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Jane Vanroe on collecting vintage powder compacts and compact mirrors. You can find Jane's designs at www.vanroe.com and on Amazon in the EU & USA

Vintage beauty tip – Apply lipstick like a 1930s film star

Ever wondered how Clara Bow or Carol Lombard achieved their perfect 1930s pouts? Well, the wonderful “A Book of Make-Up” would love to show you how. Written in 1930, this brilliant little gem (look at that gorgeous cover!) was the go-to source of practical makeup for actors and actresses of the time – most of whom expected to make themselves up for their parts.

Mr Ward's very stylish "A Book of Make-Up" - written for "practitioners of The Dramatic Arts". The book mainly covers stage make-up, with a particularly un-PC chapter on "Racial Types"... "In picturing older Frenchmen, the Imperial (a small pointed beard) or Mouche (a little tuft of hair on the lower lip) are still permissible"...

I like to think that Ms. Lombard herself may have poured over the book’s chapter on The Mouth. In it, Mr. Ward explains how to achieve a perfect Cupid’s Bow like Clara’s, in two easy steps…

“With the flat end of the paint stick make two circular blobs close together on the upper lip and one on the centre of the lower, which will have the shape somewhat in the shape of a pawnbroker’s sign.”

lipstick 1930 cupids bow

Achieve a cupid's bow like Clara Bow

“Those blobs are then smeared carefully towards the edges of the mouth, tapering, of course to the corners. With a little practice an excellent effect is obtained”.

Mr. Ward goes on to advise ladies with a prominent lower lip like mine to “remedy the defect” with liberal application of a deeper shade, for example “lake mixed with carmine”. Not sure Mr. Max Factor still manufacturers these colours, which incidentally would have given me a double dose of  crushed cochineal beetles, but one can hope.

Clara Bow

Clara, in 1927.

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2 comments on “Vintage beauty tip – Apply lipstick like a 1930s film star

  1. BooBooNinja
    February 29, 2012

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Mirjana F.Mireblad
    October 3, 2012

    I love red lipstick, wear it daily (or plum occasionally) – great to get new tips on how to apply! Love your web-site. <3

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2012 by in Vintage beauty tips.

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