Woah, my article about 1920s makeup has been trending wildly for the past week – I’ve never seen traffic like it! I wonder whether 1950s makeup will be as popular…?
It’s certainly a more wearable look for everyday, and it’s an easy one to learn how to do as well. Flicked eyeliner and a dash of lipstick adds polish to any outfit and it’s surprisingly easy to do!
After the austerity of the war years, women really began to enjoy makeup again in the 1950s. A full made-up look was popular, and a girl was never seen without her lippy!
Start your 1950s look with a good coverage of foundation – you want to create a blank canvas ready for your full made-up fifties face!
Eyebrows were a real feature in the 1950s. The were shaped, pronounced and darkened to make a real statement look. There wasn’t a particular shape, eyebrows were shaped to suit each face and range from angled brows, to arches to straight lines, whatever frames your face shape. Pluck your brows, shape with clear gel and then darken and thicken if necessary with an eyebrow pencil.
A girl wouldn’t be seen in polite society without perfect lipstick, preferably in a bold long-lasting shade. Colour was incredibly popular in the 1950s and lipstick shades reflected this, they were available in every colour imaginable. Bright red, coral, orange and deep pink were all popular shades. Line your lips first and don’t be afraid to extend your lipline if necessary. Full, perfect lips were the order of the day. Avoid lipsticks with shine or glitter, and stick with bright solid colours.
Eyeshadow was worn in the 1950s (pale blues, greens and greys were popular), but the main eye makeup look was focused around eyeliner. Eyeshadow was mostly used to lighten the eyelid to provide a contrast between the eyeliner and the lid.
Eyeliner was used along the length of the lid with a flick at the corner. This effect is easiest to achieve with liquid eyeliner and isn’t as hard to do as you might think. If you’re just learning to do a winged eye try something like the Barry M Wink Marker Pen (v easy to draw a smooth line as it’s like a chubby felt tip pen). Once you’ve used that for a while, you’re ready to move onto an eyeliner which will leave the perfect black line and stays on all day – I use YSL L’Eyeliner Noir. It’s a bit pricier and takes a practiced hand to use, but it draws a deep black line and stays perfect all day without any smudging.
Don’t forget to add a smudged line of kohl underneath the eye too.
Once you’ve added your perfect flick of eyeliner don’t forget to add lashings of mascara.
Nails were long and shaped into ovals, and the full nail was generally painted to match your lipstick.
If you’d like more inspiration take a look at this gallery of models and movie stars from the 1950s to see how each of them rocked Fifties makeup, and don’t forget to check out my 1920s makeup post too!
Grace Kelly photographed in 1955: Image source and copyright: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.