How to apply 1920s makeup

Written by lea whitefeather Google
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How to apply 1920s makeup
There are ways to make the 1920s face yours. (make-up image by PHOTOFLY from

In the "Roaring Twenties," short, bobbed hair, heavily lined eyes and tiny dark lips were an indication that a woman was modern and liberated. Whether you are attending a costume party or you wish to modernise the look as your own, there are ways to make the 1920s face yours.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pancake or cream foundation
  • Make-up sponge
  • Dark eyebrow pencil
  • Eye make-up primer
  • Gray-based eyeshadow
  • Black kohl eyeliner
  • Black mascara
  • Blush with touches of red in it
  • Waxy dark-red lip liner and lipstick

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  1. 1

    Apply a foundation in your skin tone that gives your complexion a creamy, perfect look. If your skin is naturally porcelain- or alabaster-toned, play it up.

  2. 2

    Darken and turn your eyebrows slightly downward with an eyebrow pencil or eyeliner that is darker than your brow colour. This works best if your brows are on the thin side. If not, cover your brows with a 1920s-style hat or with fringe chopped straight across as part of a bob cut.

  3. 3

    Smooth on your usual eye make-up primer, then apply a dark grey-based eyeshadow from lash line to crease.

  4. 4

    Use a black kohl eyeliner on both top and bottom lash lines.

  5. 5

    Colour your top and bottom lashes with blackest black mascara.

    How to apply 1920s makeup
  6. 6

    Rub blush into the apples of your cheeks, and blend away the hard edges. Make sure the colour is still evident, as though you just walked in from the cold.

  7. 7

    Apply pale pancake foundation over clean and exfoliated lips. With a waxy dark-red lip liner, exaggerate the cupid's bow on your top lip. Draw your lower lip as slightly plumper than it really is by extending slightly on the bottom. Draw both upper and bottom lips as shorter on the sides.

  8. 8

    Fill the new lip shape in with pencil before layering matching lipstick over it. When you are through, your lips should not be as wide as they really are, giving the illusion that you have them puckered and ready for a kiss.

Tips and warnings

  • You may have to use an older variety of foundation, such as pancake, or a cream meant more for theatre than for everyday use. To allow your skin to breathe, thin cream foundation by moistening your sponge before dipping it in the base.
  • Use a waterproof formulation for all your eye make-up to avoid smudging.
  • Educate yourself on the history of 1920s beauty. Find out more about actresses of the day, as well as Coco Chanel, the designer rumoured to have started the more modern, boyish look for females.
  • If your eye make-up gets too sooty and there's some smudging, clean up any messes with a cotton swab. Carry a few in your purse.

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