Eras of Beauty: Part Two

Posted June 1, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand

Last week in Eras of Beauty, we introduced part one of an interview series featuring the fabulous celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge and beauty historian, Madeleine Marsh. The first interview focused on beauty trends  beginning in the Victorian period and ending in the 1930’s.

It’s an enchanting journey and observation on how social, political and cultural issues informed the beauty norms of each era. In part two of the interview we continue our journey where we left off — with the 1940’s. Big band, patriotism, and sacrifice shaped this decade and the cosmetic trends reflected that.

I found the second part of the series as captivating as the first because some of the iconic beauty names we know today, Max Factor, Helena Rubenstein, and Coty arrived on the scene as did some of the current day ‘must-have’ products like mascara in a tube!

We also see the continuation of the ever-changing beauty norms prescribed by the media and in advertising for women. Dior’s new look, which consisted of nipped- in-waists, full skirts, high heels, and handbags gave way to Twiggy’s emaciated and androgynous vibe in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Traditional male and female gender roles came under scrutiny during this time, so not surprisingly the heavy make-up and coiffed hairstyles suddenly looked old-school compared to the stick-straight hair and the ‘natural look’ adopted by many women in this era. The ‘establishment’ became a four letter word, and another generation gap was born! 

Watch the video here to learn:

  1. What lipstick shade was synonymous with patriotism during World War 2?
  2. What global dictator hated women in make-up?
  3. Who developed the first mascara in a tube?
  4. What do matches and lipstick have in common?


About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.