60S Eye Makeup


The 1960s was a decade of immense cultural revolution and change, leaving an indelible mark on society. It was a time when social norms were challenged, political movements thrived, and self-expression reached new heights. This era saw the emergence of remarkable fashion statements that reflected the spirit of rebellion and individuality.

Among these style revolutions, one element stood out as a powerful tool for self-expression: eye makeup. Eye makeup became an essential component of the 60s fashion scene, symbolizing the breaking free from conventional beauty standards.

It served as a means for individuals to assert their identity, challenge traditional gender roles, and embrace artistic expression. The significance of eye makeup during this period cannot be overstated; it became more than just an enhancement to one’s appearance but rather a statement that shouted defiance against societal norms.

Brief Overview of the 1960s

The 1960s was an era characterized by immense sociocultural changes that reshaped societies across the globe. It marked a departure from the conservative post-war years and witnessed the rise of counterculture movements challenging established values.

Fundamental shifts in civil rights, feminism, sexual liberation, and anti-war sentiments unfolded during this transformative decade. The youth played a pivotal role in driving this transformational wave.

They sought liberation from societal constraints by embracing radical ideologies and adopting unconventional styles as symbols of rebellion against authority. The fashion industry responded to these demands by creating designs that broke free from tradition.

The Significance of Eye Makeup in the 60s Fashion Scene

Eye makeup emerged as a potent tool for self-expression within this transformative atmosphere. Women began using eye makeup not only to enhance their features but also to make bold statements about their identity and beliefs.

Through vibrant eyeshadows, dramatic eyeliner application techniques, and voluminous lashes, individuals pushed boundaries while challenging established beauty norms. The 60s fashion scene saw the rise of iconic figures such as Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot, and Edie Sedgwick who captivated the world with their distinctive eye makeup looks.

Twiggy, known for her doe-eyed appearance, popularized the use of dramatic lashes and graphic eyeliner. Brigitte Bardot exuded sensuality through her smoky eyeshadow and thick cat-eye liner.

Edie Sedgwick was a pioneer of avant-garde eye makeup, experimenting with bold colors and unconventional shapes. Eye makeup became an emblem of the 60s cultural revolution.

It empowered individuals to express their identity in a time when conformity prevailed. By embracing eye makeup as a means of defiance against societal norms, people were able to make their mark on an era defined by its fervor for change.

Historical Context

The 1960s was a decade of immense social and cultural change, often referred to as the Swinging Sixties. This period witnessed a rebellion against traditional norms, prompting a shift in fashion, art, and beauty standards. Eye makeup became a powerful tool for self-expression and played a pivotal role in defining the iconic looks of the era.

Influence of Iconic Figures

Several influential figures emerged during this time who had an immense impact on eye makeup trends. One such figure was Twiggy, the British supermodel who captivated the world with her doe-eyed look. Twiggy’s signature style featured heavily emphasized lashes and ultra-thin eyebrows, which became highly sought after by women worldwide.

Another influential figure was Brigitte Bardot, the French actress known for her sultry beauty. Bardot’s smoky eye makeup and heavy eyeliner created an alluring and mysterious gaze that quickly gained popularity among women looking to exude seduction.

Edie Sedgwick, an American actress and model, was also instrumental in shaping eye makeup trends in the 60s. Sedgwick’s rebellious spirit translated into her bold makeup choices: she often experimented with striking colors like electric blue or vibrant green eyeshadows paired with dramatic eyeliner.

Impact of the Feminist Movement

The feminist movement that gained momentum during this period played a significant role in empowering women to express themselves through makeup. Makeup became a form of self-determination rather than mere conformity to societal expectations.

Women began using eye makeup as a means to challenge traditional notions of femininity and assert their independence. The act of applying bold eyeshadow or liner became an act of defiance against societal norms that had long dictated how women should look or present themselves.

Moreover, eye makeup became a tool for women to reclaim their own bodies and challenge the male gaze. By accentuating their eyes with vibrant colors and precise lines, women reclaimed their agency and asserted their right to be seen as individuals of depth and complexity, rather than objects of desire.

In this way, the feminist movement provided a platform for women to experiment with eye makeup as an art form. It encouraged them to embrace boldness, creativity, and self-expression without fear of judgment or censure.

Main Elements of 60s Eye Makeup

Bold Eyeliner

The 1960s were defined by the iconic “winged” or “cat-eye” liner style, which remains a classic even today. This trend revolutionized makeup by emphasizing the eyes with a bold and dramatic look.

The key characteristic of this style is the elongated line that extends beyond the outer corner of the eye, creating a lifted and feline-inspired effect. To achieve precise lines, both liquid and pencil liners were popular choices.

Liquid liners offered intense pigmentation and sharp lines, while pencil liners allowed for more control during application. Makeup enthusiasts mastered various techniques to create flawless wings, such as using tape or stencils for guidance or applying liner in short strokes to gradually build up the desired shape.

Vibrant Eyeshadows

In the 1960s, vibrant eyeshadow palettes took center stage as women expressed their creativity through colorful makeup looks. Pastels and bright hues became iconic choices for eyeshadows during this era.

Soft pinks, baby blues, mint greens, and sunny yellows adorned eyelids with a youthful and playful vibe. Blending multiple shades was essential to create depth and dimension on the eyes.

Techniques like “cut crease” emerged as a popular way to define the crease above the eyelid using contrasting colors. By skillfully blending lighter shades on the lid with darker shades in the crease area, women achieved stunning eye-catching effects that complemented their overall makeup look.

Thick Lashes

False eyelashes became an absolute must-have in achieving dramatic eye makeup looks during this era. Women sought to emulate long and thick lashes that framed their eyes beautifully.

False lashes added volume, length, and intensity to natural lashes while enhancing femininity and allure. Popular brands like Ardell gained significant popularity for offering a range of false lash styles that catered to different preferences and occasions.

Individuals could choose between more natural-looking lashes for a subtle enhancement or opt for dramatic, full lashes that made a bold statement. With the help of these falsies, women could embrace their inner glamour and accentuate their eyes in an unforgettable way.

Innovative Techniques and Tools

Cut Crease Technique

The “cut crease” technique played a pivotal role in 60s eye makeup. This technique involved creating a distinct crease line above the eyelid, adding depth and structure to the eye look.

By carefully applying contrasting eyeshadow shades and using precise blending techniques, makeup artists popularized this revolutionary approach to eye makeup application. Influential figures like Twiggy became synonymous with the cut crease look, inspiring countless women to experiment with their own interpretation of this eye-catching style.

Eyelash Curlers

Eyelash curlers were essential tools used during the 1960s to achieve lifted lashes that beautifully framed the eyes. Various types of curlers were available on the market, including metal-plated curlers and heated options.

Women would gently clamp their lashes at the root before applying mascara to create an upward curl that opened up their eyes dramatically. The use of eyelash curlers not only added volume but also enhanced the overall allure of eye makeup by providing a wide-eyed effect.

Mascara Wands

During this period, mascara wands underwent significant innovation with new designs introduced into the market. Different styles emerged catering to specific lash needs such as lengthening or volumizing mascaras.

Notably, curved brush wands gained popularity as they helped lift and separate lashes while adding product evenly from root to tip, creating a fluttery effect. Women discovered how specific wand shapes could enhance their natural lashes, allowing for endless possibilities in achieving desired looks.


The 1960s brought about a revolution in eye makeup. From the bold winged liner and vibrant eyeshadows to the use of false lashes and innovative techniques, women embraced their creativity and individuality through transforming their eyes.

This era’s makeup trends continue to inspire contemporary fashion and beauty industries, demonstrating the enduring influence of the 60s on our perception of beauty. As we look back on this iconic period, we are reminded of how makeup can serve as a powerful tool for self-expression, empowering individuals to embrace their unique style with confidence and charm.

What were popular eyeshadow colors in the 60s?

Popular eyeshadow colors in the 60s included pastel shades like baby blue, soft pink, and mint green, as well as bolder hues like deep purple and shimmering gold.

How did women achieve the iconic winged eyeliner look?

The iconic winged eyeliner look of the 60s was often achieved using liquid or gel eyeliner. Women would create a dramatic winged shape extending from the outer corner of the eye, inspired by icons like Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot.

What techniques were used for long lashes in the 60s?

Women in the 60s often used a combination of mascara and false eyelashes to achieve long, voluminous lashes. Mascara formulas were improving, and false lashes were embraced to add extra glamour to the eyes.

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