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Home » Vintage 1950s Makeup Colour Charts & Guides

Vintage 1950s Makeup Colour Charts & Guides

Here we have a collection of vintage 1950s makeup colour charts and brochure excerpts. They give us an insight into the popular colours provided by mainstream cosmetic brands. Additionally, application guides also tell us how makeup was put on and what the fashionable eye, cheek and lip shapes were.


Max Factor liked the principle of “color harmony”. Here is a guide showing which Max Factor products harmonised with each of the basic hair colours.

1950s makeup colour charts
Excerpt from Max Factor’s “The New Art of Make-up” (1950).


Nail polish colour chart from Cutex. The chart also shows the oval shape of nails during this era.

1950s makeup colour charts from Cutex
Cutex nail colour card (1951).

Pan-Cake from Max Factor was a very popular foundation. Here’s an application guide from the brand itself.

Excerpt from “The New Art of Make-up” by Max Factor (c.1951).


Makeup application guidance – the 1950s way to wear it.

vintage makeup guide 1954
Makeup application advice from Dorothy Gray (1954).


A small range of lip colours from Yardley. Eyeshadow was in the popular shades of blue, violet and green. Simple names that conveyed exactly what it was!

1950s makeup colour charts
Some Yardley makeup colours (1956).


Excerpt from the August 1957 Avon brochure. Avon regularly produced catalogues and brochures showcasing their latest colours and products.

1950s makeup colour charts
Excerpt from Avon’s Outlook brochure with lipstick colours (August 1957).


Some foundation, rouge and lip colours from Pond’s. Foundations often had a pink undertone to them.

1950s makeup colours
Colour chart from Pond’s Beauty Book (1958).


An eye makeup application guide from Avon. Notice how the eye colour is one shade and goes from lash to brow – very much the 1950s way!

1950s makeup colour charts
Avon Catalogue (1959) – the 73rd anniversary edition.

Another guide, this time from Revlon. Once again, one colour of eyeshadow is applied from lash to brow.

1950s makeup with Revlon
Makeup advice from Revlon’s booklet “For A Lovelier You” (1959).

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