During World War II, Rosie the Riveter symbolized legions of American women who worked outside the home. When they could afford it, they'd treat themselves to a lipstick or bottle of nail polish — and big business was happy to encourage them to do so. As beauty companies tapped into women's new earning power, they simultaneously appealed to consumers' patriotism during the war years. Browse these ads to see the intersection of glamour and wartime belt-tightening, along with a few corny ads that will make you laugh.
Beauty Ads From the Forties