Posted in Collaboration

Classic Beauty: 1941 (a #beautiesonfire collab)

Here it is, the first active week of the Beauties On Fire collab. Twenty or so bloggers will be posting their takes on “Classic Beauty” this weekend! Some will be doing makeup and others will be doing fashion. All of them promise to be a lot of fun! Head on over to Elizabeth’s blog right here, and you’ll see the rest of the links at the bottom of the page – but you best read hers first!

When this theme proved to be the winner (and yass, I voted for it!) I was ecstatic. I haven’t been able to post about the Besame lipstick I received last month yet, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity.

The United States didn’t officially enter the Second World War until after December 7, 1941, but for a couple years prior we had been actively taking sides and suffering casualties for it. While tires were the first things to be rationed, only a few days after Pearl Harbor, then a temporary end to civilian auto sales was put into place January 1, 1942, ration books like we’ve seen from then didn’t begin to show up until late that spring. While Europe was already feeling the difficulties of rationing for wartime, it really hadn’t affected the United States for most of 1941. Translation? We could still get beauty items! (Cosmetics kept coming during the war; the manufacturers simply changed formulas, removing ingredients needed for the war effort, such as glycerine, and substituting what worked. The containers saw changes, too – anyone for a paper lipstick tube?) 

Mom 10 years old - 1941
My Mom in 1941

Makeup in 1941 used a clean face, meaning foundation and setting powder with a dusting of color for the cheeks. A subtle shade shadowed and defined the crease of the eye, but an accent on those gorgeous eyelashes. Eyebrows were structured and bold, with a well-defined arch. Seductive reds, in matte and semi-matte, colored the lips. The phrase “Beauty As Duty” would soon become a familiar one, like it already was in England. The idea that both men’s and women’s morale would be better boosted if they still put in a good effort to be well-groomed and fashionable, even during such hard times, was a great bit of propaganda. (And yes – it was extended to the men, as well, though I only found a couple references to the men in my searches.)

Seriously – don’t we all feel a bit better after swiping on some lipstick or brushing some mascara on our lashes?

Now, for how I did. It was hothothot in my bathroom, so even though I kept a fan on me the whole time, I just didn’t want to bother with trying to do something with already unhappy hair. You know what I’m talking about! And as my eyes have been bothering me a bit the past few days (asthma plus allergies – no fun!), I didn’t want to try using false eyelashes for the first time. Please pretend they are there!


What I Used:

  • Make Up For-Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer (Redness Correcting Primer)
  • Too Faced Born This Way oil free foundation in Nude
  • Revlon PhotoReady Powder in Fair/Light
  • Besame Cosmetics Brightening Vanilla Rose Powder (translucent)
  • Benefit Stay Don’t Stray eye primer
  • Laura Mercier eye shadows in Vanilla Nuts (cream), Sparkling Dew (cream with the slightest shimmer – can’t see it here), and Truffle for the crease.
  • Thrive Causemetics Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner
  • Benefit Roller Lash 
  • Maybelline Brow Precise Shaping Pencil in Blonde
  • Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette “Does This Thing Really Work?” blush
  • Make Up For-Ever Lipline Perfector
  • Besame Cosmetics Victory Red lipstick (1941)

The ads I used: Dorothy Gray Cosmetics, Avon, Max Factor Cosmetics, and Maybelline Cosmetics.

Still hungry for more classic beauty? Follow this link to the post on Everything & Nothin’ and see the beautiful Elisabeth transform herself into Grace Kelly! Then check out all the link-ups below – so many gorgeous women, so many amazing ideas!

Beauties on Fire Logo


Syd is a Midwestern girl who doesn’t think the term “girl” is sexist in the least – especially after she left her 20s. She holds a huge love for history (from WWI through the end of WWII, Victorian, Regency, and Elizabethan eras), some science fiction, and likes to pass the time reading, working with photography and needlework, and writing things. Lots of things. Syd likes to dance, too, but she looks like an utter goob doing so!

15 thoughts on “Classic Beauty: 1941 (a #beautiesonfire collab)

  1. Omgsh love your skin is perfect!!!! You’re so gorgeous!! I totally loved the history lesson. I love digging deeper into beauty!! Love this post!! That red lipstick is gorgeous on you!! And like seriously, when I think “classic beauty” I first think…bold, red lipstick! I loved this theme and you nailed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Thank you so much. And my skin SO isn’t perfect – I used a soft filter on all three, and a Kodachrome filter (what was mainly used back then for photos) for the two older looking ones. Thank you SOOOO MUCH for starting this collab! Looking forward to Summer Beauty… but slightly dreading if Disney Princess wins… *laffs*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! You crack me up!!! Still though, you look gorgeous!! There is only so much a filter can fix…and I say you are stunning!! Haha me too! I think Disney is cute. However, I have no idea how I am going to recreate the theme haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. *laffs* And thank you. 🙂 Yeah – I was thinking “Well, maybe I could do Mary Poppins? Or one of the wenches being sold at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? (Yeah, okay – so they wrecked that part of the ride…) I know they aren’t princesses, but…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post and the fact that you added such a personal touch to it by including the childhood picture of your Mom! She looks so cute! The written content for this post were so fresh and unique to you, too, this has been very well done! P.S, you look absolutely beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you SO MUCH! I loved writing that post – it’s my favorite of the #beautiesonfire posts I’ve done so far. And I love history stuffs, especially cosmetics and all (so much so that I bought some rouge and lip color made historically correct to the Revolutionary War period today!)


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