’30s makeup and styling tips

Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard

If you’d like to get some inspiration for ’30s makeup directly from the days of old, these videos are just the thing you’ve been looking for.

We feel it’s important to truly understand the beauty and ritual of vintage-style makeup application and hairstyling. Why go about it superficially, with no real knowledge of era? The richest appreciation of vintage style comes from re-living aspects of it through history, music, and art.

The 1930s were a troubling time, with the Great Depression completely destabilizing the Western world and causing extreme economic crises worldwide. The hardships experienced by so many led to a great deal of escapism, which explains why, despite the average person living in miserable circumstances, starlets at the time seemed steeped in glamour and beauty as a golden age of Hollywood emerged.

With that said, let’s take you through the process of how to channel said glamorous starlets, with actual vintage tutorials!

First up, we follow Constance Bennett on a lovely morning as she pampers and prepares herself for the day.  This probably seems quite alien to the average woman of today, as most don’t allow much time for self-pampering. If this is you, we understand. We can’t all take a bubble bath in the morning (we know we certainly can’t), but do try and take at least 20 minutes out of your morning to enjoy the process of a pleasurable, beautifying ritual. It does wonders for starting the day splendidly and easing the mind.

Some tips on how to ready yourself for your day, in a lovely way: Get up a little earlier and play some soft or calming music (make it ‘30s music, if you’re getting ready for a bit of time travel!). Light a scented candle and sit in a comfortable place that allows you enough light for makeup application or hairstyling.

Ok, now on to becoming more like this lady!

betty grable

The following makeup shows how ’30s makeup application was done.  Pretty interesting!

In general, everyday makeup was meant to enhance what was there. However, as seen in the video, rouge was more generously applied at angles specific to an individual’s face. Keep it lighter for a daytime look, and go heavier to transition to a night-time look.

Want to do this sort of makeup, but don’t know what products to use? We suggest Besame Cosmetics. They carry many lipsticks which are direct replicas of shades of the ’30s! Same goes for rouge!

Want more beauty tidbits? We have them here for you.

In a nutshell, you’d want: Pencil thin brows, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner on the lower lash line, and a cupid’s bow lip.


If you need a little more instruction, here’s one of our favorite vintage Youtubers, Lilly Jarlsson, doing a daytime/nighttime ’30s look.

Need tips on hair ? There’s a video for that too!

Not fond of that hairstyle? Here’s another video.

Ok, your hair and makeup are done. How are you feeling? Hopefully a bit like Jean Harlow.

Jean Harlow _ Dinner at Eight

If you’re not stepping out, how about some vintage-style lounging? Alright, so this part isn’t possible without the right environment, but that could be your next step, yeah? Vintage home decor?

Seriously though, who doesn’t want to luxuriate like Jean?

Jean Harlow _ Dinner at Eight 3_small

This is what I’ll be doing tonight. 

Ok, that’s it for now.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s