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Create 1920s Finger Waves
Want those beautiful ridges and waves for your special event? Try our directions, and get the perfect look you're after.
Think: flappers, Jean Harlow, Roxie in "Chicago"
Shorter hair, but it can be done with long hair, with accommodations.
Straight or wavy hair. Curly hair should be straightened first.
You will need:·
Thick hair gel
Lots of time - if you are doing your curls for an event, practice beforehand! Finger waves take time and experience to do, so don't try doing this even the day before. Give yourself several tries, minimum, so that you have the process down.
A lot of patience. Finger waves are not perfected overnight. If you don't have patience, then you might want some:
Vodka. Or the liquid confidence of your choice. Flask is optional. (Just kidding, but it's not an altogether bad idea for some people.)
Read the instructions throroughly, and try the technique on dry hair first, to get the feel for what you'll be doing. Lack of practice beforehand could mean that your hair will dry out before it should, and you'll have to start over. Get the feel for what you're doing before you wet your hair.
1. Start with wet hair. Your hair should be wet through and through, but not so wet that you are dripping everywhere. If your hair is too wet, gel will drip off too, and you will be one huge dripping mess! Just wet your hair thoroughly, towel it enough to keep it from dripping, and you're ready to go.
2. Apply a liberal amount of hair gel to your hair - enough to be able to shape with, but not enough that you are dripping in the stuff (see above).
3. Now that your hair is ready, study your head. Consider where you want to start. Most styles of the 20s were parted on the side, and if this is the look you are going for, all you need to do is decide which side you're going to part on.
4. Now, grab your comb and comb the hair straight out, placing the index finger of your left hand onto the side of the head, about an inch from the part.
5. Hold the hair firmly down with your index finger while you comb forward. You should see a ridge where your finger is. Hold the ridge in place by placing your middle finger next to the index finger, and place the comb flat against your head.
6. Comb straight down from the ridge, then pull it over , working your index finger against the ridge and the comb. Do not push the comb up!
7. You should now be seeing both the ridge, and the beginning of the wave. Start the second wave an inch to an inch and a half from the first one, working from the crown downward.
8. If you have short hair, finger waving is the only thing you will need to do. There are several finishing options otherwise:
Pincurl the ends.
Put longer hair into a bun, and fingerwave only around the head.
Drape longer hair to the side, a la Veronica Lake.
9. When your waves are dry, comb them out carefully, and add a layer of hairspray.
Pincurls hold best in medium length hair. Remember, you have to have hair that's long enough to wrap a full rotation - hair that's too short won't work, and hair that's too long will not hold the curl. Likewise, very thick hair will have to be handled carefully, as too much hair in one curl will not work either. Not to say that it can't be done on thick hair (I've done it, and I have enough hair for three people), but have lots of pins on hand, and be prepared to take you time making lots of curls.
Pincurls can be made with no pattern, but the best look is an organized one, so spend some time planning how you want to curl. You will also want to consider if you want the curls to go toward your face (counterclockwise) or away from your face (clockwise), as the technique is slightly different.
Start with hair that has just been shampooed, then towel dried. You want hair that is damp, but not totally wet or dripping. The ends cannot be even remotely dry. Although you can set pincurls into dry hair, they will not last nearly as long. Apply a small amount of styling gel if you wish, especially if you have very thin hair.
You will need:
a rat-tail comb (one with the long, pointed end)
styling gel or mousse. Choose your product by the thickness of your hair. The thicker your hair, the thicker the product you should use. Those with thin hair will want to use mousse.
bobby pins or salon clips in an amount that is in direct proportion to how much hair you have. Thin hair won't use as many, thick hair will use more. Keep in mind that conventional bobby pins will leave creases in the curls. Salon clips are hinged, and will not leave creases.
Use the end of the rat tail comb to section off the hair into one inch sections. Hold your index finger close to your scalp. Grab a section of hair and wrap it from roots to end around your finger firmly (not too tight) flat against the scalp. Hold it down while slipping the hair off your finger, then pin it down, close to the scalp. Thick hair may require two pins to secure the curl; if so, place them in the curl in an X shape, so that they cross over each other.
Continue sectioning hair off, working quickly in a pattern around the head. When one row is completed, start on the next row down, until you get to the base of your head.
Once you are done, spritz your hair all over, so that it all dries uniformly. For best results, put a scarf over your head and let the curls set and dry overnight. You may choose, however, to sit under a hood hair dryer, but keep in mind that naturally dried curls will set better and last longer.
Once dry, remove the pins carefully, then use some hairspray to set the curl. Use your fingers to tousle the curls a bit. Combing the curls will loosen or straighten them to a wave, so if you want the super curly look, stay away from a comb.
Create a matte canvas with foundation and concealer - the correct look verges on pancake makeup, so don't be afraid to use a heavy hand in applying foundation. Try to duplicate your natural skin tone. Use ivory or flesh colors for lighter skin tones, medium or dark flesh for darker skin tones. Finish the foundation with loose powder to match the normal skin tones. Powder should be blended to suit the individual complexion. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a flawless matte finish to start with, before applying other cosmetics. Don't forget your neck! When applying matte finish, nothing ruins the look more than the mask-like effect created when one forgets to apply foundation to the neck. Take your time, and double check for smoothness and blending before moving on to rouge. Blending is the key to creating the canvas that the rest of the makeup will be applied to.
Using a very small amount of powder and a medium cosmetic brush, apply color just below the cheekbones. You are trying to create a subtle look, so use color very sparingly, and blend frequently. Rouge should not look like stripes of color on the cheeks! Blend up slightly toward the temples then down toward the hollows of the cheeks. Add a very small amount of color under the eyes and the browbone if you wish. The nose may be made to look thinner by applying an almost invisible amount of color to either side and blending accordingly. Colors ranged from very light red to raspberry, depending upon the complexion.
Placing rouge close in on the cheeks will create a slender effect. If your face is thin, place the rouge further apart on the cheeks. Placing a touch of rouge on the chin of a longer face will make it appear shorter. For high cheekbones, place the rouge underneath the cheekbone and lower down.
Eyebrows - tweeze thin with pronounced arch or shave off - caution! Shaved eyebrows may not grow completely back.
1. Remove powder or mascara from eyebrows.
2. Apply cotton moistened with hot water over eyebrows for a few minutes.
3. Place pledgets of cotton saturated (not dripping) with witch hazel over the eyes.
4. Remove the offending hair, either above or below center line. Remove hairs in the direction they grow. Hold the skin taut and pull quickly.
5. Then decide upon a shape best suited to you. The pronounced circular arch, pointing down at the ends, may be too costumey, so take your time and decide how far you want to go with the tweezing. You can always draw in color if you go too far, but it will take a long time for the hair to fill back in, so if you don't like the ulta-thin look, go very slowly!
6. Optional: fill in light brows with an eyebrow pencil, or use a dab of petroleum jelly for shine.
Smokey eyes are the trademark of 30s makeup. Eye shadow primer is optional here, but remember that sometimes the stars chose to have a very shiny eyelid, so you can use a dab of petroleum jelly to start with too - very, very lightly! Start with either gray or medium brown shadow, and a good eyeshadow brush. Apply the shadow in the crease of your eye. Start with a tiny, tiny amount of eye shadow (it's easier to start with a little, then add more than to to do the opposite). Starting at the outer corner of your eye, brush on a line toward your brow, but stop just before you get there. Blend, blend, blend! Add dark brown or black eyeliner in a very, very thin line right where the lashes meet the lid, then cover the lid with another, lighter brown that almost matches your skin color, again in very small amounts - you can take it all the way to the brow if you want to, blending with the darker color in your crease till it all blends together. Step back and look - add more eye shadow if you need to, but take your time and go slowly, with small amounts. You want a natural, smoky deep set look, not a painted Cleopatra look!
If you don't want to go the brown or gray route, remember blues, browns greens, and violets were popular during this time period, in the mid-late thirties.
Eyelashes are a huge part of the early thirties look, so be sure to curl your lashes! Add false eyelashes if you want to take it all the way, but don't try applying false lashes on the day of your event. Applying false lashes takes coordination and practice, and you don't want to be trying to apply them with full makeup already on, or when you are pressed for time!
Lips: Should match cheeks and have a natural shape. No bow lips, please! For a heavy lower lip, apply lip color sparingly, but deeper on the upper lip. When both lips are heavy, the lip color should be applied heaviest in the center and blended toward the edges.
The only difference between day and evening makeup is the use of eye shadow, mascara, rouge and lipstick, which should be applied heavier for evening.