Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lipstick, 1945: A Triptych

I'm rooting around in LIFE magazine's newly available photo archive.  I suggest you do the same.

Nina Leen was one of LIFE's first female photographers and became well-known for her photos of animals, especially bats.  

I love these pictures from 1945.  This was apparently an innovative way to try on lipstick colors, and I think it would have worked out better if the paper had been transparent.  

I love the size and shape difference here, but it's the very serious looks that really make these shots.

To conclude, I'll show you the photographer herself.  Here is Nina Leen applying lipstick to a model before photographing her. There's something sinister about this image.  It could almost be a spooky film still.  Doesn't the model look like a corpse, and Nina a mortician preparing her for viewing?