The makeup world of the 1950s was driven by the desire of housewives to wear that perfectionist look that women projected on the big screen. For the fashion industry, as well as history, the greatest icon of this time was Marilyn Monroe, a woman characterised by a pin up makeup look that highlighted her feminine and sensual face.
Next, we will tell you all about the history of makeup from the 50s and what its characteristics are so that you can recreate a unique makeup with the look from this decade. Don't forget to see our post about fashion of the 50s because no makeup is complete without the clothing to go with it.
History and trends of 50s makeup
At the beginning of the 50s the style of makeup was a natural, vintage look with black mascara to highlight the eyes and powder for a classic makeup style. The decade came to an end however, with striking blue and green eye shadows, red lips and painted polka dots being all the fashion. Discretion was no longer important to women and their makeup.
The great icons of the fashion industry were Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, who created new trends in history with their professional hair and makeup of the decade.
Brigitte Bardot's style gave prominence to the eyes and revealed full, natural lipstick. On the contrary, Marilyn Monroe stood out for her red lipstick, her gaze did not lose prominence thanks to the pin up style, which was born at this time and of which she was its greatest precursor.
In the mid-50's Audrey Hepburn imposed, in addition to sensuality and elegance, a makeup and style of beauty that would be admired and followed by the women of high society.
The most important fashion brands of the time such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Max Factor focused on highlighting the beauty of the face. It was a time when makeup began to be considered an art for women both on and off television.
Likewise, Vogue magazine played a very important role in the 50s, as it highlighted the makeup style of models and actresses. You could see the latest technology of new formulae, such as the most durable lipstick, most fluid foundation or the powder with the most overage. But without a doubt, red lipstick combined with eye shadows in turquoise definitely marked this era.
Makeup from the 50s: Features
Face and skin
The aim was to have porcelain looking skin, without imperfections created by using a pale powder and pink blush, since this was synonymous with health and beauty. Gone was the pallor of the skin.
In this decade liquid foundation was available for the first time. This foundation helped women have a more radiant and natural beauty.
Blue and turquoise eye shadow were in fashion. Black eyeliner was also applied to the outside of the eyes, creating the famous cat eye look, associated with sensuality.
Black Mascara was also popular because it helped to make the eyes flirty.
At this time thick, dark eye brows became fashionable. The aim was to remove all hair from the face to give a special prominence to this area that was presented in the shape of an arc.
Full lips were the sensation of the time, lipstick was used to highlight them with intense colours such as red. Lipstick was used to give a more rounded and natural shape to the lips than that of the 40s. However, in the late 50s the natural lipstick tones became popular once again.
When it came to highlighting cheekbones, Grace Kelly was an icon for women in the 50s to follow. The makeup consisted of using two shades of blush to define the cheekbones, a light one that worked as a base and a darker one applied especially below the cheekbone to create depth.
This vintage look of the 50s where makeup had so much prominence, is still used by Celebrities today like Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry or Dita Von Teese. Do you dare to be one of them?