Could You Pass a 1953 Beauty Class?

By: Monica Lee
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Could You Pass a 1953 Beauty Class?
Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Let's set the stage. The Postwar economy from 1945 to 1960 was in a boom. From new automobiles flooding the streets to a huge housing expansion, (thanks to affordable mortgages for returning servicemen) life was good.  And women were part of that expansion, many staking a claim in the workforce with disposable incomes which helped the cosmetic industry explode. There were mega brands such as Dior, Estee Lauder, Revlon, Max Factor and Elizabeth Arden. This new look in makeup reflected a change in attitude from the simple, minimal look of the 1940s to the refined feminine beauty of the '50s.

Which is why there is so much interest in retro looks today: The fifties added color, definition and flair. Even the clothes were stylish. Un-padded rounded shoulders, shapely bust lines and closely defined waistlines all created a very glamorous look. Add a Poodle Cut, Pixie or Bouffant and you were set!  

One fault of the '50s was that it was very matchy, matchy. Women who followed the trends matched their lips and eye shadow to a purse, hat, gloves, shoes, you name it.  However if you're going for the fabulous '50s look, you may want to tone that down a bit. But first, take this quiz and find out how to do the '50s with flair. 




It's the 1950s and it's time to choose your foundation, which one is best?
One shade darker than skin tone
Today you would want a perfect match of foundation to your skin tone, but fashionistas in the '50s wanted you to choose a foundation that was one shade darker than your skin tone with a slightly pink tint.
One shade lighter than skin tone
Same color as skin tone
Two shades darker than skin tone

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What color rouge would you wear back then?
Pink
It was recommended that you use light pink cream rouge. During this decade, women did not need to chose colors that complimented their skin and hair colors, as was the case in the past.
Red
Whatever color worked with your skin tone.
Orange

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What color eyebrow pencil was preferred?
A shade darker than your eyebrow color.
The choice of eyebrow pencil was one shade darker than your natural eyebrow color. The eyebrow accented the eye even more when eye shadow was applied with a light color under the brow.
A shade lighter than your eyebrow color.
Two shades darker than your eyebrow color.
Three shades darker than your eyebrow color.

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Which of these eyeliner colors would you choose in the '50s?
Brown
Black
A color that matches your eyeshadow
All of the above
For daily wear you could choose a brown or black eyeliner. Light skin and light eyes look best in brown. However, if you wanted to be trendy back then, you'd match your eye liner to your eye shadow.

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What is the name of the hairstyle that provided permed, tight curls?
The Bouffant
The Beehive
The Poodle Cut
Made popular by actresses like Peggy Garner, Faye Emerson and Lucille Ball, the poodle cut was fun and flirty.
The Pixie

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In the 1950s, how often did women wash their hair?
Once a day
Twice a week
Every other day
Once a week
In the '50s, there was not a problem with women over-washing their hair. Once a week (most likely at the Beauty Parlor) was all that was needed.

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Which of these eye shadows would you choose in the '50s?
A shade that matches your eyes.
A shade that matches your dress or accessories.
A nude shade
A & B
Eye shadow shades were coordinated with your eye color for most looks. However there were brighter and more colorful shades to match your dress or accessories.

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Which type of mascara is correct to replicate the 1950s look?
Cake mascara
Cake mascara came in a hard, compressed pigment (a cake, if you will). Cake mascara is wax-based, not water-based, so it would stay in place as well as any other non-waterproof mascara.
Brush mascara
Waterproof mascara
None of the above

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What was the beauty rule for wearing lipstick?
It should match your outfit.
It should match your purse.
It should match your blush.
Wear a shade lighter for during the day and a darker shade for evening.
It was really eye shadow that was matched with everything. Not lip color. The rule was to go with a lighter shade of your chosen color during the day, and a darker shade of that same color for an evening look.

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What lipstick colors did you have to choose from in the '50s?
Red
Pink
Coral
All of the above
Unlike the blues, purples, glosses and sparkles we have today, in the '50s there were only red, pinks, coral and orange tints in a matte finish.

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Which was the ideal face shape in the 1950s?
Round
Oval
The oval shape was deemed the most beautiful in the 1950s. There were tips on contouring your face using darker and lighter powders to give the illusion of an oval.
Diamond
Heart

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How often would you give yourself a facial in the 1950s?
Once a week
According to skin care advisers in the 1950s, women should first cleanse their face well with cream, then apply a mask to their throat and face.
Once every two weeks
Once every four weeks
Once every six weeks

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What was the correct placement for rouge back in the day?
On the apples of the cheek.
On the upper cheekbones and brush upward to the temple.
Rosy red checks were out of fashion in the 1950s. If any rouge was used, it was for contouring the cheekbones by dotting rouge on the upper cheekbones and brushing upward to the temple.
In the hollow of the cheek.
All of the above

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Which of these hairstyles involved dramatic volume, backcombing and ample use of hairspray?
The Bouffant
One of the most prevalent styles of the 1950s, the bouffant later give way to the amped-up, towering "beehive" style.
The Thick Fringe
The Pixie
The Ponytail

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Why did the '50s gal use face powder?
Reduce shine.
Give a blended tone to the entire face
To help the makeup stay in place if you perspire
All of the above.
These reasons are still valid today to use powder over makeup. In the '50s, the advice was to use a light application of loose powder that is a tone darker than your skin.

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What happens if you choose a powder that is way too light for your skin?
Nothing, you look fine.
Be sure you choose a dark foundation.
You can look like a clown.
If the powder is way too light, you can have a clown-like appearance. No mixing of foundation or rouge will help that unhealthy glow.
Be sure you choose a dark rouge.

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You are wearing a low-neck evening gown and have powder on your face. What else should you powder?
Your neck
Your shoulders
Your décolleté area
All of the above.
The powers that be among the '50s fashion elite, advised that you powder from your face to your décolleté if you were wearing a low-cut gown.

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Eye shadows evolved in the '50s. Which of these could you find at the cosmetic counter?
Dusty purple, violet, and ice blue.
Light or dark green, and teal.
Silver or gold.
All of the above.
The colors above are just the most popular ones during the '50s. Others could be found as well. Eye shadow colors went from nude or natural in the 1940s to an explosion of color in the 1950s.

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Evening wear for eye shadow included which of these?
A tint of silver for light eyes
A tint of gold for darker eyes
The same eye shadow, only a thicker application on the eyes
A & B
Although there was lots of makeup advice available, the general consensus was that a tint of silver was most attractive for light eyes and a tint of gold made darker eyes more elegant.

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Ready to pluck your eyebrows '50s-style? Which is the correct shape for a round or square face?
A deep, high arch
Use a slight or natural arch if you have an oval face. The straight across, minimal arch is perfect for a long face. And finally, for almond-shaped eyes simply follow the angle of your eye.
Slight or natural arch
Straight across, minimal arch
Follow the angle of your eye

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In the mid-1950s, there was a Mandarin eyebrow trend. What did that entail?
The brow tips were removed and then redrawn and continued the brow with an upward sweep.
Much like the wing effect with eye liner, the eyebrow was used to create the same sweeping look. This trend did not last into the 1960s.
The brows were removed completely and drawn in with an eyebrow pencil.
The eyebrows were caterpillar-like using hair-like strokes with an eyebrow pencil
None of the above.

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What was suggested if you wanted to darken the eyebrow without using an eyebrow pencil?
Soap
Oil
Vaseline
All of the above
These also worked to keep the eyebrow flat and less bushy-looking. Vaseline was also suggested to wear on the eyelids if you didn't want to wear eye shadow.

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What is the evolution of the kitten eye?
Doe eye, cat eye, kitten eye
It all started with the doe eye and progressed from there. This look entails using eyeliner in the middle of the lid and extending it to the outer edge plus a little bit, angling upward. Back fill to the starting point to create a slight triangle.
Rabbit eye, cat eye, kitten eye
Panther eye, cat eye, kitten eye
Lion eye, cat eye, kitten eye.

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Once there was a cushion on the crimpers, this became a hot-selling '50s makeup tool. What is it?
Tweezers
Curling Iron
Eyelash curler
An eyelash curler was not new to the 1950s, but Kurlash improved the design with a cushion on the crimpers. The eyelashes were curled before applying mascara.
Hair straightener

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Betty Page was known for her short, full fringe hairstyle known as what?
Short and Curly
The Pixie
The Ponytail
The Thick Fringe
The Thick Fringe began to grow in popularity during the 1950s, especially when paired with long, curly locks made to look natural.

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Color was an option in mascara starting in which decade?
1940s
1950s
In the mid ’50s you could find many mascaras to match your eye shadows.
1960s
1970s

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Natural lip shapes of the 1950s followed those of the 1940s but there was a slight difference. What was it?
Higher peaks on the lips.
Lower peaks on the lips.
If overdrawing was done, it was to reduce the peaks to a smaller valley and rounder shape. The thickness of the top and bottom line were usually equal.
Extending the lip line for a longer smile.
Shortening the lip line for a wider smile.

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In the 1950s, what was the next step after you applied lipstick?
Press your lips together for one minute.
Wait a few minutes then blot the extra off with a tissue.
Apply a light powder for all-day staying power.
All of the above.
After applying lipstick you would do the above steps. As a final step, after dusting with powder, top again with lipstick for a little gloss.

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If eye shadows were coordinated with your outfit, what was matched to your lipstick color?
Your purse
Your nails
Manufacturers coordinated the colors of the nail polish with their lipsticks they offered. Therefore reds, pinks and corals were popular colors, with clear nail polish being available as well.
Your shoes
Your scarf

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Audrey Hepburn's closely-cropped hair made this hairstyle popular. What is its name?
Short and Curly
The Ponytail
The Pixie
This style became even more popular in the 1960s, but it all started in the 1950s with Audrey Hepburn.
The Pompadour

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It was all the rage and it was from Revlon. What was it?
Two or three eye shadow palette
Revlon produced "eye-shadow palettes" with two or three shades to create a specific look. A soft color for the eye line and slightly darker shades for the lid.
Lip liner
Lip gloss
Teeth whiteners

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What was the proper way to use cleansing cream in the 1950s?
Use little spiral motions to spread the cream, always working upward.
Use a wash cloth to take off the cream in sweeping strokes.
Put it on your face prior to going to bed and sleep with it on.
A & B
Cleansing cream was once used to cleanse the skin and remove makeup before hopping into the shower or bath and washing your face.

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How often does the 1950s lady schedule a manicure?
Once a week
Today you have gel, shellac and acrylic nails to make your manicure last longer. Back then, once a week a manicure was needed.
Once every 2 weeks
Once a month
Once every 6 weeks

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What was used as a heavy skin moisturizer back in the day?
Pond's Cold Creme
Prell
Pepsodent
Vaseline
Some products are still good to use on your skin today as well as decades ago. Vaseline is one of those products. It was used as a heavy moisturizer all over the face in the 1950s.

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Could you lighten your hair in the 1950s?
Yes, at the beauty parlor.
Yes, with a kit at home.
No, dyes had not been invented yet.
A & B
Dyeing and lightening your hair was available at the beauty shop as well as with a kit at home. Thanks to Lawrence Gelb, the founder of Clairol, the 1950s embraced a one-step hair dye that could lighten hair without bleaching it.

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