Makeup 1970S


The 1970s marked a significant turning point in both fashion and beauty, as the world underwent a remarkable cultural shift. The era was characterized by an explosion of creativity, self-expression, and a rejection of traditional societal norms.

This transformative decade saw the rise of various subcultures, including hippies, disco enthusiasts, and punk rockers, each leaving their unique imprint on the fashion and beauty landscape. During the 1970s, makeup became an essential tool for self-expression.

It provided individuals with a means to reflect their personal identities and embrace their individuality. The mantra of the era was freedom from conformity, and makeup served as a powerful medium through which people could assert their uniqueness.

In this dynamic period, makeup went beyond mere enhancement; it became an art form in its own right. People experimented with bold colors, unconventional textures, and innovative application techniques to create looks that embodied their personalities and reflected the progressive spirit of the time.

Brief Overview of the 1970s as a Transformative Decade in Fashion and Beauty

The 1970s witnessed dramatic shifts in both fashion and beauty trends. Traditional notions of femininity were challenged as women sought empowerment through personal style choices that defied conventions.

The era’s fashion scene showcased a remarkable fusion of influences ranging from disco glamour to bohemian chic. Fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized women’s wardrobes by introducing gender-neutral styles like pantsuits for mainstream wear.

Meanwhile, ethnic-inspired clothing made its way into popular culture through vibrant prints, flowing maxi dresses, bell-bottom pants paired with platform shoes – all reflective of newfound freedom from societal constraints. Parallel to these groundbreaking changes in fashion was an equally transformative revolution in beauty standards.

Natural looks gained popularity as women embraced their natural features over heavy-handed makeup applications seen in previous decades. A more relaxed approach towards grooming and styling emerged, fostering an emphasis on enhancing one’s unique features rather than conforming to a rigid beauty ideal.

Importance of Makeup as a Form of Self-Expression During This Era

Makeup became a powerful tool for self-expression during the 1970s. It allowed individuals, regardless of gender, to communicate their beliefs, attitudes, and affiliations non-verbally.

The rejection of societal norms in favor of personal autonomy was epitomized by the freedom people experienced through cosmetics. The ability to transform oneself through makeup provided an empowering outlet for self-discovery and creative expression.

Whether it was experimenting with vibrant eyeshadows, drawing attention to the eyes with heavy eyeliner and false lashes, or sporting bold lip colors, cosmetics allowed individuals to break free from traditional beauty standards and embrace their individuality. Moreover, makeup became a visual representation of social movements that emerged during this era.

The punk subculture embraced unconventional looks characterized by dark, dramatic eyes adorned with smudged eyeliner and unconventional lip colors like black or blue. Hippies celebrated natural beauty by opting for earthy tones and minimal foundation in harmony with their bohemian ideals.

The 1970s were a transformative decade that challenged conventional notions of fashion and beauty. The importance of makeup as a form of self-expression cannot be overstated during this era – it served as both an artistic medium for personal creativity and as a vehicle for communicating one’s identity and affiliation within various subcultures.

The Natural and Bohemian-Inspired Looks

One of the defining characteristics of makeup trends in the 1970s was the shift towards a more natural and bohemian-inspired aesthetic. Women embraced earthy tones and soft, natural colors to achieve a look that reflected their free-spirited nature.

Instead of heavy foundation, they opted for minimal coverage to enhance their natural complexion. During this era, bronzer became a staple in every makeup lover’s routine.

It allowed individuals to achieve a sun-kissed glow reminiscent of days spent basking in the warmth of nature. Applied strategically on areas where the sun naturally hits the face – such as the forehead, cheeks, and nose – bronzer created a healthy radiance that exuded effortless beauty.

The Bold Eye Makeup

Eyes were undoubtedly one of the focal points in 1970s makeup looks. Heavy eyeliner played an instrumental role in defining and enhancing one’s eyes.

Dark shades like black or brown were popular choices as they added depth and intensity to the gaze. The eyeliner was often applied thickly along both upper and lower lash lines, creating a sultry look that epitomized the era’s sense of glamour.

Experimentation with vibrant eyeshadow colors was another hallmark of 1970s eye makeup trends. Shades like blue, green, and purple took center stage as women sought unique ways to express themselves through color.

Whether it was through bold single-color eyeshadow looks or intricate multi-hued designs, these expressive choices allowed individuals to showcase their creativity on their eyelids. To further amplify the drama surrounding eye makeup during this time, false eyelashes became increasingly popular.

Women sought lashes that were long, full-bodied, and capable of transforming their eyes into captivating works of art. False lashes emphasized the allure of the gaze and were often paired with generous coats of mascara to create a striking effect.

The Statement Lips

1970s makeup trends boasted powerful lips that demanded attention. Matte lipsticks in bold shades like red, coral, or deep plum became synonymous with self-expression during this era. These vibrant hues became a statement of individuality, providing women with a means to communicate their confidence and assertiveness through color.

For those who desired an added touch of shine and luster to their lips, lip gloss was the go-to option. It provided a shiny finish that accentuated the shape and fullness of the lips.

In some instances, glittery accents would be incorporated into the lip gloss, ensuring that every smile sparkled with a touch of whimsy. Makeup trends in the 1970s reflected an embrace of natural beauty mixed with bohemian-inspired elements.

Earthy tones, soft colors, and minimal foundation enhanced one’s complexion while bronzer bestowed a sun-kissed glow. Bold eye makeup featuring heavy eyeliner along with vibrant eyeshadows and false lashes highlighted the expressive power of eyes.

The statement lips sealed the look’s boldness through matte lipsticks in daring shades or glossy finishes adorned with glimmering accents. These trends not only allowed women to experiment with their appearance but also served as vehicles for self-expression during an iconic era.

Disco Glamour – Inspired by the disco era’s glitz and glamour

The disco era of the 1970s brought forth a new wave of glitz and glamour, both in fashion and makeup. The iconic makeup looks of this time were all about capturing attention on the dance floor.

Shimmering eyeshadows in metallic shades like gold or silver were a staple for achieving that disco ball sparkle. These vibrant colors were applied generously to the eyelids, often sweeping from lash line to brow bone, creating an intense and captivating gaze.

To further enhance the dramatic effect, false lashes became a popular accessory during this era. Women sought long, fluttery lashes that would stand out under the pulsating lights of the discothèque.

Paired with heavy coats of mascara to add extra volume, these false lashes created a mesmerizing look that drew all eyes towards them. In keeping with the sultry vibes of the disco scene, smoky eyes became a go-to technique for many women.

Dark hues such as charcoal or midnight blue were blended expertly around the eyes to create depth and intensity. This technique added an air of mystery and allure to any makeup look, especially when paired with dramatic winged eyeliner.

Hippie Chic – Reflecting the bohemian spirit of the time

The 1970s was also known for its bohemian movement, characterized by free-spiritedness and embracing natural beauty. The Hippie Chic makeup look reflected this spirit by focusing on creating a fresh-faced appearance using minimal foundation. Instead of heavy coverage, women aimed to achieve dewy and radiant skin by opting for lightweight foundations or tinted moisturizers that allowed their natural complexion to shine through.

This approach highlighted individuality and celebrated imperfections. Eyes played a crucial role in this makeup look.

Brightly colored eyeshadows in hues like turquoise or lime green were used to add a pop of vibrant color to the lids. These bold shades were often applied up to the crease and blended for a seamless transition, creating an eye-catching and bohemian-inspired effect.

To complete the Hippie Chic look, loose powder was delicately applied to set the makeup and create an ethereal glow. This technique accentuated the natural luminosity of the skin, giving it a soft-focus effect that perfectly complemented the carefree spirit of the time.

Specialized Makeup Techniques

The Contoured Look: Sculpting the Face with Shadows and Highlights

In the 1970s, makeup artists began to embrace the art of contouring, a technique that enhances facial features through the strategic use of shadows and highlights. This method involved using a darker shade of foundation or bronzer to create shadows on areas like the hollows of the cheeks, temples, and jawline.

By contrast, lighter shades were applied to highlight areas such as the forehead, bridge of the nose, and cheekbones. This technique helped create a sculpted, chiseled effect that was popularized by celebrities like Cher and Farrah Fawcett.

The Winged Eyeliner: Adding Drama to Eye Makeup

Winged eyeliner became a signature look of the 1970s. This technique involved extending eyeliner past the outer corner of the eye in an upward flick, creating a subtle or dramatic winged effect depending on personal preference.

The key was to achieve symmetry and precision in drawing both wings. The winged eyeliner added allure and drama to eye makeup looks and complemented bold eyeshadow colors beautifully.

Lush Lashes: Enhancing Eyelashes with Mascara

Mascara played an essential role in achieving statement eyes during this era. To enhance their lashes further, people used lash curlers before applying mascara for added lift and volume.

Multiple coats of mascara were applied generously to create thick, lush lashes that framed the eyes perfectly. Additionally, some individuals opted for individual false lashes or lash extensions for an even more dramatic effect.


The makeup trends of the 1970s were diverse and reflected a spirit of self-expression unique to that era. From natural bohemian looks to disco glamour, this decade allowed for experimentation and creativity.

Specialized makeup techniques like contouring, winged eyeliner, and lush lashes enhanced the overall impact of these trends. The 1970s marked a turning point in the beauty industry as makeup became more versatile and dynamic.

While fashion and beauty continue to evolve, there is a certain nostalgia and charm associated with the makeup looks of the 1970s. The era celebrated individuality, breaking free from traditional norms, and embracing one’s unique style.

Today, we can draw inspiration from this transformative decade by incorporating elements of 1970s makeup into our modern routines. Let us embrace our personal creativity, celebrate diversity in beauty standards and remember that makeup is not just about enhancing our physical features but also a powerful means of self-expression.


What were popular makeup trends in the 1970s?

Popular makeup trends in the 1970s included bold eyeshadows, dramatic eyeliner, glossy lips, and natural, sun-kissed skin.

Can you name some iconic makeup products from the 1970s?

Iconic makeup products from the 1970s include Maybelline Great Lash mascara, Revlon Moon Drops lipstick, and Max Factor Pan-Stik Foundation.

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

Makeup in the 1970s was characterized by a more relaxed, bohemian vibe compared to the more structured and conservative styles of the 1950s and 1960s.

Were there any influential makeup artists or celebrities known for their 1970s makeup looks?

Yes, makeup artists like Way Bandy and celebrities like Farrah Fawcett and Cher were known for their iconic 1970s makeup looks that influenced the era’s trends.

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