The early 40s was a liberating time for women due to the demand of having to step up to male duties and responsibilities whilst the men fought at war. There was an incredible drive to look and feel good and magazines enticed women often to make themselves up through patriotic glamour propaganda.

Rationing affected everything including a desperate shortage on cosmetics, but this failed to interfere with the ‘beauty is a duty’ attitude. Towards the end of the war, cosmetics were only part-sold; the powder came with no puff and lipstick refills began being delivered instead of presented in its usual case. Whilst red lipstick, black mascara and victory rolls became the ultimate trend, women also made do with what they had – beef gravy was used to tan; beet juice could be used as a lip-stain and vegetable dye was r used on hair. It was common knowledge that an iron-rich diet provided lips and cheeks with a rose blush. Instead of losing weight, the majority focus was to retain it, making vitality and health a main focus during the 40s. A 1994 published Queensland article explains how to achieve ultimately flawless skin. Oily skin types were advised to use soap and water to cleanse with and treating the skin to an ‘occasional massage with liquefying cream.’ Dry skins were advised to follow the same routine but more regularly, and with a slightly richer cream. The cream would then be ‘tissued off,’ followed by an application of witch hazel using a bit of cotton.

Making an effort with your appearance each day, even with a set of demanding tasks ahead – meant you were making the best of what you had and more likely to triumph in your daily duties.

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