- Makeup in the 1960s was defined by big, bold eyes with dramatic eyeliner and substantial lashes, and pastel palettes.
- To make your eyes pop, keep your lips, brows, and skin understated.
- We talked to two Broadway and celebrity makeup artists about how to achieve a glamorous ’60s-inspired look at home.
With the post-war economic boom of the 1960s, the fashion and beauty industries were in major flux. Both got more bold, dramatic, and all-around more playful. Makeup artist Fiona Mifsud, who has done makeup on Broadway shows like beautiful woman and The King and Isays, “The ’60s fashion scene was unlike anything seen before and so was the makeup. Eyes were the center of attention with bold lines and color. Fake eyelashes, heavy mascara, and even drawn-on bottom eyelashes became very popular. The rest of the face was kept subtle and soft with pastel lip and cheek colors giving way for the bolder eye to take center stage.”
Many of these makeup looks are still relevant today (hello Maddy Perez and Cassie Howard), and are simple to replicate at home. Broadway makeup artist Rachel Estabrook (who worked on the shows Kinky Boots, The Lion Kingand Moulin Rouge) says, “To create a vibrant and historically accurate ’60s look, refer to either Twiggy or Diana Ross: two divas of the ’60s who rocked some pretty iconic makeup looks.”
Below these two makeup artists will take you through how to create that iconic ’60s makeup look right at home.
Tools You’ll Need to Create a ’60s Makeup Look
- Eyeliner: According to Estabrook, “The eyes were the star of the show in the ’60s with contrasting colors and dramatic shapes to accentuate a baby doll-like appearance.” She recommends gel eyeliner, like Maybelline’s Eyestudio Lasting Drama Eye Gel Liner to get a smooth, graphic shape on your lid. For a mod look, you may also want a colored eyeliner. Fiona says, “Color eyeliners can be drawn in multiple ways. The most popular would be a white or pastel eyelid with a heavy crease line in a bold color (usually blues and grays).” For those colors, she likes the Makeup Forever Flash Color Case.
- Mask: For the boldest lashes, Mifsud likes Diorshow mascara. And don’t forget to pair whatever mascara you choose with a pair of falsies. Rachel likes Ardell’s Demi Wispies.
- Pastel Shadow: It’s a must to have some contrasting eye shadow colors. Estabrook says, “Black or white is always a sure way to make a pop! You can also mix it up and use a pastel shadow. Light blues and mint greens were a favorite in the ’60s. I recommend Danessa Myricks Colorfix primary white mixed in with any of her bright creams to create your perfect pastel. It’ll be long-lasting, waterproof, and easy to blend down for a seamless eye shadow.”
- blush: For an earlier ’60s vibe (think: Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Mifsud says to go with a soft blush, like Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush. If you want a more mod look, go for the pastel blush from Benefit.
- Powder: Set your look with a lightweight powder, like It Cosmetics translucent setting powder.
- Nude or Coral Lipstick: Lips in the ’60s skewed natural to make way for that bold eye. For that perfect hue, Estabrook adds a bit of Lucas Paw Paw ointment to Makeup Forever’s Rouge Artist Intense Color Beautifying Lipstick
How to Create a ’60s Makeup Look, Step by Step
Step one: Eyeliner. Be bold with your eyeliner and take a graphic line from your inner corner all the way to the outer corner sweeping right across your cut crease. Estabrook recommends that if you have hooded eyes (as she does), create your line slightly above your natural lid crease. Do the same on the bottom lid slightly below your lash line. Leave the space to fill in with a bright neutral (white or nude) in your water line. This will help with creating that baby doll, doe-eyed look a la Jane Birkin.
Step two: Shadow. Fill up your lid space with a bright contrasting pastel color, like white or mint green. Apply and blend out right under your graphic liner shape down to your lash line. For extra drama add a thick liner on your top lash line as well.
Step three: Lashes. Top with your favorite lashes and layer with mascara. The wiser the better.
Step four: Foundation. Be sparing on the foundation, load up the skin care for a natural glow.
Step five: Blush. Sweep a light coral or soft pink on your cheeks for just a little extra color.
Step six: Lipstick. Soften the lips with your true nude or favorite lip balm for a natural organic look. No lip liner necessary.