I’m always fascinated by past fashion fads and the history behind them, for example, the “cosmetic stockings ” of the 1940s. Even though leg makeup had been around for a while, it never took off like it did in the 40s. During that time it became a trend born out of necessity due to the outbreak of WWII.
British women were the first to to fall victim to the stocking shortage with those from the allied countries following close behind as their countries joined the war. Even many women in the US who still owned stockings opted to donate them as part of their patriotic duty.
But women were not about to stand for the bare legged look that was a direct result of nylon rationing for the production of parachutes, ropes and cord.
So what was a fashion conscious girl to do? Well, the very resourceful ladies of the 40s began to look for alternatives to fake the look of hosiery, as a bare leg on the street at that time was considered un-seamly! Gals raided their kitchen for ways to glam up their gams, including, I kid you not, applying brown gravy, cocoa or tea! Eyebrow pencil was used to mimic a back seam. Though it was best to have a friend with a very steady hand to help with that.
Of course once cosmetic companies realized there was money to be made, there were many more options.
You could have your legs painted by a professional.
Or you could visit a department store’s Leg Makeup Bar and buy leg makeup in cream, lotion and stick form to give your legs the stocking clad look you craved.
This video shows a woman applying her stocking paint.
Apparently the products had a tendency to rub off, as evidenced by this popular joke at the time.
Q-What’s a wife more afraid of finding on her man than lipstick on his collar?
A-Leg paint on his back.
Now that’s what I call rubbing someone the wrong way!!!
Of course, nowadays bare legs in public are considered the norm. But it’s still nice to have them looking buffed, tanned and blemish free. So we now have some great self-tanners to get that look. I’m a big fan, considering I’ve got pasty white legs, and my favorite product is FakeBake Flawless. It’s the only self-tanner I’ve found that is quick and easy to apply, plus doesn’t give me that orangey “glow.”
What about you? Do you tint your legs?
Till next time, xo
Linking up with Catherine at Not Dressed as a Lamb for the #saturdaysharelinkup