Women's Makeup & Hairstyles in the 1960s

Updated February 21, 2017

The beauty of the 1960s reflected the changes in society during the time. Gone were the sedate looks of the 1950s and in their place were bold hair and make-up. This was paralleled with the changes of women in society and the move toward feminism. The beginning of the 1960s brought in voluminous hair and big lashes. The latter 1960s were more about the hippie, natural look for both hair and make-up.


The flip hairstyles became popular in the early and mid 1960s. It was an elegant style that kept the hair out of the face. There are variations of the hairstyle. The standard length was chin length to mid-neck length. There was volume at the top, and the hair was flipped backward. The bottom of the hair flipped upward dramatically, all the way around.


The make-up of the 1960s was all about the eyes. In particular, the eyelashes were the focus for opening up the eyes. The eyeshadow was often bold, in colours such as blue. The 1960s were the beginning of the cat-eye eyeliner trend. Using liquid eyeliner, the women of the 1960s lined the top eyelids and the ends winged outward. Black eyeliner was most common. Women applied false eyelashes for a bold look. Black mascara further opened up the eyes.


The bouffant hairstyle, also known as the bubble, epitomises the style of the 1960s. The hair was shorter on the bottom, with the top and crown backcombed to extraordinary heights. The bouffant hairstyle was popular, as it made the rest of the body look slimmer. The front of the hair was often swooped across the forehead. Hairspray kept the bouffant from moving.


As the 1960s make-up trends were ultimately focused on the eyes, the rest of the face was somewhat subtle. A matt look was popular, created with both foundation make-up and/or powder. Blush, or rouge as it was called at that time, became popular in the 1960s. The beauty ideals were such that the blush indicated the look of colour on the skin, which indicated health.

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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.