Beauty looks inspired by the 1990s and Y2K are having their moment, but they’re far from the only eras brimming with inspiration. From the heavy brows of the ‘30s to the winged liner of the ‘60s and the glam-rock metallic looks of the ‘80s, it’s safe to say that vintage makeup looks are back—or maybe they never left. How are these amazing looks achieved? With a little bit of knowledge and some great products, these cool-girl classics are at your fingertips.
Glamorous Getups From the ‘30s and ‘40s
The black and white films of Hollywood’s golden age were filled with darkly seductive femme fatales and classic styles. Those classic looks relied on brows, eyes, and cheeks that stood out on their own and created structure instead of going for a full-face look. To achieve this throwback makeup look, follow a few simple principles.
Achieving a stunning brow can be as simple as adding definition and color. For a more defined and volumized look, try our Bushy Brow Pomade Pencil. For a lighter, more precise look, use our Bushy Brow Pen. It has a fine tip to easily add fine hairs around your brow or to darken your natural color.
Women in the ‘40s achieved a completely matte look by using setting powder, which can give the skin a balanced and clean look. Use light, matte shades to highlight prominent areas on the face, such as cheekbones and chin. We love the Wet Cherry Sweet Mattes Eye and Face Palette to conquer this look. Instead of using shimmer to highlight, try brightening with light pink powders, like Orchard and Tart.
In the 1940s, pairing winged eyeliner with red lipstick was all the rage. Perfecting the look requires a little practice and a steady hand, so start small and follow the natural lines of your face to curve upward as if to meet the end of your eyebrow. For a twist on the look, experiment with your liner color.
Unforgettable Looks From the ‘50s and ‘60s
The 1950s was a bustling time for fashion, with many looks taking on bigger and bolder dynamics. This era wasn’t afraid to add dramatic shading to every look. As the ‘60s came into view, everyone was mad for mod, with graphic styles and creative applications.
Bright and beautiful reds were on every face, and this dramatic look is always in style. Start with lips that are moisturized and scrubbed for a hydrated and ready palette before priming to lock the look in place. Then, choose a red lipstick that is brighter than your skin tone for a flirty daytime look or a deeper hue for a sultry evening look. To make your lip look even bolder, don’t forget a coordinating liner.
Enhancing your natural coloring and giving your cheekbones a pop of definition creates a stand-out look. Contouring along cheekbones is a quick way to enhance your natural face shape. We love combining the Sunkissed Glimmering Skin Sticks with a favorite blush to contour with a glowing effect.
The extra-long and volumized lash look isn’t new. Instead, it became popularized in the 1960s when popular model Twiggy began rocking it on the runway. Use our Electric Slide Eyeshadow Sticks to create a graphic liner look or a soft wash of color and boost your lashes with a volumizing mascara. For that truly mod doll-eyed look, try pinching your lower lashes while the mascara’s still wet to create clusters or use a black liner, or eyeshadow to draw on exaggerated faux lashes.
Iconic Styles of the ‘70s and ‘80s
The 1970s and 1980s saw a boom in new style icons, from Wonder Woman’s Lynda Carter to beloved singers like Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, and Madonna. Fashion and beauty ran the gamut from the au natural to punk and disco.
Going for a natural glow was popular in the 1970s, whether you were a bronzed beauty idol or an eco-chic babe. To achieve the look, focus on hues that are a shade or two darker than your natural tone to give a lightly tanned appearance. Add in some shimmering contour and warm, earth-tone eyeshadow to complete the look.
Less is more with this confidence-boosting look. Start with a tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation and a nude lipstick or gloss. Softly defined brows and a bit of highlighter to your cheekbones and nose finish the look.
Whether you’re dancing under the mirror ball or yearning for the early days of MTV, no look is complete without a bit of twinkle. Shimmery, chromatic eyeshadow has been a statement-making addition for decades. Go bold with our Venus XS: Blue Opal Eyeshadow Palette, and top your look off with Diamond Dust Iridescent Eye and Brow Topper for some extra glam.
Vintage makeup trends are constantly being reinvented, so have fun with them! Adding your own spin on a classic look is one of the fastest ways to become an icon in your own right. The next time you step into your beauty time machine, snap a few glamor shots and show us! Tag us on Instagram and check out what else we’re up to on TikTok.