Makeup styles from the 60s

Written by nancy hayden
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Makeup styles from the 60s
Make-up in the 1960s was all about dramatic eyes. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Make-up went to extremes in the 1960s. As the sweet and innocent female fashions of the '50s morphed into mini skirts and go-go boots, make-up styles also became more bold. The key to the '60s was freedom and self-expression. Some women of the day preferred hippie styles and wore no make-up at all. But when women wore make-up in the '60s, they tended to wear a lot.

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Women ironically used thick foundation to achieve a "healthy and natural" look in the '60s. Foundation was called "translucent" at the time, and women used it liberally to even out their complexion and skin tone. Women were less concerned with matching their skin tone perfectly as they are today with foundation. They wore it darker than their skin tone for a California, sun-kissed look, or much lighter than their own complexion to achieve the pale Mod look that started in London.

Dramatic Eyes

The focus of the face when it came to '60s make-up was undoubtedly the eyes. Great lengths were taken to make them look as big and dramatic as possible. The Mod fashion leaders in London, such as Twiggy, taught ladies to wear thick swatches of black liquid eyeliner all the way around their eyes. Women also wore so much mascara that their lashes would stick together in spikes. For an even more dramatic effect, women wore false eyelashes and even applied mascara to those.


All that eyeliner and mascara was highlighted by lots of frosty, brightly coloured eyeshadow. Ladies wore one solid colour of shadow from their lash line all the way up to their eyebrows, and bright, bold shades such as blue and green were trendy. Not every woman wore blush, but when she did it was usually a pastel pink or coral colour. Pastels were trendy for lipsticks, too. Many women wore soft, feminine shades of pink and lavender on their lips to further draw focus to their eyes.

Mod Iridescents and Metallics

Another make-up look that caught on from the Mod style was iridescent or metallic shades for eyes and lips. Cream eyeshadow sticks were introduced, which delivered more bold, long-lasting colour than powder shadow. Women wore frosty, iridescent shades such as white or beige in both their eyeshadow and lipstick. They also wore shadows and lipsticks that contained titanium and came in shades such as silver, gold and bronze.

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