War time beauty = misery. Let's count our blessings


Now if you think you're less spendthrift than you used to be (due to the recession and all like) then you probably feel that you're doing your best to:

  • use up products before you buy new ones
  • swap beauty products with friends or online
  • make an effort to look around for bargains

But I'm telling you we've got NOTHING on the ladies of wartime. Not only would you be terrified of the obvious things like (a) being killed (b) everyone you loved being killed (c) the total destruction of civilization as you knew it (d) Hitler invading etc; you'd also be worried about looking dreadful while it was all happening.


Because women weren't allowed to let themselves go during WW2. Oh no. Part of the whole British stiff upper lip thing was also looking good - literally putting a brave face on things. And if a handsome GI with a carload of nylons was the only man to be cheered up by your wartime glamour... well a girl needs some fun in her life doesn't she?

  • Women had on average TWO lipsticks to do them for the whole war. Lie down now and put a cold facecloth over your forehead.
  • Baths could only be filled to a maximum of five inches. Five inches - that wouldn't even cover your knees. Bang goes luxuriating in a hot bath with lots of foamy soapy perfumed oil delights so. You would have been lucky to have any soap.  And the air raid siren would probably have gone off the second you got into the bath.
  • Hair nets and hair scarves were de rigeur. Land Girls couldn't have their hair caught up in the thresher and Factory Girls ran the risk of getting tangled in machinery. So the look was more Hilda Ogden than Veronica Lake
  • Face cream, hand lotion and every type of grease was rationed. Shampoo was in such short supply you'd be lucky to wash your hair once a week - so think dandruff and grease as being your look de jour.

How do you think you would have coped?

Related Articles

More from Beauty