Wartime fashion and beauty

Posted on 6th June, 2022

A lot of people ask me about research. Bear in mind that I grew up in the aftermath of WW2 so do have memories of bombsites, poor quality food, grey bread and make do and mend long after the war was over.

There were shortages on the home front and some of those shortages were reflected in the dressing table mirror. Women still wanted to look glamorous. The rumour of lipstick being in the shop brought a stampede of women all eager to enhance their looks. Ditto face powder, perfume or mascara – soot came in handy for making the latter. Lipstick doubled as rouge and sugar water made a pretty good setting lotion.

Shampoo was another thing that could be difficult to get hold of. For the most part, soap would have to do. It therefore followed that styles had to be kept simple like the one below featured in an advert for shampoo, something we now take very much for granted.