Double Indemnity, Barbara Stanwyck 1940s Makeup

A fantastic guide on how to achieve Barbara Stanwyck’s  Double Indemnity 1940s noir makeup  by a lady who embodies old school glamour, top makeup artist, Kate O’Reilly.

Due to WWII rationing and long hours in the factory, the 1940’s femme fetale was also a practical, low maintainance kinda gal. Practical in a glamorous red lipstick wearing kinda way!

  1. Apply a natural foundation that matches your skin tone. Use concealer as needed and set with powder. The 1940s girl was never shiney!
  2. Using a soft largeish eyeshadow brush (like Bobbi Brown “Eye Shadow Brush” or MAC 217) sweep a light matte brown eyeshadow (like MAC Kid or Malt) all over the eyelid and apply a little extra to the crease of the eye. Don’t worry too much about this step, the best is yet to come!
  3. Using a medium brown eyebrow pencil (like Laura Mercier  “Soft Brunette”) define the brows in an elogated curve, somewhere between a pointed arch and tadpole round.
  4. Apply a very thin line of liquid eyeliner (Rimmel Flash Eyeliner) to the top lash line and flick out at the very end, mimicking the corner of your lashes.
  5. Finish eyes with lashings of mascara and remember to comb through!
  6. To get Barbara’s “bird beak” effect on your lips, use a lip liner to exagerate the curve on your top lip, not around the cupid’s bow (in the centre) but after the cupids bow instead, where the lip curves down to the corners.
  7. For a long lasting lip, apply your lipstick (something like Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss 01) in layers. Use a lip brush to work the first layer into your lip, blot with tissue and repeat once or twice.

1940s lipsticks were often an orange red or redwood shade. Experiment with orange, purple or darker mahogony toned reds to see which one you prefer on your own skin tone

Kate’s favorite red lipsticks:

Matte True Red – MAC “Ruby Woo”

Dark Vamp Purple – Tom Ford “Black Orchid”

Hot Orange Red – NARS “Heat Wave”

Hollywood Scarlet – Bobbi Brown “Hollywood Red”

For the ULTIMATE vintage lipsticks check out The Lipstick Queen’s collection in Space NK, just opened in Harvey Nicholls Dundrum. TO DIE FOR!!