The 1950’s were a banner decade for makeup. Innovations in science led to new chemicals, colors, and products that were never seen before. Women now had more choices than ever, and movie stars and models were available in magazines and on TV for daily inspiration and trend setting. Innovations in homemaking also meant that women had greater amounts of leisure time, which led to more women’s magazines with ads for the newest products of the day. We’re going to explore some of the biggest beauty products of the time period and how they were used to get the famous look of the 1950’s.
Already around for decades, Max Factor really hit it strides in the 1950’s with the growing clientele thanks to larger disposable incomes in the post-war boom era. Still uber popular today, the Pan-Stik was released at the end of the 1940’s and became extremely popular throughout the next decade. Its non-greasy formula, small size, and quick application made it a must have in every stylish woman’s purse. In fact, Pan-Stik is still around today. Other innovations from Max Factor were 1953’s Creme Puff, the first cream base with powder, 1954’s Erace, the first concealer in stick form, and 1958’s Wand Mascara, the precursor to today’s mascara brushes.
Helena Rubinstein’s Mascara
Although Max Factor’s Wand Mascara was innovative, it was Helena Rubinstein’s invention of the waterproof Mascara-Matic that really changed the face of mascara. Her lotion-based cream moved away from the harder cakes previously used. Her formula is similar to what is still used today.
The Goya Beauty Puff
It’s claim to fame was to make you “lovelier in 35 seconds”, the Goya Beauty Puff was a small compact that was said to give a radiant glowing look to your skin. It also claimed to never “cake, streak, dry or change color.” This little cover-up compact was small enough to fit in the purse of every woman on the go. It was also a success in part due to its strong marketing campaign in the women magazines of the day.
First introduced in 1949, this innovation from Hazel Bishop would change the way men kissed women forever. Gone were the days of having to wipe off the lipstick after a kiss, this new formula saved time, money, and embarrassment. Revlon soon followed Hazel Bishop with their own non-smearing lipstick four years later in 1953. Before this innovation, women would constantly need to reapply lipstick throughout the day to avoid spots, smears, and smudges. The bromo acid that basically burnt the color into your skin is no longer used today, but the general idea is still implemented.
As you can see, the 1950’s were a truly important time period for women’s makeup, and the changes made then can still be seen today. We would love to hear from you! Share your favorite fifties beauty secrets from the decade that gave us some of the most gorgeous stars in history.