Vintage 1940s Makeup Tutorial Film from

I was not intending on searching Youtube for such kind of a film, I stumbled upon this makeup tutorial serendipitously. I was looking at a different video, one of Elizabeth Taylor applying her eye makeup when I saw the title of this video from the periphery of my eyes.

After watching this film, I became curious and started to remember seeing people using creams as part of their skincare routine.

In the early days of my career (circa 2006) I assisted Patrick Rosas, makeup artist of Gretchen Barretto. I have seen Gretchen use Pond’s Cold Cream (launched 1910) to remove her makeup. She would massage her face with it and wipe it off with some tissue. Her skin would look so clean and radiant. Pond’s is a featured product in this film and the brand is still around.

When I was a kid during the 80’s, I do remember my grandmother using Nivea Creme (launched 1911) on her face everyday. She’d massage the cream on her face in circular motions and wipe of the excess. I can’t exactly remember what her routine was but I can sure remember that round blue can. Even in her death bed, if she’d have the strength, she’d rub the cream on her face. If she can’t, I would rub it on for her. During her final days, I don’t think this process was for vanity. I believe it gave her comfort.

Out of curiosity, I asked Cholo what his mom’s skin care regimen was, this was during the late 60s – early 70s. He remembers his mom applying some glycerin (discovered in 1779) on her face to keep is moisturized. Which at 2017, is still a main ingredient in skincare, haircare, personal care and cosmetics.

For makeup and skin care junkies, you would be very surprised that modern makeup and skin care methods have been the same since the 40’s.


Makeup has come a long way. But the belief that less is more has stayed.

“…blend in carefully until no one can see that the rouge (blush) is there. Not even you. Nothing dates you as much as rouge that shows.” says the host of this film.

What caught my interest in this video was the use of “Vanishing Cream”. I have not encountered this product EVER! After doing some research, I found an article published online by Cosmetics and Skin about “Vanishing Creams”.

As stated on their website:

“Vanishing creams – which can also be called stearate creams – were known for their smooth, dry feel on the skin and their pearly sheen. Chemically they are oil-in-water emulsions consisting of stearic acid, an alkali, a polyol and water. The alkali reacts with some of the stearic acid to form a soap which then functions as the emulsifier. The polyol (e.g. glycerin) makes the cream more spreadable and also acts as a humectant to help prevent the cream from drying and cracking during storage in its container – packaging the cream in a screw top jar or tube was also important. There were limits to how much polyol could be included in the formulation; too much and it would absorb water from the air, causing the powder to spot and making repowdering necessary (Poucher, 1926, p. 36).” Click here to read more about the history, use and ingredients of Vanishing Creams.

Once you’ll click the play button, you would be quite surprised to see that what is taught in this film is still relevant to this day and age.

Towards the end of the video there’s a short discussion about what kind of hair style works on a round face, a square face and a rectangular face.. 40s style of course.

As the lady in this film says, “When You face the world, remember to put your best face forward.”



Checkout my Skincare 101 videos here and read my favourite skin care products here.


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