make up through the eras

There’s no doubting the fact that vintage, in whatever form you choose, is set to continue as a super popular bridal trend and with good reason. Vintage allows us to connect with our past while looking to our future and let’s be honest, we’ve all got a favourite era that appeals to us and it wonderful to be able to be inspired by that on your wedding day. The vintage look however isn’t just about your dress and your accessories, it’s about your makeup as well so here’s a little run down of the key looks from the last century…

fabulous make up styles from the 1920s and 30s

Images: 1920s Top Row - Left via Tumblr | Middle via Pinterest | Right via About Face & Fashion | 1930s Bottom Row - Left via Flickr | Right via 10 Little Indians

The 1920s saw the real start of our love affair with makeup. Women used makeup to assert their new feminine post-war power and no longer reserved for ‘harlots and painted women’, women everywhere embraced makeup. Lipsticks, eyeshadows and mascaras were all new products this decade but it was the Cupid’s Bow lip that’s the stand out feature of the decade. The bow lip combined with dark eyes contrasted with the ivory skin that was favoured at this time. Eyebrows were plucked and drawn down whilst rouge was worn in circles on the cheeks. Black eyeliner became popular too at this time, influenced by the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and ‘moon manicures’ were all the rage among the flappers and Bright Young Things.

A more refined look marked the 1930s and Hollywood’s influence was certainly felt. Pencil thin eyebrows are a feature of this decade and eyeliner pencils were used to contour the eyes. The Cupid’s Bow lip was out and now women embraced their natural lip shape using dark red, maroon and raspberry lipsticks and matching manicures continued the elegant look. Newer, lighter eyeshadows arrived during this decade and pinks and greens were popular colours. Mascara was often used on the lower lashes only in the 1930s and rouge was now applied in triangles – contouring was very much in fashion then too!

red lips for 1940s vintage make up

Images: 1940s - Left via Tumblr | Middle via Pretty Designs | Right via Tumblr

By the end of the 1930s, the makeup industry was worth millions and then war came again. Women were still determined to look great and had to be more creative when rationing and shortages meant makeup was often hard to get hold of. Red was THE lip colour of the 1940s and beetroot juice was often used to achieve this look if lipstick wasn’t available. Vaseline added gloss as most lipsticks were still matte. The neat and practical up-do (often the famous Victory Roll) was teamed with prominent yet arches eyebrows, again kept sleek with a touch of Vaseline. Powder compacts replaced loose powder although women often rubbed the shine from their noses with a scrap of chamois leather instead! Eyes were understated and rose colours rouges were applied to the apples of cheeks for a fresh, healthy look.

1950s iconic vintage make up

Images: 1950s - Left via Wedding Chicks | Middle Top via Bloom | Middle Bottom via Rebel Circus | Right via StyleCaster

Many people view the 1950s as the Golden Age of makeup and it’s easy to see why. This decade saw the arrival of cosmetics to improve the skin as well as advances in makeup such as the first non-smear lipstick (all the better for kissing with!). Liquid foundations arrived, as did the first eye colour palettes to create personal, soft looks. The defining look of the 1950s is the wing effect created with eyeliner that we love now – mascara was the must have of the decade and eyelash curlers and eyebrow stencils were all popular to make the most of this look. Lips and cheeks were coloured in pastel pink and rose tones but the 1950s were all about the eyes.

1960s make up - all about the eyes

Images: 1960s - Left via Violett Seconds | Middle via Beauty Riot | Right via The Body of Artists

The 1960s started with elegant eyes, pale pink tones and lots of face powder but then came the London fashion explosion and the likes of Twiggy defined the decade. The emphasis in the Sixties was on the lashes and full eyelashes became very popular. Lips were always pale to emphasise the eyes and lots of eyeliner was used, especially on the top lid. Eyeshadows were often blue grey and white again to highlight those big baby-doll eyes.

Make up embraced disco colour in the 1970s

Images: 1970s - Left via Mon Cheri Bridals | Middle via Le Figaro | Right via Love To Know Makeup

The women’s liberation movement of the 1970s had an impact on cosmetics and ‘natural’ and ‘barely there’ makeup became popular. However disco brought its own makeup look and glittering, shimmering makeup is definitely a key look of the 1970s. Soft and smoky looks were popular as were bright, bold, almost garish colours and eye colour crayons were big news. Coloured mascara was also very popular including turquoise and lavender lashes. Lips weren’t lined and pastel peach and plum lipsticks were very much in vogue. The 1970s also brought with it a vintage look however as lots of women looked to the 1920s and 1940s for inspiration with red lips and pencil eyebrows.

What’s your favourite decade? Whatever you go for, Glitzy Secrets has fabulous jewellery inspired by the 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that will be the perfect finishing touch to your vintage look.

Written by Tamryn Lawrence


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