50S Makeup And Hair


The 1950s marked a significant era of post-war prosperity and cultural transformation. After the turmoil of World War II, countries around the world were rebuilding, and a sense of optimism began to emerge.

The 50s witnessed an economic boom, especially in the United States, where increased disposable income allowed for a rise in consumerism and a newfound focus on personal appearance. During this period, makeup and hair became crucial elements in defining the iconic 50s look.

Women sought to embody glamour and sophistication, taking inspiration from Hollywood starlets who graced the silver screen. The ideals of beauty revolved around a polished appearance that exuded femininity and elegance.

The 50s embraced a return to traditional gender roles, with women expected to prioritize their looks and maintain an impeccable image. Makeup became an essential part of self-presentation, allowing women to enhance their natural features while conforming to societal standards of attractiveness.

Moreover, makeup served as more than just a means of enhancing one’s appearance; it became a symbol of empowerment for women during this time. By investing time and effort into their beauty routines, women gained confidence and asserted their individuality in a society that still had its limitations.

Similarly, hairstyles played an integral role in capturing the essence of 50s fashion. Women sought glamorous coiffures that perfectly complemented their outfits and showcased their femininity.

Hair was often styled with precision and meticulousness to achieve elaborate updos or cascading waves. Overall, makeup and hair were not mere accessories but powerful tools through which individuals expressed themselves within the confines of societal norms.

The attention given to these aspects reflected both personal desires for self-expression as well as broader cultural attitudes towards beauty during one of history’s most transformative decades. Next section: Makeup in the 50s

Foundation and Powder

Creating the Perfect Canvas In the glamorous world of 1950s makeup, achieving a flawless complexion was paramount.

Foundation and powder played pivotal roles in creating the desired look of a porcelain-like complexion. One iconic brand that dominated the era was Max Factor with its renowned Pan-Cake makeup, a revolutionary product that provided exceptional coverage and a smooth finish.

This pancake-style foundation became immensely popular among women seeking an impeccable base for their makeup looks. Another sought-after brand during this time was Coty with its Air-Spun powder.

Known for its lightness and finely milled texture, this powder further perfected the skin’s appearance by setting the foundation, reducing shine, and giving it an ethereal glow. The combination of Max Factor’s Pan-Cake makeup and Coty Air-Spun powder allowed women to achieve a flawlessly smooth complexion that was highly coveted in the 50s.

Eyebrows and Eyeshadow

Arching to New Heights When it came to eyebrows, women in the 1950s were inspired by Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, who pioneered thin, arched brows that framed their expressive eyes. Achieving this look required meticulous plucking or shaving to create defined arches that exuded elegance.

Complementing these carefully shaped brows were soft pastel eyeshadows that added depth and allure to one’s eyes. Shades of pink, blue, or green were especially popular during this era.

Women embraced these pastel hues as they beautifully accentuated their eye color while maintaining an overall delicate appearance. Whether opting for shimmery or matte finishes, these eyeshadows played an essential role in emphasizing the mesmerizing gaze that defined 50s makeup looks.

Eyeliner and Mascara

Eyes That Mesmerize The 50s witnessed the rise of dramatic eye makeup, with winged eyeliner or the iconic cat-eye becoming synonymous with this era’s beauty trends. Achieving this sophisticated look involved mastering the art of applying liquid eyeliner or kohl pencil along the upper lash line, extending it outward into a perfectly angled flick.

This timeless technique added an alluring touch to the eyes, enhancing their shape and making them appear larger and more captivating. Accompanying the winged eyeliner were long, voluminous lashes that demanded attention.

To achieve this effect, women embraced heavy mascara application, layering it generously onto both the upper and lower lashes. Often referred to as “spider lashes,” this bold style created an illusion of intensified eye expression and added depth to the overall makeup look.

Blush and Contouring

Sculpting Radiant Cheeks In the 1950s, rosy cheeks were highly sought after as they symbolized youthfulness and a healthy glow.

Cream blushes or powder blushers like Tangee or Revlon Pink Lightning became staples in every woman’s makeup collection as they provided a natural flush that effortlessly brightened their complexion. Furthermore, contouring techniques began to emerge during this era under the influence of legendary actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor.

These techniques allowed women to enhance their facial features by strategically shading areas such as cheekbones, jawlines, and noses. By skillfully blending darker shades into lighter ones, they could create an illusion of sculpted perfection that accentuated their natural beauty in a subtle yet striking manner.

Hair in the 50s

A. Hairstyles for WomenIn the 1950s, women’s hairstyles underwent a remarkable transformation, reflecting the desire for elegance and femininity. One of the most iconic hairstyles of the era was the classic “poodle” hairstyle. This style featured tight curls that were achieved through setting hair on rollers or pin curls. Women would often spend hours sitting under hooded dryers to ensure their curls set properly. The poodle hairstyle was characterized by its voluminous and coiffed appearance, with curls cascading down from carefully styled bouffants. To create this hairstyle, women would start by sectioning their hair and applying setting lotion or mousse to dampen it. They would then meticulously roll small sections of hair onto rollers or create pin curls, which were secured with bobby pins or clips. After allowing their hair to dry completely, they would carefully remove the rollers or pins, revealing beautiful tight ringlets. To add extra hold and shine, hairspray was applied generously. This signature look was favored by many Hollywood actresses such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, further popularizing it among women worldwide. The poodle hairstyle exuded an air of elegance and sophistication that perfectly complimented the fashionable attire of the time. It became a symbol of femininity and grace during a period when women were embracing their newfound freedom.


The 1950s marked an era of remarkable style evolution when it came to makeup and hair trends. Women embraced a glamorous aesthetic that celebrated femininity and sophistication like never before. From flawless complexions achieved with pancake makeup to bold red lips that made a statement, makeup played a pivotal role in enhancing features while adhering to societal standards of beauty.

When it came to hairstyling in the 50s, women aimed for perfection with meticulously set curls and elaborate updos. The classic poodle hairstyle, with its tight ringlets and stylish bouffant, became an enduring symbol of elegance.

It not only showcased women’s commitment to their appearance but also exemplified their desire to celebrate femininity in a rapidly changing society. Looking back at the 50s, we can draw inspiration from these makeup and hair trends that still hold their charm today.

The attention to detail and dedication toward achieving a polished look serve as reminders of the timeless appeal of glamour and grace. Let us honor the past by incorporating elements of these iconic styles into our modern beauty routines, allowing ourselves to feel empowered and confident in our own skin.


How can I achieve the iconic 1950s makeup look?

To achieve the iconic 1950s makeup look, start with a matte foundation, winged eyeliner, red lipstick, and well-defined brows. Don’t forget to add some false eyelashes for that extra flair. Finish with a touch of blush and setting powder.

What were popular hairstyles in the 1950s?

Popular hairstyles in the 1950s included the classic victory roll, the pompadour, the beehive, and the short bob. These hairstyles often featured curls, waves, and plenty of volume.

What makeup products were commonly used in the 1950s?

Commonly used makeup products in the 1950s included red lipstick, black liquid eyeliner, mascara, blush, and eyeshadows in pastel and earthy tones.

How can I make my 1950s-inspired hairstyle last all day?

To make your 1950s-inspired hairstyle last all day, use a strong-hold hairspray, pin curls, and hair accessories like hair scarves or decorative combs. These will help maintain your desired look.

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