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The 1970’s Makeup Guide

During the 70s, the emergence of multiple subcultures and trends resulted in extremities. As the hippie movement evolved into feminism and women’s liberation, the trend gave rise to a more natural look. However, cosmetic companies took this opportunity to introduce innovative makeup products to cater to this demographic. In this guide, we are going to review some of the most popular 1970s makeup trends. We will also offer an easy way to recreate the 70s look for styling a unique look. 

Fashion and Beauty Trends of the 1970s

In the 1970s, women preferred using products that revolved around creating a natural but contemporary look. 

For instance, Revlon launched a new fragrance called ‘Charlie.’ Introduced to target the ‘independent woman,’ this new perfume soon became an immensely popular product. The ad campaign showed a strong and ambitious female dressed in pants to appeal to the modern woman. 

However, the 70s was also an era of glamour, introducing new fashion trends. Also popular as the decade of clubs, the seventies gave birth to the disco culture. Both men and women experimented with exotic makeup accessories and costumes for styling a unique disco look. 

Glitter eye shadow and glitter became popular makeup products. The beauty trends were all about embracing one’s sexuality and celebrating the disco culture. 

Perhaps, the highlight of this decade in terms of beauty and makeup trends was the fact that cosmetic brands acknowledged other skin tones. Many established makeup brands released makeup products that featured Aretha Franklin, Diahann Carroll, Natalie Cole, and several other African American stars in their ad campaigns. 

In 1974, the popular Vogue magazine featured Beverly Johnson, a famous African American model. That was the first time any mainstream magazine put a woman of color on the cover. 

Top 1970s Makeup Trends

Now let’s take a look at some of the hottest 1970s make trends. 

Radiant and glowing skin was one of the most popular makeup trends back in the 70s. Makeup artists and stylists considered naturally glowing skin as the best base for applying makeup. The use of a foundation with a dewy finish was also common to create healthy-looking skin. 

  1. Foundations

Since adding sheen to the skin was popular, stylists and makeup enthusiasts rarely used a heavy foundation. Natural foundation colors such as nude shades were incredibly popular. 

  1. Eye shadows

The most popular eye shadow colors in the 70s were purple, green, and blue. If you ever come across an advert from the era, you will never see any other eye shadow shade. Using silver or white color under the eyebrow for adding a highlighting effect was also in practice. 

While most eye shadows were matte, adding a pearlescent sheen on top of the eyelids resulted in a nice shimmery look. Many times, words like velvet or frost described this effect. 

Formulations included creams, pressed powder, and liquid. Most brands offered cream eye shadow products in stack tubes or small pots. The 1970s also offered a variety of eye crayons from various brands, including Natural Wonder and Max Factor. Compact kits featuring several eye shadow colors were also available for women of all ages. 

The darker eye crease of the 60s continued in the 70s. However, stylists blended it to create an almond or cat-like shape. This effect created a soft depth. Some women didn’t prefer using a crease color and chose one color to cover the entire lid and applied just one lighter shade under the brow. The 70s didn’t feature any unblended lines or hard edges, except for punk makeup. 

  1. Eyeliner

Women who opted for a more natural look avoided using any kind of eyeliner. However, Goths, punks, and the new wave army used eyeliner on the upper or lower lids. Some beauty enthusiasts wore white eyeliner directly behind blue or black eyeliner on the upper eyelid. 

Most eyeliner products were available in liquid formulations or as pencils. One of the most popular eyeliners of the 70s was Yardley’s EasyLiner. This eyeliner was available in brown, burgundy, grey, blue, and black colors. 

  1. Mascara

Ask your mother or grandmother about the mascaras of previous decades, and they will tell you about the once-popular block mascaras. These amazing products came in grey, green, blue, brown, or black colors. A few bright colors, such as lavender, raspberry, and turquoise, were also popular. 

The use of mascara depended on a woman’s preferences and taste. For instance, some women applied it liberally to both the lower and upper lashes, while others preferred a subtle application. Big and extravagant false lashes of the 1960s were no longer a happening trend in the 70s. Women favored a more natural approach. 

  1. Eyebrows

During the 1970s, eyebrows were on the thinner side. A finely plucked eyebrow sported a curved shape. However, some teens and women preferred slightly thicker brows with an arch. 

  1. Blush

Blush was a crucial part of every woman’s makeup routine during the 70s. The draping technique, popular in the decade, allowed women to apply blush right above the contour line and bring it up towards the temples. That meant you didn’t need to apply the blush onto your cheeks apples. 

Women mostly used a natural blusher to apply defined stripes on each cheek throughout the decade. The indispensable makeup product was available in several formulations such as gels, powders, and creams. 

  1. Bronzer 

Since a tanned look was quite popular back in the 70s, women and teens applied bronzer all over the face to create a sun-kissed look. 

Every girl wanted to get a kissed golden glow, like famous celebrities, such as Farrah Fawcett and Cher. Women also applied a bronze shade to their temples, forehead, and jawline. This makeup trend also helped the face to look slimmer as it had a contouring effect. 

Naturally, sun tanning became a popular trend for achieving a nicely bronzed complexion. Many young girls and women spent hours out in the sun, using tanning lotions and oils. However, we now know how harmful it could be for our skin. 

  1. Sheer lips

Every makeup trend from the 1970s revolved around being more natural. Gold and tanned skin, rosy cheeks, and shimmery eye shadows meant you could not apply a dark lip shade. That’s why sheer lips and nude lip shades were all the rage in the 70s. 

Glossy and dewy lipstick colors were quite common. Typically, women applied the same lipstick shades as their foundation. Peach and Pink colors were among the most popular lip shades during the decade. 

Popular Styles and Looks from the 1970s 

Here are some popular makeup looks and styles from the disco decade. 

The Farrah Fawcett Look

Farrah Fawcett was among the most influential personalities who left a profound impact on the makeup and fashion industry of the 70s. Everyone tried to copy her natural eyes and sun-kissed face to embrace the 70’s look. To achieve her iconic look, she used minimal foundation, a light-coverage foundation, or a tinted moisturizer. 

By applying a bronzer to her temples and in her cheekbones’ hallows, she styled the perfect summer look. The use of link pink blush or peach added more softness to the entire look. A double coat of mascara made sure her eyes looked dreamy and magical.

Boho Style

Cher and Stevie Nicks rocked the bohemian by combining a natural look with soft eye makeup. These iconic celebrities often used a burnt orange or a shimmery brown eye shadow. During the 70s, women mostly applied the shadow under their lash line as well. They preferred using brown or black eyeliner for lining their lashes. Later, they would smudge the liner with their finger to create a softer line. 

Cher usually created extra drama by topping off her mascara with three coats. She also used dark pink or a red-tinted gloss and a small amount of bronzer for the face. The purpose of the look was to create the perfect boho style. 

Disco Look 

Many studio 54 goers, such as Bianca Jagger, used bright and bold makeup to complement their flashy outfits. Using a normal foundation with a dab of bold blush added color to the cheekbones. The most popular eye shadow colors for creating a disco look were blue, purple, and green. However, many women chose their favorite color for covering the lid area. 

Most women added a dab of shimmer and blended it with a brush to the inner corners of the eye. A bold lip shade would finish off this look with some gloss over the top. 

The Punk Look

Siouxsie Sioux and Blondie were the epitomai of the 70s punk style. Since punks loved pale foundation, these celebrities opted for a base one shade lighter than their skin tone. Highlighting the cheekbones with pale bright blush and creating a cat eye was also common. Another highlight of the punk look was a bold eye shadow. You didn’t need to blend the shadow as a messy look was the purpose of this popular look. A generous application of mascara and dark purple or black lipstick completed the look. 

Floral Beauty

The women of the 60s adored creating hairstyles with flowers. However, this trend carried into the 70s and reached its peak. Hair flowers, associated with the decade’s flower power political movement, became the focus of many makeup trends. 

Makeup stylists and enthusiasts used eye shadows and blush colors that complimented these pretty flowers. Typically, women chose this look when attending festivals or styling a unique everyday look.

How to Copy a 1970s Makeup Look

Some popular 1970s makeup trends are making a comeback. That’s because several aspects of the 70s beauty trends work great for women who are always on the go. 

The key is to emphasize your best features and be as natural as possible.

Here are some tips and ideas to embrace the 1970s makeup look. 

Prep your Skin

Pamper your skin and take out some time to cleanse and moisturize it before create a 70s makeup look. Since a fresh, glowing face is the highlight of the 70s look, cleanse your face using a cleanser. You can also use a facial scrub to prep your skin. 

You are lucky if you have naturally long and curly eyelashes. However, you can also add a natural curl to your eyebrows by using an eyelash curler. There are many other natural ways to curl your eyebrows if you don’t want to use an eyelash curler. Brush out your lashes using a lash comb for prepping them up. 

What to Focus on When Creating a 70’s Makeup Look 

The Eyes

While shimmer eye shadows were all the rage, the use of bright eye shadow was also popular. Makeup enthusiasts that preferred a disco or a punk look applied eye shadow in layers. Some women even styled three layers of eye shadows. A natural application of brown or black eyeliner and mascara added some subtlety to the eye makeup. 

You can go for muted colors for copying the 1970s eye makeup trends. Brown shades go great for copying the famous models of the 70s. 

The Face

Women of the 70s used a lightweight or liquid foundation. They also applied a bronzer liberally for a sun-kissed look. Those who didn’t want a tanned look preferred using the bronzer under the cheekbones only for contouring. 

The 70s face usually had berry blush shadows, applied in an L shape, on the cheeks. Women usually applied the blush from the hairline to the cheek’s apple. While this look may not be ideal for contemporary times, it certainly worked back in the 70s. You can replicate this makeup trend by sticking to a liquid foundation and using a bronzer for courting purposes only. 

The Lips

Surprisingly, lips took a backseat in the seventies. Women chose lip glosses in natural colors. Some even used foundation for keeping the lips as natural as possible. You can stick to a nude or a glossy shade for looking like your favorite 70s model or movie star. 

Makeup Guide to Get the Farah Fawcett Look

When it comes to the 70s, there was nobody like Farah Fawcett, who set the most popular makeup trends. Here are the steps to follow if you want to emulate her makeup style. 

  • Start the makeup routine by cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin with quality products. 
  • Choose a warm-shade foundation that would blend well with a bronzer, especially if you want to create a tanned look. 
  • Apply the foundation first and use a concealer to hide your problem 
  • Take a pinch of light yellow shimmer powder and add it to a large bowl of bronze powder. 
  • Mix them thoroughly 
  • Take a damp sponge to set the base well on your skin. Make sure you blend it well for a flawless application.
  • Use a buffer brush to apply the bronze shimmer mix. Apply it gently, making light feather strokes. Blend the rest away with the same buffer brush by making circular motions. 
  • Stick to the same warm-tone shades for the cheeks. Apricots, peaches, and pinks blend in well to create a natural or bronze look. Your cheeks should look rosy and healthy.
  • For emulating the 70s pastel eyes, copper shimmer or bronze shadows are the best shades. These colors guarantee a gorgeous natural look. Apply the eye shadow starting from the inner corner of the eyes and go up to the lid’s mid-section. 

From there, use bronze metallic tones for blending them into the eyelids and create a perfect gradient. Use a white or brown pencil for the lower lash line. You can also use both together. Take an angular brush for smudging it, creating a dreamy look.

  • Use a stroke of soft matte brown shadow for the lower and upper lids to create a soft and sultry look. 
  • Apply two strokes of mascara on the lower lash and three strokes on the upper lash.
  • Finish off the look with a peach or nude lip shade for the lips. 

Bottom Line

Those were the most popular 1970s makeup and beauty trends. You can copy your favorite icons and celebrities from the decade by following our guide. Remember to use quality products, so you don’t harm your skin. 


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