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The 1960’s Make Up Guide

When we talk about the most happening decades in terms of makeup trends and hairstyles, the 60s hold a special place in history. The decade introduced a plethora of looks, hair-dos, eye shadows, and lip shades to fashion enthusiasts. Matte skin, big eyes, and subtle looks were the most common features of every look at that time. In this guide, we are going to shed light on some of the most popular 1960s makeup trends. 

From eyeliner to eyebrows and lip shades, here is everything you need to know about the decade’s makeup and fashion trends. 


Do you love the minimalistic but bright and fresh look makeup look of the 1960s? 

The 1960s beauty and makeup trends offered a mix of the refined and classic beauty trends of the 1950s and the gutsy trends of the early 1970s. While most women emulated Jackie Kennedy’s timeless elegance with natural makeup and bouffant hair, others embraced makeup as a way to accentuate their best features. Many women sported short haircuts, nude lipsticks, and neutral eye shadows to create their signature look. 

In the sixties, the feminist movement re-emerged, focusing on equality for all to put an end to discrimination. While many feminists considered makeup as a way to objectify women, others viewed it as a form of expression. 

The hipper counterculture emerged in the later years of the decade, promoting natural faces and natural products. 

1960s Makeup Guide

The beginning of the 1960s promoted matte eyeshades (greens, blues, and grays), a flicked upper eyeliner, soft blusher, and lip shades ranging from pinks to corals and soft reds. 

But after a few years, dramatic eyeshadows became more popular, with the rest of the face being natural, soft, and understated. The look also included using false lashes, mascara, and pale or pastel lip colors. In simple words, the early years of the decade promote a ‘baby doll face’ look with pink lips and big lashes. 

Hollywood movies and celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Lauren left a great impact on the fashion and makeup industry of the decade. Indie girls such as Edie Sedgwick and Brigitte Bardot were among other influential trendsetters of the 60s. 

Taylor’s makeup in the 1963 movie Cleopatra showed how mixing ‘current’ with ‘historic’ fashion trends could lead to a revolutionary makeup style. 

Beauty and Makeup Trends 

We can categorize popular beauty trends in the 60s into three phases. The first one is subtle, and classic makeup looks in the earlier part of the decade inspired by the American First Lady Jackie Kennedy. The second one revolved around the trends introduced by Lesley Hornby or Twiggy, a popular British model. Lastly, feminism influenced women’s roles in the later years of the decade, encouraging women to choose casual dress styles. 

Twiggy: The Inspiration of The 1960s 

This incredibly talented and young model was a die-hard fan of mascara and false lashes. Her looks and makeup inspired thousands of women of the 60s to embrace the same makeup trends. 

After an iconic photoshoot of the model, makeup trends underwent an overnight change, replacing natural looks with heavy and dramatic eyes. 

The model revealed that she started doing her makeup since she was fourteen years old. The famous Twiggy-eyed look involved three layers of false lashes and some heavy-duty mascara and ‘twig’ shaped lines painted along the bottom lash line. The model viewed makeup as the best way to accentuate your best features. She used mascara as a way to ‘add depth to the face and open up the eyes.’

Popular Makeup Trends of the 1960s

If you scroll through any old fashion magazine, makeup during the 1960s was all about the eyes. In previous decades, the lips were the focus of attention. However, everything changed as the mod era began. Soon after Twiggy’s success, false eyelashes and heavy mascara became a common part of the decade’s makeup trends. Whites and pale pinks became popular lip shades. We also observe that many of the trends from the decade took inspiration from those popular in the 1920s. 

Let’s check out some popular beauty and makeup trends from the 1960s. 

  1. Eyeliner

Without a doubt, a thick-winged liner is one of the most iconic makeup looks of the 1960s. We know how everyone was in love with Twiggy’s winged eyeliner. Drawing a thick line across the lid to follow the eye’s natural shape resulted in a beautiful winged look. The fashionable trend also helped the eyes look larger and more beautiful. You can flick the line out toward your eyebrow’s tale to create a wing with a black eyeliner pencil. 

Even today, many fashion enthusiasts copy the same look, but the end of the liner is less thick than what it was in previous days. 

  1. White Waterline

The use of a heavy white waterline to highlight the eyes was quite popular back in the 60s. Statement eyes with pastel eyeshadow shades, white eyeliner on the waterline, and huge eyelashes were the highlight of the decade. 

  1. Frosted Lids

Frosted eye shadows were all the rage in those years. Purples, greens, and blues were quite popular for creating a frosted look. Jean Shrimpton was an influential fashion icon of the decade. Famous as one of the world’s first supermodels, Shrimpton bagged the model of the year award in 1963. Many modern makeup stylists experiment with the same dramatic purple eyeshadow to create a dreamy look. 

  1. Eyelashes

While the first false eyelashes appeared in the makeup industry in 1916, it wasn’t until the 1960s that they became massively popular. Again, much credit goes to Twiggy, who flaunted her false lashes and beautiful eyes in many of her photoshoots. Wearing false lashes on both her lower and upper lids, she made quite an impression, promoting false lashes all over the world. Long and spidery eyelashes with thick layers of mascara instantly remind you of the sixties. While today’s lashes are thicker, eyelashes from the 60s were always longer but less thick. You can recreate a Twiggy-inspired look by wearing the same type of false eyelashes, purple eyeshadows, and pastel lip shades. 

  1. Foundation

Pale face makeup with a matte finish was another iconic makeup trend, but with no contouring, no bronzer, and no use of any kind of highlighter. Generally, women would choose a pale cream foundation to cover the entire face and giving it a matte finish with a little bit of translucent powder. Every woman who survived living in the sixties loved her foundation powder. Women also used a concealer for correcting under-eye bags and blemishes. 

  1. Blush

Surprisingly, blush was not a popular makeup product in the decade. Even when women used one, they would choose peachy and soft tones. Women applied blush sparingly and delicately to create a soft and natural look. They would also apply it to add some warmth. Popular colors were peach, pink, and coral. Other shades of red, such as raspberry and carmine, were also popular. 

Blushers were available in several forms, including liquid washes, creams, and solid cakes. Colors were free from glitter and shimmer. Women applied blush in a narrow triangle shape to their cheeks’ hollows. 

  1. Mascara 

Revlon invented Brush on Mascara, the first colored formula, in 1960. The mascara offered hues like dark green and mauve. Dramatic, full, and spidery lashes were in style, and women preferred brush-stroke lashes to replicate Twiggy’s mascara look. 

Mascara was available in a tube along with a wand applicator, but some women also used solid block products. To activate block mascaras, the use of water was popular for easy mixing with the little brush that came with the mascara. The use of cream mascaras was also quite common. Some products were waterproof while others were not. 

  1. Eyelashes

False eyelashes were the focus of every makeup look in the 1960s. Throughout this decade, women adored creating big doll-like eyes by applying false eyelashes on the bottom and top eyelashes. Celebrities and models like Twiggy popularized the trend. 

  1. Eyebrows

Perfectly sculpted eyebrows were a popular beauty trend of the sixties. While these thick but well-groomed eyebrows didn’t have a definite shape, they were neat. Women used a brow pencil for achieving this look. 

Shaving eyebrows was not uncommon in the decade. Sophia Lauren had the most beautiful eyebrows, thanks to her unique styling technique. She once shaved off her eyebrows completely and drew them using a pencil. Short and thin strokes gave a natural but seemingly bold look. 

Many women followed her footsteps and shaved off their eyebrows entirely to draw their favorite shape. 

  1. Lips

We have talked so much about eyeshadows and eyelashes that you may think that the 1960s makeup trends were all about the eyes. While the eyes were the focal point of almost every makeup look in the decade, the use of nudes and pale pinks was also popular. Many women preferred using lip colors closer to their skin tone. 

Brown, pink, and red shades were popular in the early years of the decade. However, nudes, peach, and pastel pinks remained fashionable throughout the sixties. 

Women also opted for conventional matte lipsticks and added sheen with specialist lip products. Such accessories soften the original matte color and transform it into a pastel.

  1. Nail Polish

Nail polishes were available in several shades, including coral, pink, red, apricot, and peach. Pale colors such as pearl and ivory peaked in 1964, but bright reds were back again on the scene in 1966. 

1960s Makeup Fads

Here are a few popular short-lived makeup trends of the 60s. 

  • 1961: the uplifted lip
  • 1962: the Egyptian look with bold lips and heavily lined eyes. Nile-green eye shadow was also popular in that year. 
  • 1964: theatrically painted eyes featuring flowers and butterflies
  • 1967: the Harper’s Bazaar look with over-accentuated eyes and false eyelashes 
  • 1969: polka dots on the eyelids and painted freckles

Among these famous 1960s makeup trends and fads, some are making a comeback in today’s beauty industry. From the famous winged eyeliner to false eyelashes, today’s fashion divas are recreating the 60s look by experimenting with different techniques with innovative makeup products. 

How to Recreate the Iconic 1960s Makeup Look

With trends like microblading and eyelash extension, today’s women are shaping their eyebrows exactly the way they want to replicate iconic beauty trends of the 60s. However, we believe it will still take some time for the matte skin to hit the makeup scene once again. Currently, the focus is to create a flushed, bronzed, and glowy look with full lips, huge lashes, and a sharp liner. 

However, what would you do if you want to recreate the 1960s makeup look? Here is a small tutorial to replicate the decade’s makeup style. 

Required Items 

  • Eyeshadow palette with black and white shades
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • Primer
  • Black kohl pencil
  • Faux eyelashes
  • Mascara
  • Nude lipstick 
  • Blusher
  • Highlighter
  • Tutorial 

Prepare Your Eyelids

Use a primer or a concealer for your eyelids. This step is crucial if you want to make your eye makeup last throughout the day or night. 

Choose a White Eye Shadow

Apply a white eye shadow to your eyelids and layer it up to intensify the color. 

Draw a Black Line along the Eye Crease

Go for an angled brush and dab it into your eyeshadow. You can also use a wet brush to make the black color more vibrant. Draw a black line that follows your eye crease and cuts the crease gently. 

Draw a Cat Eye Gently

You can use liquid eyeliner to draw a thin cat eye along your top lashline. 

Apply Dramatic Faux Eyelashes

The best part about the sixties was the massive eyelashes that demanded instant attention. Choose long and thin faux eyelashes and apply them to your natural lashes. You can fill any gaps with your liquid eyeliner. 

Use a Sharp Pencil to Draw Four Dots on the Lower Lash Line

Drawing these dots with a sharp pencil will create the illusion of extremely defined lashes. 

Apply Layers of Mascara

Don’t hesitate to apply layers of mascara to make your eyelashes stand out.

Make your Eyes Bigger

Use a white pencil on your waterline to make your eyes look bigger. 

Add Blusher to your Cheeks

Apply a bit of blusher on your cheeks’ apples to freshen up your look. 

Wear Nude Lipstick

Don’t forget to complete the look with a nude lipstick shade. 

Use a Highlighter above the Cheekbones

Although the use of highlighter was not in practice in the sixties, finish off your 60s look with this modern touch. 

Tips to Remember

  • Choose a color that compliments your complexion. For instance, a coffee-gold shade will go great with dark skin. 
  • Focus on your eyes, and keep it simple for the rest of your face 
  • Stick to black or brown mascara only 
  • Stick to matte foundation 
  • Choose Nude or Subtle Colors for Lip Shades 

You can also try a beautiful blue pastel makeup look to revive the 60s. If dramatic eyes and bold palettes aren’t your thing, celebrate your love for the decade by embracing a cool baby blue color to give off a playful vibe. With super-sized lashes and blue eye shadow, you can recreate the vintage makeup look. 

Use a small brush to apply the hue over your eyelid. Finish your look with volumizing mascara on the top and bottom eyelashes. You can also add dramatic false eyelashes to give the final touches. 

Bottom Line

Now you know the best and most popular 1960s makeup and beauty trends. Most of these trends are already making their way into the current makeup industry. We often spot our favorite celebrities with bouffants, cat-eye makeup, and Twiggy-inspired lashes as they grace magazine covers, fashion shows, and red carpets. Follow our guide if you want to recreate the same look, and look like a famous model or celebrity from the magical sixties. 


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