Fanciful Impressions Gallery: 1940s Era


Over the past month I have written a great deal about the forties. When I was first asked to do a look that captured this era, I confess I was not sure where to begin. What I knew of this period in history was through stories told by my Grandparents or through facts learned of World War Two. It was only through combing the facts and stories about this time in history did I realize that the era’s generation was undeniably resilient. Amidst war, death and responsibility, men and women alike were able to carry on. I have tried to capture the theme of resilience in each post that touches on this era.

To capture this theme on film, my model was made up of classic forties makeup. Women wore makeup on a daily basis during this period. While foundations were used, they were not nearly as pale a palette as foundations seen in future periods like the fifties and sixties. The look was rosy and not at all over done. The complexion for this era shows that many of the women led busy lives that involved both work and homemaking, thus leaving less time to reapply makeup and keeping the look natural. In terms of lipstick and eye shadows, the trend followed that of Hollywood film stars. The palette included silver or grey eye shadow with an orange-red lip and a similar color for the blush. I wanted my model to look as accurate as possible so we did not stray from this palette. For the hair, I did a brushed out curl using a 1 ¼ inch curling iron and pinned one side in a small twirled twist. It was common for there to be an added detail like the twist in these photos, as opposed to just having one side swooped back. Lastly, I asked the model to flip her hair when I added hairspray so that the look was imperfect on purpose. Showing the hair tousled as opposed to perfectly in place was done to display how busy women of this era were on a daily basis. What made this look idyllic however was the way my model looked up to the ‘sky’ in one of the portraits. The look of hope portrayed in this portrait, brought out the them of resilience we had hoped to achieve.