1920: The Glamour of Jazz

1920: The Glamour of Jazz


It’s a balmy summer night in 1925 and Clara is at her vanity preparing for a night out at her favorite speakeasy. She brushes her hair, which is cropped short in a bob that is very different from the prim Gibson Girl up-do that her mother sported in her youth. The start of Jazz Age heralded an obsession with Hollywood and a pursuit of the youthful appearance of its stars. Women like Clara now purchase wrinkle reducers, restorers, and youth creams that are made widely available by department stores and brands like Elizabeth Arden.  As her favorite tune plays on the phonograph, Clara finishes spreading on a layer of her favorite moisturizing cream. Next she applies rouge, a rose-hued cream, blended circles on the apples of her cheeks. This is topped with an ivory powder that creates a porcelain, doll-like complexion.  She favors dramatic, dark eye makeup. The tomb of Tutankhamen is still a recent discovery, so people are influenced and inspired by Ancient Egypt. In keeping with the Egyptian style, Clara uses an emerald shadow to dust her lids and lines her eyes with a black kohl pencil to create a deep set appearance. Her eyebrows have been plucked thin and she accentuates them with a black grease pencil drawn in a downward arch. She coats her lashes with a melted, colored wax that forms beads at the tips.  Bee-stung lips are in vogue thanks to Max Factor, who creates the look for his Hollywood starlet clients. He does this by using two prints of his index finger to apply lipstick to the upper lip and one across the bottom for a narrow, round pout. While soft red and orange shades are popular, Clara flavors a dark red.  

With her makeup in place, Clara dresses in a low waisted tank top dress and ankle strap Mary Jane shoes. She grabs her tango case, which acts as a purse and carries powder, rouge, lipstick, and a card or cigarettes. With a spritz of Chanel No. 5 (the first popular perfume with synthetic ingredients) she is out the door, ready to Charleston the night away.....

Products To Use:

1920 Cake Mascara

1922 Blood Red

1920 Besame Red

1938 Cream Rouge Crimson

Vanilla, Vanilla Rose, Violet, Vanilla Chai Brightening Powder

Long Hair Finishing Brush

1915 Rose Delicate Rouge



  • Caroline

    I agree love. Vintage.. clothes…fun ….my bedroom is ..if love llike I do must watch miss fisher mystery’s on Netflix……bescame brings back the glamor of old..remember beautiful stars ..makeup simple easy ..beautiful …..thank y

  • Maria Benazic

    I absolutely love how this was written! It totally captivated me. I am lucky to live in a day and age where I can be what I want, and pretty much do what I want. But there is something about the past – a romance, a beauty, mixed with knowing naughtiness – that we just do not have today. For people such as myself that love vintage, I like to pick the’bits’ that make me happy and live my life as I want to! Thankyou Besame for allowing me to do this!

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