In Vintage Inspiration

1940s Hair and Makeup

40s hair

Aside from sewing for the reenactment, I’ve also been practicing my 1940’s makeup and hair. For achieving this look, I used these two resources: Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells and the 1940’s Vintage Makeup Guide by Glamour Daze.

The Vintage Makeup Guide is hands down the best, most authentic beauty guide I’ve been able to find. That’s probably because it IS an actual 40s beauty guide that was restored and turned into a 100+ page PDF download. I reads more like a book since it includes more words and illustrations than photographs, but it’s definitely worth the money! (I wish I bought the whole 20s-50s series!) It includes tips and tricks for how to wear the correct hair and makeup for your face shape, how to use corrective makeup techniques, proper clothing standards, and even an exercise routine from the era! It’s seriously the most conclusive and period correct beauty guide I’ve found on the entire internet! I highly recommend it. After reading it, I found myself shaking my head at some of the “40s makeup tutorials” on YouTube. They were more 1940s inspired but not authentic. Granted, it’s not as easy for me to get a true authentic look either. My eyes are quite small so my makeup easily turns from simple to smokey with just one too many passes of eye shadow. My lipstick also looks quite shoddy in this photo since I forgot to buy lip liner or a lip brush. Oh well! As I said, this was a practice run 🙂

I took this photo quickly with my phone as  my mom was yelling at me in the background “Rochelle! Let me SEE!” haha! I wouldn’t let her see the finished look right away and it was driving her nuts since we went shopping for the hair and makeup products together. I bought an actual human hair wig so I could curl it, and I like it as far as hair quality and style-ability, but the cap is too big and not at all comfortable on my little head. I may have to splurge on a higher quality petite size.

Now all I need are my 1940’s style eyeglasses to get here and my face will be complete! I’ll definitely post more photos when I get them. They should be pretty nerdy awesome.


If anyone knows of other makeup or hair tutorials they like, please share!

Happy Friday!

  • Jessica Cangiano

    This might sound rather odd, but you’re my new style star. A friend of mine (Tasha from By Gum, By Golly) just suggested that I check out your blog (I believe this is my first visit), as I very recently began wearing wigs full time due to ongoing hair loss. I’ve not encountered other vintage girls who were/are in this boat before Tasha suggested you and I’m so, so happy that she did. I admire your candor on the subject and am off to read through tons of your back posts to get to you and your history with wigs better.

    Thank you so much (and many apologizes if this comes across as a bizarre comment),
    ♥ Jessica

    • Jessica, I promise this is not a bizarre comment! In fact, it’s my favorite comment I’ve ever gotten 🙂 I’ve been wearing wigs full time for over 5 years and I’ve always tried to make light of the situation for my own sanity. Losing your hair is really hard, but over the years I’ve grown to prefer wigs to real hair. I don’t always mention my wigs in my posts, but every single photo of me with hair is in fact fake hair (or someone elses haha)! I just recently got into vintage styling with wigs, but if you have any questions about anything, or just need to vent, please never hesitate to email me 🙂 I’m always happy to talk with women who are dealing with things like this. This is the very reason why I open up about it on my blog <3 I'm so happy Tasha sent you my way.

      • Jessica Cangiano

        From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Rochelle. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to have found you (I wish I could hug you and Tasha both right now!) and to know that there’s someone else out there who is making wigs work for mid-century vintage styles. I started following you on FB and saw the post you made there about my comment, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much.

        I love how open you are and want to strive to be the same way regarding wearing wigs on my blog (and elsewhere, come to think of it), too. Perhaps one day down the road, if I follow your admirable lead, another women will find my blog (or have someone point her towards it) and experience the incredible feeling of not being alone that I did in the wee hours of this morning (and if she comments, you better believe I’ll point her towards you as well).

        Again, thank you, thank you, thank you,
        ♥ Jessica

        • No, thank YOU! It’s not easy to reach out about things like this, but I’m so glad you have. I find that being light hearted and humorous about the whole issue is really the best way to deal with it. Plus, once you get used to it, wearing wigs is really far superior to real hair if you ask me! Think of how many girls can’t put a pin curl set in the back of their hair. …we can take ours off and work from all angles 😉 I’m now following your blog and I’m looking forward to “wiggin’ out” with you in the future haha! <3 xo

  • Thank you! And thanks for the links, looks like some great tutorials! 🙂 Finger waves are so much fun to do once you get them down. I think they’d look awesome on you!

  • Looks amazing! I’ve been experimenting with vintage hair lately – pin curls don’t work too well at the moment, being as my hair is too short, but a girl can dream! Once I acquire some long hair clips, I’ll be trying some fingerwaves, as I think my hair’s just about the right length for that!

    Va Voom vintage has some amazing hair and beauty tutorials you could try: and I found this lovely lady’s videos really useful to help me get a handle on pin curls. She really knows her stuff!

  • Johanna

    You look fantastic! The hairstyle is great on you!

  • You look fabulous Rochelle. I’ve tried putting make up on this morning in a vain attempt to feel human again… so bored of being ill!

    • So sorry you’re not feeling well! Take care and get better soon. It’s amazing how a little makeup can make you feel 🙂

  • So cute! What a fun look!

    • Thanks! It’s fun but holy crap what these women must of gone through to do their hair like this every single day!

  • Sarah

    You look SO PRETTY!!! This look really suits you 🙂

  • Alice

    WAAAH !!! Gorgeous!! I love it, it’s suit’s you so well! Aww!

  • Julia Bobbin

    Wow Rochelle you look beautiful! It absolutely suits you! I think this is my favourite look on you pretty lady 🙂

  • made with hugs and kisses

    stunning! xxx

  • VickiKate

    You look so beautiful! And this is only the practice run?!

    • Thank you! Yes I think I got lucky haha! I did go to cosmetology school once upon a time. But that was a looong time ago.

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    Come do my makeup please! 🙂