May 25, 2012

Maybelline's three quick 1950s tricks to eye beauty

It might sound strange to say that a week which begun on a holiday (Victoria Day) feels like it's been a long one, yet it has it. You know how the end of the month can be, as various issues that had been accumulating over the past three or four weeks suddenly seem to collide, each one needing to be addressed, and you find yourself more than a little tuckered out - akin in a way to the infamous "I need a vacation after my vacation" feeling that sometimes crops up as a holiday wraps up.

Fridays however, are meant to be light and fun, and free of the shackles of both the work week and life's pressing demands, in general, and so on that note, I thought I'd sure something quick and fun with you today: a great vintage Maybelline cosmetics ad from 1954 that highlights three quick tips to eye beauty.

1950s Maybelline ad 3 quick tricks to eye beauty

{Charmingly pretty illustrated 1950s Maybelline ad via Van Michelle on Flickr.}


If - like me - you wear cat's eyeliner and eyebrow pencil, you'll likely find these three steps very familiar. I like how in the third step, after applying mascara, it's suggested that one "blends a bit of Maybelline eye shadow into the upper lid", thus creating a subtle smoky effect, long before the term smoky eye came into play.

While few of us still use mascara that comes in a compact and is applied with a separate brush (though a small handful of brands - such as Longcils Boncza Cosmetique Cake Mascara still exist), overall these three steps have remained unchanged for decades now, and are are still about the quickest, easiest way to give your lovely peepers an instant 1950s look that exudes glamorous beauty.

While I'm no stranger to a bold lip, I've always adored focusing on my eyes when doing my make-up, and begin with them when applying my daily cosmetics. I start with soft (white, ivory, beige and/or soft pink) eye shadow, then much as in this ad, apply eyeliner, eyebrow pencil (my natural brows are incredibly sparse and so pale they're almost invisible), and mascara.

For my eyeliner and mascara, I generally opt for classic black. My eyebrow pencil is a warm reddish brown that was actually designed to be an eyeliner (Cover Girl Chestnut 212), but which I find glides on easily and stays puts for the whole day better than most of the products designed specifically for eyebrows that I've tried (many, interestingly enough, of which actually bothered my sensitive skin).

Though these three tricks from Maybelline are scarcely secrets, I always enjoy seeing precisely how ladies of the past applied their cosmetics, and thought that as as a nice way to kick off the last Friday in May, you would, too. Do these steps differ much from how you apply your own eye makeup, or are they pretty much identical?

I hope that no matter what kind of week - and month - you've had, sweet dears, each of you will be able to enjoy as weekend that's every bit as beautiful as a classic mid-1950s eye is! Smile


  1. Beauty tips are some of my favorite things to peruse in vintage books and magazines! I'm not an eyeliner wearer as I prefer using mascara or even false eyelashes for a more dramatic eye, but I loved seeing this. Thank you for sharing!

    Have a lovely weekend dear Jessica!

  2. Great post. I love the phrase "expressive" brows. It's such a delightful term and something I certainly aspire to! Also, good point about the smoky eye. It's funny how some people only see the 50's as cateyes and red lips and forget that there was also trends and variations, just like today! We can learn so much from looking back... xox

  3. When I started my working life 40+ years ago I used Maybelline exclusively.
    I was watching my pennies and Maybelline was budget friendly eye makeup and I absolutely loved eye makeup. Maybelline's little mascara brush seemed much easier to use than the mascara wands of today.

  4. I have the same problem with my eyebrows. I've found that if you apply a clear lipstick sealer after applying color, it lasts all day. It comes in a bottle with a brush (almost like nail polish) and you can get it at Amazon or Amerimark. It comes off with makeup remover.

  5. Mascara and eyebrow pencil I can manage but never in my life have I been much good at putting eyeliner on. I can never get both eyes looking the same, one line is always thicker than the other! I gave up on it years ago I'm afraid:)

  6. 1940's-1950's makeup will always have a place in my heart. It is wonderful seeing tips like this from back then!! Thank you for posting this! :D