For your next cocktail party or formal event, channel the actresses of Hollywood’s glamorous past with elegant, vintage-inspired makeup. Old Hollywood glamour is polished and pretty, pairing perfectly with either a gown or a little black dress. You can create this look with products you may already have in your makeup bag. With a few tricks of the trade, you’ll be able to walk into any event looking like you stepped off a 1940s red carpet.
For a vintage Hollywood look, start with a relatively heavy-coverage matte foundation. Apply the foundation to moisturized skin, blending well at the jawline. Your foundation should match your skin tone closely, particularly since the heavier coverage is less forgiving of a mismatch. You can use a brush, sponge or your fingers to apply foundation, depending upon what works best for you and the product you’re using. Dot on concealer to cover any blemishes or undereye circles and blend gently.
At First Blush
Add blush, choosing a relatively light tone that is compatible with your complexion. Rose tones are the most accurate choice for a vintage look, but if you have a warm or yellow skin tone, choose a warm peach blush rather than rose or pink. Apply blush using a large fluffy brush to the apples of the cheeks, sweeping it back along the top of the cheekbone. While heavy contouring isn’t necessary, you can use a bit of matte bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks to emphasize your cheekbones.
All About Eyes
A vintage eye is easier than you might think. Apply a light neutral shade in a matte finish. Cream, light pink or shades of tan and cocoa are all acceptable depending upon your complexion, but choose a shade lighter than your skin. With a black liquid eyeliner, draw a thin line along your upper eyelid, from the inner corner to the outer. At the outer corner, flick the liner upward slightly to create a small cat eye. Apply false eyelashes and finish with several coats of mascara, applied to upper and lower eyelashes. Use a brow pencil, powder or gel to fill in your brows.
Finish your look with a rich matte red lipstick. Lightly brush your lips with a clean toothbrush and a small amount of lip balm to avoid any dryness or flakiness. Line your lips with a red liner pencil. Fill in the lips with the same pencil. Cover with a fresh coat of lipstick. Blot, then apply a thin layer of translucent powder to help set your lipstick. Since your face is now finished, apply translucent powder to set your makeup and you’re ready to go out the door. Tuck powder and lipstick in your bag touch-ups.
References and ResourcesGlamour: Retro Beauty Secrets
Lauren Renells: Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look
Elle UK: Old Hollywood Glamour