1930’s Makeup Style

As previously announced Skinmagz are on a ‘Vintage Hype’. Last week was dedicated to the 1920’s, this week  focuses on the following decade: the 1930’s…


In the early 30’s the “Tea rose” (ivory with a touch of pink) was most popular for face foundation. Powder was caked on really heavily and rosy blusher was usually used.


The upper eyelashes usually had heavy mascara  (which was known as mascaro back then). Popularly worn eyeshadow includes blue, bright violet, green, brown and orchid.


Eyebrows were high and long or shaved off entirely and drawn on, with eyebrow pencil, extended well toward the temple.

To give them a shiny look, eyebrows were dressed with petroleum jelly, brillantine or olive oil.


Fine and thin and horizontal in shape. Red lipstick was very popular.


Max Factor

Max Factor was the man behind makeup in the 30’s. He had a salon on Hollywood Boulevard which brought him movie star clientelle like Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, and Claudette Colbert.  He has been credited with inventing cosmetic necessities like mascara and pancake. Max Factor was also said to have popularised the term “makeup”.

circa 1930: Make-up man Max Factor (1904 - 1996) helps Mary McAllister with her beauty treatment.


The Revlon company was the first to commercialize nail polish. Before Revlon, nail polish used to slide off the nails.  Revlon developed nail enamel with the help of a chemist. The formula allowed the polish to remain on the nails. By the end of the 1930s, they sold matching lip and nail color.

Revlon Nail Enamel Ad Campaign

Elizabeth Arden

She is famous for inventing the concept of a “makeover”.
Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a “fluffy” face cream. The cream was called Venetian Cream Amoretta and was very successful; it led to her bring out corresponding lotion and Arden Skin Tonic. This revolutionized cosmetics, bringing a scientific approach to formulations.

Elizabeth Arden

Billie Holiday, along with being an outstanding jazz singer was also a makeup trend setter in the 30s. Her photo below, which was taken sometime in the 30s, says it all!!


Billie Holiday- Her eyebrows are drawn on and though the picture is not coloured, research showed that her lipstick was red. (The coloured picture is copyright protected, so cannot be used for this post).

Bilie Holiday with matted rouge lipstick.


About skinmagz
Gboby is actually a combination of two names namely; Gbonju and Oby. We are sisters and enjoy everything and anything to do with makeup, skincare, hair, and Fragrance. Our mission therefore, is to update you on the latest, greatest, and best products out there. We aim to bring you pure quality products and styles, because thats what we're about...... so get ready to be "Exclusified"

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