The 1950’s were an iconic moment for makeup and beauty. It was no doubt the era of major glamour! There was almost a signature look that old Hollywood stars wore during that era that can easily translate for today.
When you think 1950’s, who comes to mind? I’d say right off the bat, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Dorothy Dandridge, Natalie Wood, and so many more! When I picture these women in my head, the following “look” seems to pop into mind!
As we all know by now, most fashion, beauty, and hairstyles become cyclical. We tend to take what was old, and just tweak it a little to make it fresh for todays environment.
I’m going to break this era down and show how we can still rock the elements of the 1950’s and wear them on our faces today with a modern twist using current products.
Today, Jennifer is showing us how to achieve that classic 50s look made famous by the likes of Marilyn Monroe
From eyebrows to lips, Jennifer is sharing 6 easy-to-follow tips
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Brows were prominent and full with an arch. Gone were the skinny brows of the ’30s. Luckily, fuller brows are back in vogue in 2023. I’m so happy about this because a fuller brow = a more youthful-looking eye!
The skinny brow is just too harsh and so aging to the face. I rely on my NYX Lift + Snatch Brow Tint pen, $12, in shade “Ash Brown” to draw on the most realistic tiny hairs! The great thing about this pen is that it’s waterproof so it won’t budge or fade as the day goes on!
Barely there subtle shadows in neutral shades of champagne and nudes were used. Sometimes only one shade was used but it was always very light.
In today’s version, I used a matte ivory shade along the brow bone and added a touch of warm caramel shade all along my crease just to create a bit of dimension. The real drama came next…
Although eyeshadow wasn’t a big thing, this is when the winged eyeliner was made popular and defined the retro pinup girl look.
In addition to the wing with black or brown liner, there was a secret trick the makeup artists did with their stars. It involved using white eyeliner and placing a small streak of it right underneath the winged liner to create an illusion of longer and brighter whites of the eyes!
Some connected the lower lash line to the upper with darker liner - like Sophia Loren, and then some like Marilyn Monroe usually left the white liner open.
It’s a subtle, but very unique technique for opening up the eye, but also making it look very sexy! If you are new to liquid eyeliner, I highly suggest going for a brown shade instead of black, and I rely on the Maybelline Hyper Easy Eyeliner, $10, to draw on my wings.
It’s so easy to use, literally. For a white liner suggestion, don’t buy anything expensive, just go for one like the NYX Long Lasting Mechanical Liner, $6. The more mascara the better but mainly was applied on the upper lash line.
The softest shades of pink and rose were the most popular during this era when it came to blush. Blush definitely wasn’t the main focus of the 50s face. However, I do like to add a bit more blush than was typically seen during the 50s on my own face.
Here I’m wearing one of my favorite blushes I believe I’ve spoken on more than once here on the blog! It’s the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blush in shade “Love is the Drug,” $42.
Foundation was a new favorite product for women to use along with a wash of powder to keep skin looking flawless and matte.
After applying my foundation & concealer, I now love to add a brightening powder, like the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Brightening Flawless Powder, $48, in fair/medium, over my concealer to brighten up my under-eye area even further. I can really notice a difference in how alive it makes that under-eye area look.
Then I’ll add the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting powder, $48, shade medium, all over the rest of my face for a soft focus effect.
A pronounced orange-red or true red lip with lip liner was the look of the 50s. Now one difference that they did in the 50s that I rarely do today was to make their red lip glossy.
I tend to stick to a more matte or satin version because the glossy red typically goes all over my face! I cannot get enough of the GXVE Beauty I’m Still Here liquid lipstick in “Original Red,” $24, as it just feels like the ultimate old Hollywood starlet red! It’s bold and matte and so opaque - no one will be able to ignore your lips wearing this shade! For liner try the Essence 8 Hr. Comfort liner in “Classic Red,” $4.
One of my most viewed YouTube videos I created, was on the history behind the mega-popular (and still available today)! Revlon lipstick in shade “Fire + Ice.”
You can watch it here if you like. This was one of the most popular red shades that came out in the 50s.
I would love to know what you think about this type of post. Did you enjoy me bringing back looks from a different decade and making them fresh and modern? I sure do! There’s so much fun makeup and beauty history to relive!
P.S. A white crochet top will always be in style for me, especially with spring around the corner! Here are a couple of similar white crochet-like tops: Nordstrom short-sleeved and Nordstrom long-sleeved mesh.
This morning, Beth shared what leading an active life over 60 looks like for her. Click the title or image below to read the article.
is our beauty & makeup contributor. She posts a weekly column on Wednesdays.
She also runs her own website & YouTube channel, which you can find by clicking below.
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What a fun post. I love the idea of the white liner under the “wings”. Will definitely try that! You look gorgeous in the red lipstick! Something about red lipstick and I… it ends up on my teeth which isn’t a great look…
Glad you liked it Linda! Try that subtle white liner trick – it’s kinda strange but it works! Creamy or glossy red lipstick does that to me too which is why I stick with matte formulas that don’t seem to do that. One trick – once you apply the red lipstick, stick you pointer finger in between pursed lips, then pull out and you’ll remove any lipstick that might be on the interior of the lips.
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