtabby1313470600.1733628 PostsRegistered 8/18/2005

I grew up in the 50s and 60s, my mother never left the house without foundation and lipstick. For an evening out she added a light touch of eyeshadow, mascara and rouge. One grandmother put powder, rouge, and lipstick on before she made breakfast, she loved her red nail polish too. My other grandmother only wore powder, rouge, lipstick if going to visit someone or out to dinner.

foggygrey1313471565.423164 PostsRegistered 4/17/2006BP oil spill territory

My mother had silver hair by the time I started school right after WW2. People thought she was my grandmother. She wore a bit of powder (custom blended by Coty at the local department store); bright red lipstick; White Shoulders perfume (ack!). She also used Pond's Cold Cream to clean her face (ew) and put pure lanolin in her very dry hair (smelled awful). That's it. It never changed. Ever.

She was forever trying to get me to wear that vampire red lipstick and I stuck to my 35 cents Tangee after age 12 and all through college -- nothing else. I've never been a cosmetic fan and do get a few compliments on my skin, which has very few, tiny wrinkles (forehead) and nasolabial folds. I do add a bit of Tarte brow mousse (which I love) to the outer half of my brows which are greyish. If I wear lip color it is a pale pink -- usually Clinique Pure Pink. Foundation --BE in the lightest color and only a bit. I have naturally pink cheeks so don't use blush.

Sorry if this is TMI.

foggy (Mary)

annabellet­hecat1313472020.73313094 PostsRegistered 9/23/2006
Tons of black mascara. I was a teenager in the 60's it was a wonderful time! Look up Mary Quaint (she was a fashion designer). Peter Maxx (he was an artist) amazing paintings. Of course Twiggy (she's over on HSN now! We wore maybe 4 layers of mascara. We looked like tarantula (spider) eyes! Eye shadows and of course thick eye liner in mostly black. I loved it. I could do every dance and watched American Bandstand. Mashed Potato, twist, swim, locomotion, stroll, pony (all dances). Go and watch American Grafti (sp). Have wonderful pictures of back then!

classof591313474119.2931071 PostsRegistered 4/30/2009

I was 20 in 1960, and I wore most of the makup items I wear now. Obviously my make up choices have changed, but I've worn full make up since I left college and started working. Eyeliner and mascara was important then as it is now. I grew up in the 40's and 50's, and my mom always worked in an office and wore full make up every day. I remember how glamorous she was in her suits and high heels. She was kind of a Barbara Stanwyk type. I loved her make up and remember her red lipstick which she always applied with a brush. Loved to watch apply her make up. I also remember that most of my friends moms stayed home back then and wore just a little make up, but I loved how my mom looked and was always so proud of her.

doglover31313481261.9039462 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

my mom wore lipstick only and only when she went out. My grandmother never wore any makeup of any kind and yet her sister wouldn't be seen without a full face of makeup. My mom and gram used nothing but Noxzema and the original Olay, that's it and it was my mom that used Olay, gram used nothing but Noxzema. Me on the other hand, don't go out without my makeup but only mascara on weekends but do line my eyes both top and bottom always.

Desertdi1313482649.9815557 PostsRegistered 7/14/2007Surface of the Sun

I am a child of the 60's.......and still do my makeup like Verushka. Wow -- I thought "we" invented makeup..............

Iwantcoffee1313492122.6332628 PostsRegistered 11/28/2006

My mom, who is 84, has worn lipstick, powder, and blush since my childhood. Had an aunt who used Coty airspun powder - love that little box. LOL. I don't recall either one of my grandmothers wearing makeup.

I love watching old movies on TCM. The faces of the stars are just stunning - poreless, flawless skin.

Great topic!

ambersmom1313492759.6771898 PostsRegistered 5/15/2010Boston, MA

My Mom never wore anything but lipstick and some eyeshadow when she went out on a special occasion. But thanks to all of you who brought me down memory lane.

I was a major make up junkie in the late 50's and def the 60's and forgot those brand names. Wasn't life SO much easier with LESS choices in what you could buy???......and SO much cheaper!!!!

I was born to a very strict Greek family and was not allowed to do so many things and make up was one of them. So I had it in a book I hollowed out and took with me each day and put on the make up while walking (YES....children DID actually WALK back then to school!) to school. And also the Sun In product that lightened the hair.....try and explain THAT one to a very angry Greek father as to why the hair was going lighter......"it's lemon juice....really Dad!!"

Thanks for the trip, girls!

QVC old-ti­mer1313492884.9977161 PostsRegistered 7/31/2007

Back in the 40s and 50s blush was called "rouge".

lyn in MI1313495503.29324349 PostsRegistered 4/29/2007SW Michigan

My mom (born 1927) worked outside of the home. She had her hair done weekly and wrapped it nightly in toilet paper to maintain the style between visits. She also had acrylic nails that she applied and maintained herself. Her skin care was Merle Norman and she wore a full face of make-up to work daily.

@(-_-)@ ~lyn~
♥ Birman =^..^= Servant ♥

zelda girl1313496746.257358 PostsRegistered 12/22/2010NJ

I grew up in the 50's and I remember Mom always had makeup on even if she wasen't going any where. She wore makeup in the house until she was in her late 60's. She was a Oil Of Olay user too. Her skin always was soft and smooth. She always made sure she had perms too for the hair, she always told us girls, make sure your hair is neat.

Iwantcoffee1313497849.8672628 PostsRegistered 11/28/2006
On 8/16/2011 Iwantcoffee said:

My mom, who is 84, has worn lipstick, powder, and blush since my childhood.

Mom always had one of each, lipstick, powder and blush. I love the simplicity of that. She was not happy when her lipstick shade was discontinued but found one she liked just as well.

Mom had a friend who only used Mary Kay. I can see her taking out the compact and putting her lipstick on. Sarah had beautiful white hair and one of the reasons I refuse to color mine.

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Last edited on 8/16/2011

traveler1313497935.48711184 PostsRegistered 12/14/2004Alaska

My family had a farm. Cows and chickens don't care how much makeup you have on. But I do remember makep when mom and dad went out.

happy hous­ewife1313498590.5229992 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

My Mom was born in 1923 and she was an adult in the 50's - she used Noxzema skin care cream and she wore powder foundation and blush and lipstick only. No eye makeup ever. She had georgous skin.

When I was a teen in the 60's we wore mascara but I wasn't allowed to wear eyeliner. I was allowed to wear a slight amount of light colored purple shadows, liquid foundation and blush stick and a light pink or peach lipstick.I never had a zit in my life and my Mom was adamant about washing my face with soap and water to be sure it was clean.Then put on the noxzema.She bought all our makeup from Avon and after experimentiong around for awhile I am back to my nice Avon products.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

Peg551313500853.851542 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

i am 64 years old and graduated high school in 1964! I went to catholic school so of course back then you were not allowed to wear makeup, even lipstick. One of my schoolmates wore glasses and wore a full line of eyemakeup on her eyes and never got caught! I got yelled at for supposedly having eyebrow pencil on my eyes, which I did not!

I wore makeup in my teens after school and have done so since today. Had a hard time way back in the 60s and 70s because the lighest color they had was creamy ivory which turned orangey on me, especially back then because my skin was oily. thank god they now have porcelain and alabaster shades plus other fair and light shades of foundation and powder.

I also took care of my skin and never used soap. I have Noxzema cream to thank for that. I worked for Helena Rubinstein in the late 60s so then I got introduced to various skin care items, but always used for sensitive skin which I still have

In the 60s, heavy black eyeliner was the trend with a light shade of eyeshadow. I did not use a heavy hand with the eyeliner and did not make those "wings"

In the 40s and 30s if you look at the old movies and look closely you will see that the movie stars did have eyeliner and eyeshadow on. They of course wore heavy foundation for the screen; more like a pancake makeup.

I think your average working girl back then either wore foundation and/or just powder and lipstick and possibly some eyeshadow. and definitely mascara.

i will never go out of the house without makeup on, especially since i have very pink skin and it definitely shows.

Vivian1313501395.2173199 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
Like Peg55, I'm also 64. In the 60s, I started wearing make-up. At first, I bought the items my mother wore. She was a great fan of Maybelline and wore their powder in compact form, used cake mascara (a hard black item in a small plastic container that you wet, and then applied, with a brush), then eyebrow pencil that you had to sharpen, and finally lipstick. My first lipstick was called Coral Vanilla. Mom is now 89 and still uses almost all the same stuff she used when I was a kid. I, however, have graduated to many different products, brands, and prices. I know I have spent far more money than Mom ever did.

nailmaven1313502239.31442 PostsRegistered 8/29/2006

My mom wore powder and lipstick and if she was going out in the evening she'd wear a little rouge.

birkin baby1313502402.254391 PostsRegistered 1/20/2011

My mon used to sell avon and I still hve the book that came with the kit she had.( It is so cool. Mascara was in a cake that had a brush. you added water and voila...dark lashes,or a tube one like now.) my mom always wore makeup. So did my grandmothers. They used oil of olay,and ponds cold cream. They used rouge and creamy heavily pigmented lipsticks. My mom wore a frosty coral because it was the 60's and that was big. Then she would put on her "hairpiece" that she kept on a styofoam head shaped wig stand.It was all these layers of curls that went on the back of the head. Then she would spray on the Chanel #5 for evening or for daytime,Jovan musk oil and out the door she sailed. She drove of in our black convertible with red top and interior. I ws so busy playing barbies,but always watched my mom get ready. THIS A VERY COOL POST!!!!{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

Sooner1313504553.03714418 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

My mom wore more makeup in the 1960's than I do now.

chrystaltr­ee1313505006.5711636 PostsRegistered 5/10/2010

I was born in 1960, I remember some of the late 60's. However, I've seen tons of pictures of my parents and grandparents from the 40's and 50's. I think women wore a lot more makeup back then. Of course the makeup was quite different, it was heavier and women wanted a "made up" look. I remember my mother using pancake from a compact and they used powder and red lipstick. I don't recall my mom using blush but they called it rouge. As I recall most of my aunts and my mom's friends did not wear makeup around the house during the day but they wore it when they went out and the did their faces before the dads came home from work. I think obvious piled on makep went out of fashion during the 70's but always wore makeup.

teathyme1313505254.3671084 PostsRegistered 2/28/2009
On 8/15/2011 foggygrey said:

My mother had silver hair by the time I started school right after WW2. People thought she was my grandmother. She wore a bit of powder (custom blended by Coty at the local department store); bright red lipstick; White Shoulders perfume (ack!). She also used Pond's Cold Cream to clean her face (ew) and put pure lanolin in her very dry hair (smelled awful). That's it. It never changed. Ever.

She was forever trying to get me to wear that vampire red lipstick and I stuck to my 35 cents Tangee after age 12 and all through college -- nothing else. I've never been a cosmetic fan and do get a few compliments on my skin, which has very few, tiny wrinkles (forehead) and nasolabial folds. I do add a bit of Tarte brow mousse (which I love) to the outer half of my brows which are greyish. If I wear lip color it is a pale pink -- usually Clinique Pure Pink. Foundation --BE in the lightest color and only a bit. I have naturally pink cheeks so don't use blush.

Sorry if this is TMI.

foggy (Mary)

Hi, foggygrey...Do you know that you can still get Tangee via the Vermont Country Store?

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