What Makeup Was Popular In The 1960S

The birth of the 1960s signaled a decade of rebellion. The Pill, the Beatles and the youthful social revolution meant that teenagers finally had a voice. No longer had content to look like their mothers, English girls seen Twiggy as the epitome of a whole new look.

Goodbye hourglass figures (throw out your ‘roll-ons’ and your ‘waspies’), hello small bottoms and skinny legs. This was a landmark in defining the new female shape: women no longer felt trapped by their underwear. To accompany this freedom came the introduction of pretty knickers, unpadded bras and tights.

Sixties’ girls quite literally let their hair down. The formal styles of the 1950’s were replaced by long, straight locks, a Vidal Sassoon ‘bob’ or detachable hairpieces and ponytails. The babydoiliook, miniskirts and knee-high boots, formed the basis of a new uniform (the young didn’t want to look like their parents but they did want to look like each other).

1960s Hairstyle
1960s Hairstyle

Now that the baby-boomers had come of age, a generation of disposable income became available. (Estee Lauder cashed in on this with a nail varnish called 24K gold, which was made of exactly that.)

Make-up provided as good a badge of membership of the new minted social group as miniskirts: kohl-lined eyelids and blue eye shadow (courtesy of Mary Quant) greeted you on every street corner, and false lashes – and even eyebrows – lent everybody the same defined curves and exaggerated eye sockets.

Blusher (the new name for rouge) was big news in the 1960s. Every shade from pink to pearl was available in washes, creams and cakes of color. These were blended into the hairline, under the chin and on to the neck – the creation of a healthy, outdoor look was of the essence.

Food for skin became food for thought in this decade. For the first time skin was given independent status as the starting point for make-up. High-protein skin treats included ingredients such as honey, royal jelly, vitamins and minerals; bestsellers were Innoxa’s Living Peach face cream, and Lentheric’s Special Formula Skin Food. It wasn’t just topical nourishers that were given the ‘good enough to eat’ treatment: flavored lipsticks and roll-on glosses in cola, cherry or strawberry also made great headway on the make-up front.

1960s Makeup
1960s Makeup

Now that color cosmetics were as sophisticated as they were popular, the professional make-up artist came into being. Not just an advisor to the business but a mouthpiece for the public, the noble Italian make-up artist Pablo (with his staple colors of mauve and pistachio) won Elizabeth Arden much-coveted press attention.

Men enjoyed the cultural revolution, too, with males spending fortunes on tinting their eyebrows and having body waves and blow-dries. Twiggy, Catherine Deneuve, Natalie Wood and Bridget Bardot were the icons of the decade.


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