1970S Makeup


The 1970s marked a transformative decade in the realms of fashion and beauty, where societal shifts, cultural movements, and political changes influenced how people expressed themselves through their personal style. This era was characterized by a departure from the rigid conventions of the past, giving birth to new trends that celebrated individuality and self-expression. As part of this movement, makeup played a crucial role in allowing individuals to showcase their unique identities.

During the 1970s, traditional notions of beauty were challenged, leading to a more diverse and inclusive understanding of what it meant to be beautiful. This transformative period witnessed a departure from the heavy-handed makeup techniques popular in previous decades towards a more natural and effortlessly chic aesthetic.

The overall ethos was centered around embracing one’s natural features rather than masking them under layers of foundation and bold colors. Makeup became an avenue for self-expression during this era as individuals sought to break free from societal norms and challenge existing beauty ideals.

It provided a means for men and women alike to experiment with different looks, express their individuality, and make bold statements about their identity or affiliation with particular subcultures. Whether it was the hippie movement expressing its rejection of mainstream culture through bare faces adorned with minimal makeup or the disco-loving crowd embracing glitz and glamour with vibrant eyeshadows and glossy lips – makeup became an art form that allowed individuals to communicate who they were without uttering a word.

The 1970s also saw significant progress in terms of empowering women through makeup choices. Women found liberation through experimenting with various cosmetic products that enabled them to define their own sense of femininity on their own terms.

Makeup became less about conforming to societal expectations but rather about taking control over one’s appearance, enhancing individual features, boosting confidence, and allowing women to project themselves authentically in both personal and professional spheres. The 1970s marked a transformative era in fashion and beauty, where makeup played a pivotal role in allowing individuals to express themselves.

It was an era defined by breaking free from conventional norms, embracing natural beauty, and using makeup as a tool for self-expression. The 1970s witnessed a shift towards individuality, inclusivity, and empowerment, with makeup becoming an art form through which people could communicate their unique identities and make statements about their personal beliefs and affiliations.

Natural and minimalistic approach to beauty, contrasting with the heavy makeup of the previous decade

In the 1970s, a significant shift occurred in makeup trends, as women began embracing a more natural and minimalistic approach to beauty. This marked a departure from the heavy-handed makeup looks of the previous decade, where bold colors and dramatic techniques were favored.

The 70s saw a move towards enhancing one’s natural features rather than masking them. Instead of piling on layers of foundation and powder, women sought to achieve a fresh-faced appearance that showcased their inherent beauty.

The newfound emphasis on natural-looking skin required a change in the way face makeup was applied. Heavy pancake foundations gave way to lighter liquid formulations that offered a more breathable coverage.

These liquid foundations provided an even complexion while allowing the skin’s texture to shine through. The goal was to achieve glowing skin that radiated health and vitality, rather than hiding imperfections under layers of heavy makeup.

Emphasis on glowing skin and a fresh-faced look

One of the defining characteristics of 1970s makeup was its focus on achieving glowing skin and a fresh-faced look. Women aimed for an overall complexion that appeared luminous and radiant, evoking an image of youthful vitality. To achieve this effect, they used products like highlighters or illuminators strategically placed on high points of their face – such as the cheekbones, brow bone, and down the bridge of the nose – to catch light and create subtle reflections.

To further enhance this glowy complexion aesthetic, bronzing products gained popularity during this era. Lightly dusting bronzer across areas where sunlight naturally hit – such as cheeks, forehead, chin – added warmth and depth to one’s face without appearing overly contoured or heavily sculpted.

Soft, earthy tones replacing bold and vibrant colors

As the 1970s embraced a more natural look, makeup colors shifted away from the bold and vibrant hues of previous decades. Instead, soft, earthy tones became the go-to choices for eyeshadows and lipsticks.

Shades of brown, taupe, and gold dominated eyeshadow palettes, allowing for subtle definition and a soft-focus effect on the eyelids. These neutral shades complemented various eye colors while maintaining a natural appearance.

In parallel to the subdued eye makeup trends, lipstick shades also took on a more muted approach. Nude hues gained significant popularity during this era as women sought to enhance their lips’ natural beauty rather than making them stand out with loud or vibrant colors.

Glossy finishes were preferred over matte textures, giving the lips an alluring shine without drawing excessive attention. Overall, the general trends in 1970s makeup revolved around embracing one’s natural features and enhancing them with subtle touches.

The focus was on achieving glowing skin with minimal coverage, using soft earthy tones that harmonized with one’s complexion. This shift towards a more effortless and fresh-faced look left behind the heavy makeup styles of previous years while ushering in an era of timeless beauty that celebrated individuality.

Face Makeup in the 1970s

Foundation: The Rise of Natural and Dewy Finishes

The 1970s witnessed a significant departure from the heavy pancake makeup popularized in the previous decade. As society embraced a more laid-back and natural approach to beauty, liquid foundations with a dewy finish became the go-to choice for women seeking a more authentic look. These foundations offered a lighter coverage that allowed the skin’s natural radiance to shine through, giving it a healthy and fresh appearance.

Unlike their predecessors, which often had a thick and mask-like consistency, these new formulations were lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear. To achieve this coveted dewy look, women would apply the liquid foundation sparingly using either their fingertips or dampened sponges.

The goal was to even out skin tone while maintaining an almost undetectable finish. This approach not only provided an enhanced level of realism but also emphasized individual features by allowing them to peek through subtly.

Blush: Subtle Flushes of Soft Peach or Rosy Shades

In line with the overall natural aesthetic of the 1970s makeup trends, blush took on a softer and more understated role in enhancing facial features. Rather than aiming for dramatic contours or vibrant pops of color seen in previous decades, women embraced gentle peach or rosy shades that mimicked a natural flush on the cheeks.

Application techniques focused on achieving a soft and delicate effect. Women lightly swept blush onto the apples of their cheeks using fluffy brushes or even their fingertips.

This light-handed approach ensured that blush blended seamlessly into the skin without overpowering other elements of the makeup look. The choice of peach or rosy tones varied depending on one’s complexion and personal preferences.

Peach hues worked harmoniously with warmer skin tones while rosy shades added subtle warmth to cooler undertones. The result was a gentle hint of color that brought life and vitality to the face, contributing to the overall natural and effortless beauty aesthetic that defined the 1970s.

Face makeup in the 1970s embraced a natural and radiant look. Liquid foundations with dewy finishes replaced heavy pancake makeup, allowing for a more authentic appearance.

Blushes in soft peach or rosy shades were applied lightly on the cheeks, providing a subtle flush of color. These trends reflected the era’s shift towards a more relaxed and effortless approach to beauty, emphasizing individual features and celebrating natural skin tones.

Eyeshadow: Embracing Earthy Tones for a Soft Focus

During the 1970s, the world of eye makeup underwent a significant transformation. Gone were the vibrant hues and bold color schemes of the previous decade, making way for a more natural and understated approach.

Earthy tones such as browns, taupes, and golds took center stage in eyeshadow palettes. These shades were carefully selected to complement various skin tones and create a soft-focus effect that enhanced the eyes without overpowering them.

The application technique for eyeshadow also changed during this era. Instead of heavy-handedness, makeup enthusiasts embraced a light touch, aiming for a more delicate and ethereal appearance.

Eyeshadows were subtly blended to create depth and dimension while maintaining a sense of airiness. The overall goal was to achieve an effortless yet captivating look that beautifully highlighted one’s natural eye color.

Eyeliner: Subtle Definition Along the Upper Lash Line

In contrast to the dramatic winged eyeliner popular in previous decades, the 1970s saw a shift towards more understated eyeliner looks. Thin lines delicately applied along the upper lash line became the go-to style choice for many women during this period.

Brown or black eyeliner pencils or liquid liners were favored for their ability to define the eyes without overwhelming them. The key was to achieve softness and enhance one’s natural features rather than creating sharp contrasts or heavy lines.

The subtle eyeliner application helped emphasize lash density while framing and lifting the eyes in an elegant manner. It created an illusion of fuller lashes without drawing attention away from other elements of facial makeup.

Mascara: A Natural Look with Effortless Lash Enhancement

Despite adopting more minimalistic approaches to overall makeup looks in the 1970s, long lashes remained highly desirable. However, mascara application underwent a significant change during this era to match the prevailing natural aesthetic. Mascara formulas were designed to provide length, volume, and separation with a more natural-looking finish.

Clumpy lashes were out of vogue, and instead, women aimed to achieve a feathery effect that accentuated their eyes without appearing heavy or overly done. The focus was on creating definition while maintaining an effortless allure.

Using mascara wands with fine bristles allowed for precise application and ensured that each lash was coated evenly. With careful strokes from root to tip, makeup enthusiasts achieved the desired effect: lashes that looked naturally beautiful yet enhanced in just the right way.

Overall, the eye makeup trends of the 1970s embraced subtlety, earthy tones, and soft-focus techniques. Eyeshadows in neutral hues created depth without overpowering the eyes, while thin lines along the upper lash line using brown or black eyeliner pencils or liquid liners provided definition minus any harshness.

Mascara application focused on achieving natural-looking length and volume without clumps. These changes showcased a shift towards a more effortless beauty ideal during this transformative decade in fashion and cosmetics.

Lip Makeup in the 1970s

Lipstick: Nude Shades and Glossy Finishes

In the 1970s, lip makeup took a turn towards subtlety and naturalness. Nude shades became all the rage, reflecting the overall aesthetic of embracing one’s own beauty without excessive adornment. These neutral hues, ranging from soft pinks to warm browns, perfectly complemented the earthy tones that dominated eye makeup during this era.

The idea was to enhance one’s lips while maintaining a youthful and effortless look. Additionally, glossy finishes were preferred over matte textures to create a luscious sheen that beautifully caught the light.

Lip Liner: Subtle Definition for Enhancing Lip Shape

Lip liner in the 1970s served a purpose different from previous decades. Rather than creating bold and exaggerated outlines, lip liners were used more subtly to enhance the shape of the lips without harsh lines.

It was common practice to choose a lip liner shade that closely matched one’s natural lip color, allowing for seamless blending between lipstick and liner. This technique created an illusion of naturally fuller lips while maintaining an overall soft look.


The 1970s brought about refreshing changes in makeup trends, particularly when it came to lip cosmetics. The emphasis shifted towards embracing natural beauty with minimalistic enhancements.

Nude shades of lipstick became immensely popular as they harmonized with earthy eyeshadows and provided a fresh-faced appearance reminiscent of nature’s own color palette. Glossy finishes added an extra touch of allure by giving lips a healthy luster.

Subtle lip lining techniques allowed individuals to accentuate their lip shape without resorting to dramatic or unnatural outlines commonly seen in previous eras. Instead, lips appeared more defined yet soft and understatedly elegant – like delicate petals waiting to be admired.

The overall makeup trends of the 1970s conveyed a sense of youthful innocence and celebrated the beauty found in simplicity. As we reflect on the 1970s makeup trends, we are reminded that beauty lies not only in bold and extravagant transformations but also in embracing our natural features.

The return to a more minimalistic approach during this decade encouraged individuals to celebrate their unique qualities and appreciate the subtleties that make them truly remarkable. Let us draw inspiration from this chapter in cosmetic history and continue to find beauty in simplicity, emphasizing our own individuality with grace and confidence.


What were the popular makeup trends of the 1970s?

The 1970s saw a variety of makeup trends, including bold eyeshadows, natural-looking skin, and glossy lips.

Can you recommend iconic 1970s makeup looks?

Iconic 1970s makeup looks include disco glitter, Farrah Fawcett’s feathered brows, and vibrant blue eyeshadow.

What makeup products were commonly used in the 1970s?

Common makeup products in the 1970s included creamy foundations, colorful eyeshadows, and glossy lip gloss.

How did makeup styles in the 1970s differ from previous decades?

1970s makeup departed from the minimalism of the 1960s, embracing bolder colors and a more natural, sun-kissed look.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *