In an era of wholesomeness mixed with glamour, fifties style makeup fashion was something to be admired.
Color Me Beautiful
The world of film and television made a huge impact on the cosmetics industry in the 1950s. The new trend of color cinematography helped push vibrant lips and flawless faces into the spotlight. Max Factor, one of the most popular on-set makeup artists of the day, was quickly persuaded to develop a purchasable version of his foundation. This allowed female moviegoers the opportunity to achieve the same smooth and gorgeous skin as they saw on the big screen. Max Factor was also responsible for the revolution of eye shadow and lip color found from this era.
Never before had women been able to have such prominent role models and inspiration for their fifties style makeup fashion as they now were getting from Hollywood, and many took it to town. Evening looks became sultry and glamorous, with dark eyeliners and red lips. Daytime was still reserved for a peaches and cream glow, however the makeup industry was on the brink of a complete switch of shades and color that would dawn in the early 1960s.
The Importance of Foundation
Since fifties style makeup and fashion wasn't focused on a strong summer tan as it often is today, women of this time period confidently went pale-faced year round. Foundation was key in the makeup regimen of a 1950s woman, and you would rarely see women go without.
Already available to the mainstream public in both powder and liquid form, females found a certain amount of pride in having smooth skin that was blemish free and lacking any trace of imperfection. Blush and eye shadow were used over the foundation and powder, however it was kept to an absolute minimum to achieve the natural look of a true girl next door.
A Little More Dramatic
For a special evening out, fashion-conscience ladies wore their eyebrows narrowed and allowed their eyes to flaunt a little drama and smokiness. Eyeliner came only in liquid form, and fashion trends often called for it to be worn only on the upper lid. In the surviving fashion ads from this era, the darkened eyes are apparent, and many still look fondly back into this time in life where models looked glamorous and untouchable without appearing dangerously anorexic or promiscuous.
Other Trends of Fifties Style Makeup Fashion
While cosmetics experienced a new wave of popularity during the 1950s, hairstyles and clothing were revolutionized as well. Women began to wear their hair softer and looser than what was seen in the 1930s and 1940s, and hair rollers became much more commonplace. Since there were no blow dryers in the fifties, many women slept with their hair in rollers, something that is usually considered too uncomfortable and inconvenient by today's standards.
Perms also became trendy during the decade and many women purchased "perms in a box" to administer to their mane at home. However, even after the perm was complete, the majority of ladies still used other methods of curling to tame any unruly tresses.
Without the deep conditioners and anti-frizz products available on the market today, women opted for short styles to go with their curls. This helped to keep locks under control and in the gorgeously coifed fashion exhibited by celebrities of the day such as Lucille Ball.
When it came to finishing off an attractive look, fifties style makeup and fashion enjoyed a "smart", tailored look. Looking neat and pristine while holding onto that feminine charm was of the utmost importance.
Many envision poodle skirts and uncomfortable undergarments when they think about fifties style, however the trends of the times were much more than that. High heels and gloves were must-haves for any well-groomed woman, and pencil style skirts were just as popular as the more commonly documented circle or swing skirt.
Time Machine Trends
Fifties style makeup and fashion were so successful in their quest to make women look gorgeous and feminine that many of the same methods of beauty are emulated today. Max Factor is still advertised in our media as being top of the line when it comes to replicating the look of today's stars from your own home. Full-skirted dresses have appeared continuously in spring and summer runway shows, and soft, romantic curls have been modernized and popularized once again.
This only continues to prove the already well-known fact that fifties style makeup and fashion left an influence on the beauty industry that will likely never fade away.