The use of makeup by American women grew exponentially during the first half of the twentieth century. In the beginning of the century, makeup was primarily an urban phenomenon, gradually spreading to other areas through increased marketing and a wider range of available products. By the 1940s, makeup application was a generally accepted part of a woman's daily routine. For many women, however, daily makeup consisted primarily of lipstick, rouge and powder, as the more exotic mascara and eyeshadow were worn primarily by the most daring and fashion forward women. During World War II, wearing makeup was considered almost a patriotic duty for women of the Allied nations. Despite the limitation of some ingredients due to wartime shortages, many types of makeup were widely available.
In the late 1940s, makeup colors and packaging were tuned to seasonal changes in fashion. Women began to purchase specific lipsticks or nail polish for each season, as they did clothing. Packaging was often extravagant and fanciful, as demonstrated by this late 1940s Lucien Lelong lipstick tube.