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.


The Ultimate Smokey Kohl Tutorial + History by Lisa Eldridge

I have been a fan of ancient Egyptian art and culture since my childhood. Every time I enter a museum, I always visit the Ancient Egyptian wing first. Always.

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Ancient Egyptian #Khol #Eyeliner Case

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I first encountered this contraption in 2007. I was going around the Ancient Egyptian gallery of the British Museum when I saw an Ancient Egyptian Kohl container amongst an assortment of vessels used to store various cosmetics and skin care products.

The photo above was taken during my recent trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) in New York. It was then that I remembered that Lisa Eldridge had an amazing video about the history of Kohl. This video talks about the reasons why Ancient Egyptians wore Kohl, the design of the containers, the ingredients in making Kohl and on how it’s made.

So, if you are a little bit interested in the history of makeup and  wanting to see a makeup tutorial on how to wear Kohl, then click on the video below.


Japanese Makeup Culture

Begin Japanology is another show that I watch on NHK World, it is hosted by Peter Barakan. Begin Japanology, as stated on their website “explores many aspects of Japan, both traditional and contemporary: arts, sports, entertainment, food, technology, nature, etc. ”

This entry coincides with my previous post about Japanese skin care. To read my previous post and to watch the video from it’s companion program Japanology Plus, click here.

I stumbled upon this Youtube video right about the same time I saw Japanology Plus episode entitled “Quest for perfect Skin“.

This episode does not talk about Japanese cosmetics products, instead this episode from Begin Japanology talks about makeup in Japan : it’s history, its evolution and its social impact.

I found this episode to be very enlightening. As I have stated before, I am inspired by Japanese makeup culture.


Some key points of interest from this episode:

Lashes are a big thing is Japan. It’s true. I’ve seen it.

White black and red were the only colors used by women during the Japanese golden age. A color palette which is still used today.

As shown at the 9:45 minute mark, nose contouring has been in use since 1813 and there was even a makeup manual then. 3 volumes of makeup tricks!

Japanese women during the late 18th and early 19th centuries had found ways of making their makeup portable.

Nars Cosmetics Bento Box
Nars Cosmetics Bento Box

At the 13:06 minute mark, Peter Barakan is talking to Japanese Makeup Culture historian Takako Murata. They talk about how cosmetics were packaged and used during the 18th century. The light went “on” when Takako was discussing the fact that rouge was poured into a bowl and was turned up side down after use to keep the rouge from spoiling.

Years ago (circa 2010), Nars Cosmetics launched an extremely limited edition lip palette called “Bento Box “. Clearly inspired from traditional Japanese makeup, this palette had two small bowls of different shades of lip colors (Sakura [pink] and Maiko [red]). This set came with a kabuki lip brush.

Kabuki Brush Set bought in Tokyo
Kabuki Brush Set bought in Tokyo

Speaking of brushes, at the 16:58 minute mark, the episode starts to discuss the art of making makeup brushes. I can not believe one town supplies 80% of Japan’s brushes. I am not surprised though that many international cosmetics companies order their brushes from this Japanese company. I was quite surprised though to see in passing that some of my favorite makeup brushes to use were actually made there. I might have to visit Kumano in Hiroshima Prefecture one day to see the factory for my self.

The man featured here is Kazuo Takamoto, president of the premier brush company “Hakuhodo“.

I have managed to find an article about Kumano being the brush capital of Japan, you might enjoy this short reading here.


To learn more and to be inspired by Japanese makeup culture, enjoy the video below.










Japanese Skin Care: An Insight

I am a Nipponophile. I enjoy Japanese culture to a certain degree. I enjoy it so much that my skin care and makeup routine is Japanese inspired.

I watch NHK World often, and one of the shows I look forward to is the show named “Japanology Plus” hosted by Peter Barakan. Japanology Plus presents insights into Japanese life and culture.

This particular episode talks about how Japanese women take care of their skin. As a makeup artist, I believe skin care goes hand in hand with ones makeup routine. I firmly believe that if you take care of your skin, in the long run, you will need to use less makeup.

Japanese women have been taking care of their skin for thousands of years and on how it is embedded into the psyche to this day. Aside from talking about  Japanese skin care culture, its history and as a booming industry,  this 28 minute video talks about the ingredients being used in most skin care products, the process on how to cleanse effectively and on the reasons why a natural makeup look is widely accepted in Japan today.



Japanology Plus airs every Thursday 13:30 and 17:30 Japan Standard Time.

Click here to find ways on how to watch Japanology Plus on NHK World.