October 27, 2011

Beautifully autumn worthy 1940s Revlon make-up

Day 300 of Vintage 365


When one thinks of the words "Halloween make-up", any number of images, from cute little faces done up with mother's cosmetics to the hair raising work of horror movie make-up artistes spring to mind.

I think back to that thick, inexpensive drug store make-up in stark shades of snow white, lime green, and tomato red that we used as kids. I also recall Halloween eve's spent sitting on the counter sink as my mom drew pointy eyebrows on my face with her eyeliner, then covered my lips liberally in her darkest shade of lipstick, in order to turn me into whatever spooky trick-or-treat character I wanted to be that year.

In fact, I think that for a lot of us girls, it was Halloween night that we first became acquainted with many of the seemingly magical tubes, vials, bottles, and containers of make-up that adult women reached for every day.

And come the end of the evening, when, with full pillow cases and slightly smeared faces, we returned home, it was back to the bathroom or our mom’s vanity table we were whisked, to have our Halloween faces scrubbed off with copious amounts of cold cream.

There was something exciting and comfortingly ritualistic about this yearly tradition, so it comes as no surprise to me then that I still make a point of wearing special make-up each Halloween.

Sometimes I'll "paint" my face to go with a given costume, or other times, when I'm just donning black and orange for a night spent at home handing out sweets, I'll give my beloved, daily 1950s inspired make-up a decidedly goth feel, channelling shades of deep grey, inky black, and mossy green; the deepest of merlot wine hues slicked over my lips.

And yet, there are also those occasions when one wants a softer look, something in the peach, pink and cheerful red family. Especially if your costume or Halloween night ensemble is more sweet than spooky.

If such is the case, they you may find the chic 1940s ad below, with it's glistening pumpkin and autumnal colours, provides you with just the right dose of inspiration.

{Strikingly elegant, completely Halloween worthy 1940s Revlon cosmetics ad via curly-wurly on Flickr.}


I adore the warm palette here, in shades of apricot, rust, bronze, and shimmering gold. The make-up itself is classy and gorgeous. Youthful, feminine, and fitting for practically any occasion. (Her sophisticated updo is fantastic, too! If only I had a fraction of the thickness of hair needed to successfully pull that look off!)

So whether you'll be reaching for gobs of grease paint this year, or just a whisper of pumpkin hued lipstick and nail polish, be sure to celebrate Halloween by doing something out of the ordinary with your make-up. After all, if you can't paint your face on All Hallows Eve, when can you?! Smile


  1. I am thinking of painting my face green and getting a witches hat. I've certainly never done that before...

  2. You know, I've never really thought about bronze make up shades associated with the 1940s... I always kind of presumed the lipstick was red, the blusher matched with lips and the only hint of autumnal colours would be gravy smeared on the legs when the nylons had run out! x

  3. What a gorgeous ad!!! She is totally elegant and beautiful.

    My daughter will be painting her face for Halloweeen. She works in the children's department of our library, and she leads a program on Mondays...so the Cat in the Hat she will be, with black nose and black whiskers painted on by way of her eyebrow pencil.

    I have been in love with makeup since I was in about 8th grade. I wear it daily. Even during our camping days (we sold our camper last year, so we no longer camp), I was one of those who was putting on makeup and doing her hair in the restroom every day. I can't imagine going anywhere without makeup, especially lipstick!!

    Have a lovely evening,

  4. Hi Jessica,

    I've been a bit quiet this week as we don't celebrate Halloween, but have enjoyed your pictures and posts as always. Love this image, it's so 1940's, such a lovely decade.
    I hope that you have a wonderful Halloween evening.
    Several years ago, we were in Hawaii for Halloween and were quite amazed at everyone out on the streets and totally dressed and made up for the occasion, while here were were, just in our normal casual holiday clothes.

    Love and hugs,