Makeup is definitely an art, but that hasn't stopped people over the years from trying to turn it into a science. Back in 1939, for example, professional makeup artists were using face-measuring calipers to determine people's "optimal angles" for applying blush and lipstick. The idea of good and bad facial proportions can even be seen way back in Ancient Greece, but the conventions of attractiveness surrounding them keep changing. When you see the "right" and "wrong" makeup for various people, you can judge for yourself whether the idea has any validity.
If you've always thought washing your hair several times a week was a staple of modern civilization, prepare to have your mind blown. As recently as the 1950s, hygiene and grooming experts considered washing your hair every other week to be "often," and brushing was considered a more important activity for keeping hair clean and in good condition. Check out this awesome vintage video to see how people were washing and styling 60 years ago; you just might pick up a helpful hint or two.
We've all had a bad haircut or two, but occasionally a not-so-great hairstyle comes along that becomes engrained in our culture. Only by remembering just how difficult to style, impossibly uncomfortable, and just all-around bad these coiffures were, can we hope to avoid future disaster. Check out five that should stay where they belong: in the past.
Source: Memory Lane
If you adore iconic beauty and all-around awesome lady Sophia Loren, you really won't want to miss this amazing 1984 commercial for her eponymous scent, which is, as the voice-over guy intones, "the most female fragrance you'll ever experience." The ad is classic '80s all the way. It has a bit of everything: a lilting theme song, fireworks and fog coming out of the fragrance flacon, and a closing kicker from the grand dame herself. Watch it, and bring out the woman in every woman (or something).
Lovely Old Hollywood star Constance Bennett (you may know her from Topper, Moulin Rouge, and It Should Happen to You) teamed up with director Hal Roach, the man behind iconic comedy duo Laurel & Hardy, for this 1937 educational film shot in gorgeous and expensive Cinecolor. It's fascinating to see what the makeup and hair of the era really looked like, and even more interesting to see how relatively straightforward the skin care was — no serums, no scrubs, just a waterless cleanser and a mask you leave on as long as you can. Even the makeup is pretty simple (although it does make us wish rouge was still the norm). And her tips aren't bad, either.
Scarlett Johansson is a woman known to take a few beauty risks on the red carpet, such as the Blade Runner-esque updo she sported at yesterday's We Bought a Zoo premiere. We've seen similar styles pop up as of late: Preen's Spring 2012 runway featured futuristic, coiled chignons, and stars such as Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese have been known to roll with it as well. While these coiffures typically have a retro, '40s-era quality, in today's looks, they're often updated with modern touches. What's your opinion? Do you find Scarlett's version of victory rolls victorious, or does she miss the mark?
It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays, especially on the red carpet, with stars taking it up a few notches on the beauty front as of late. And this week, several celebrities went for retro glamour all the way. Fergie, Julianne Hough, and Amber Heard each wore Veronica Lake-style waves paired with varying tones of rich, matte red lipstick. But if you had to pick your favorite old Hollywood style, who gets your vote of approval?
In case you missed the news, Lauren Conrad is writing a beauty book, and if her cool-girl beauty website is any indication, the pages surely will be full of amazing ideas. In fact, she recently tweeted a picture of herself decked out in flapper-style hair and makeup, exclaiming, "Excited to shoot my beauty book in my 20's!" And as you can see, LC's version of the era is straight-up sexy, with no-shine burgundy lips, smoky eye makeup, and a classic, semimatte complexion. See tips on how to style a bob haircut, and check out the widget below to see just how easy it is to re-create her vintage makeup look.
Source: Twitpic User LaurenConrad
The 1940s were an amazing time for beauty and fashion, and they're still the last word in glamour done American-style. Whether you lust after Rita Hayworth's curls, Billie Holiday's show-stopping style, or Veronica Lake's peek-a-boo look, you'll find a smart, pretty way to update it here.
Source: Memory Lane
If you're a fan of Veronica Lake and her peek-a-boo hairstyle, you've probably heard the story that her star fell considerably after she changed it. But no one ever talks about why the actress decided to drop her now-iconic look. Turns out it was for the war effort, because women were being discouraged from wearing styles that might hinder factory work.
In this newsreel from the 1940s, you can see Veronica getting her hair restyled into a more "work-appropriate" updo. It's sad to think that attempting to stand in solidarity with working women may have damaged her career (although her notoriously difficult personality may have been more to blame), but it's also a lasting testament to the power of a great hairstyle.