#TBT Makeup Through the Decades: Part Two

Hang on to your seats because you are about to enter Makeup Through the Decades Part Two. It is a bumpy ride as we zoom through the glamorous 50’s, get retro in the 60’s, and head to the 70’s to boogie down at the discos. It never fails to amaze me how much I take away from writing these articles—I sincerely hope you feel the same way after reading them! Enter if you dare:


It was Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Sophia Loren that defined this era’s makeup looks; glamour, glamour, and more glamour. In the infamous words of Audrey Hepburn, “I believe in Pink!” The world of fashion, makeup, and even interior design exuded femininity through pinks, peaches, and other pastels. The art of “Color Keying” was a hit. Women began experimenting with various hues and colors, and different makeup styles for specific activities. Check out this color chart for blondes:

Color Chart for Blondes

Unlike the 40’s, women were now wearing foundation every day, searching for a mask-like complexion, finished with an ivory colored powder. Max Factor, Helena Rubinstein, and Elizabeth Arden were the luxury brands to own. Lips were still going strong, and with the release of the first long lasting lipstick by Hazel Bishop in 1950, they weren’t going anywhere—literally.

Helen Bishop ad 1950

A flawless complexion and bold lip was complimented with barely there eye shadow and tons of lash!

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren


Three makeup looks dominated the 1960’s: Classic, Mod, and Hippy. The Mod look is most recognizeable of the 1960’s. Many women looked to the model turned fashion icon, Twiggy. They followed her lead, piled on more mascara, and even turned to falsies when their natural lashes failed them.

Twiggy 1960

This was considered the first retro decade, with makeup styles reminiscent of the flappers from the 1920s; however, lips were muted to draw attention to the eyes. Blue, greys, and whites gilded the lids, with double liner at the ends.

Cream shadow ad 1960

White eyeliner was introduced to be placed in the inner rim of the lower lash line. We watch as heavy powder is carried over from the 50’s, but smoothly transitioned to a light dusting of translucent powder by the end of the decade. Cover Girl and Mary Kay enter the fight for a spot in each women’s cosmetic bag.

Twiggy blue shadow 1960


Feminism was on the rise in the 1970’s; women were empowered and independent. Marketing gurus had to change their advertising campaigns to cater to the liberated women who no longer wanted to be seen as a sex object. How were they going to entice them to continue buying their cosmetic products? This dilemma birthed words such as “invisible” and “barely there,” encouraging women to enhance their natural beauty.

1970s ad

The 70’s was a breath of fresh air from decades past. The “it” complexion did a 180 turn from heavy oppressive and cakey to luminescent, glowing and skin-like. Bronzers entered the scene for those who were not blessed with a caramel complexion.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

For evenings at the disco, makeup became more dramatic, with bolder lips and more color on the eyes; even sometimes a soft smokey design which was popularized by the “Queen of Disco,” Donna Summer.

Donna Summers

Donna Summer

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