The striking looks of the Forties reveal just how much women did to look polished, making today’s neutral make-up seem so bland. Max Factor make-up artist Caroline Barnes gives us some expert guidance in how to recreate bold, heavy-lidded eyes and Yanar Alkayat selects the tried and tested mascaras and eyeliners to achieve this look.

Prepping skin

The Forties-esque aficionados who recreate this look regularly will know how important the base is. “Skin is such a focus in this look that taking the time to create a perfect canvas is essential,” explains Caroline. “You want to get that velvety finish with no shine or sheen, so spend some time to beautify skin to its optimum.”

Once the foundation, powder and concealer have been applied meticulously, it’s time to move up to the brows.
Perfect brows and liner

“Before you start with the liquid eyeliner, it’s important to paint and shape your eyebrows because that gives structure and framework for the eyes. It also provides the length so you know how far to extend your eyeliner,” explains Caroline who has made-up the face of many a celebrity and model.

Caroline says to give brows a nice arch and extend them as far as they will go which will then guide the liquid eyeliner and the flick. Keep eyebrows strong and well defined.

The thickness of eyeliner depends on the size of your eyes. “The smaller your eyes the finer the line has to be – if you do a thick line, it will just close your eye. Keep as close to the lash line as possible if you have small eyes.”

Other tips include starting and finishing with a fine line and making it slightly thicker in the middle as “this makes it more elegant, rather than a stripe right across.”

Her favourite Max Factor product to achieve this sultry, heavy lidded look is Glide and Define, which is a dinky little felt-tip liner that draws a liquid line quite effortlessly. It’s also small enough to slip into the teeniest of vintage purses.

Other great liquid liners:

The latest edition from YSL is Easy Liner for Eyes (£20) – a fine tipped pen liner in a super-slim gold packaging. One slick and there was no budging ‘til bedtime. This also worked well on small eyes as that liner to eyelid transfer, which is so common, was not even an issue.

Another liquid liner that stays put until the morning is Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Liquid Eyeliner (£16.64).

Lauder make-up has catapulted itself to uber-stylish heights in recent seasons, so look out for impressively long-lasting pieces from the navy and gold packaged Double Wear collection.

And finally for eyeliner experts who love to dip a brush into a pot, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner (£13.70) is a firm favourite and does exactly as it says on the tin – it wears for a very long time. This is especially great for beauty queens who like full reign over the shape and style of their eye line.

Mascara for flutter-full lashes

“Keeping mascara top heavy gives it that vintage feel,” says make-up expert, Caroline Barnes.  “So apply two coats just on the top lashes and leave it very clean underneath. If you want some definition at the bottom, you can put mascara on and comb it through.”

A heavy brow, top lidded liner and luscious mascara were essential looks of that time so choose mascara that will keep lashes long and fresh all day long. Here’s our pick:

Fans of the perpetual favourite Calorie 2000 (it’s time to move on girls), will love Max Factor False Lash Effect, which comes with a plastic type of bristle. The thick head separates lashes perfectly because there are double the bristles to any other Max Factor mascara. At £10.99 it keeps the beauty budget happy too.

Another budget-friendly beauty favourite, Bourjois, has launched Volume Glamour Ultra Curl (£7.99), which comes aptly packaged with retro-style gold lid and swirly fonts.

The curved head has conventional bristles that are oh-so soft on the lashes, and which also make application a totally fuss-free affair.

For really long lashes, try Clarins Wonder Length Mascara (£16.15) which has a very skinny head and short plastic bristles, but the effect is stupendously elongated lashes all day long.

And finally for beauty junkies who like to unearth the latest innovation, there’s the spherical mascara head from Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes, which resembles a gladiator weapon – round and full of spikes, very bizarre.

While application was a little messy – there was transfer on the lids and around the lashes – final results from this globular head were impressive as full lashes lasted morning, noon and night.

5 Responses

  1. Kate

    Thanks for the post, I’m forever wasting money on crap mascaras!

    Does anyone know a good red lipstick? I’d like something matte and really striking, but none of the ones I’ve tried so far have been great.

  2. Miss Ava

    Kate, I’m never without my red lipstick and have had found a lovely matte red in MACs Rudy Woo (they have a whole range of matte colous). Lasts well, smells lovely, and really suits my very fair skin x

  3. Faith

    I hate MAC’s matte lipsticks, they really don’t work for my lip type (which is quite dry already so it’s not a good match). I personally love Max Factor Colour Elixir in Ruby Tuesday, there’s a post about it on my blog. I wore it on my wedding day, too!

  4. Karin

    I was going to suggest MAC Ruby Woo too! It’s a perfect red.

    Max Factor is no longer sold in the US, alas. Anyone know of another eyeliner similar to their Glide and Define? I never wear liner but want to try it out in a dramatic but easy fashion.