Step back in time: vintage hair and make up

Photo: (Sarah Wu / Neon Tommy)

Written by Emily Rebecca.

“All that Swinging Sixties nonsense, we all thought it was passé at the time.” – David Bailey

Looking for something different or dramatic this party season? Retro hair and make-up is the way to go.

From bouffant beehives to sharp bobs, the past is the place to look for party inspiration.

Eyeliner is the key to classic vintage make up. As seen on the It Girls of the ‘60s – such as Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick – flicks and outlines are still as in fashion as they were 50 years ago.

Pastel blue or silver and grey eye shadow with bold black lines and stand-out eyelashes cement the ‘60s look.

Pin up style make up is also seeing a resurgence in popularity recently. Bold lip colour and arched brows are key to recreating this look, along with, of course, eye liner and flawless foundation.

Heavy eye shadow and thin brows are the styles of the decadent and indulgent 1920’s. You can look to Baz Luhrmann and his glamorous adaption of The Great Gatsby for the resurfacing of this trend.  There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube that show you easily how to do these looks and styles, but to make life easy.

YouTube uploader pixiwoo shows you clearly step by step how to recreate the Twiggy look here. She also highlights methods and amounts of the make-up you should use to give you a flawless finish.

For classic ‘50s make-up, user VividMakeup: Aja shows how to recreate the glamorous pin up style as seen on screen sirens such as Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe.

When it comes to the eyes, false eyelashes can really complete the vintage look and add a pop of drama to your party outfit.  For the pin up look, Eyelure’s Girls Aloud range is perfect, specifically Nicola’s which she described as “full but still demure… with the length and thickness we need.” Costing just over a fiver with plenty of use in them (I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve reused my trusty pair) they really are worth the money.

Sarah Harding’s design is strong and bold, perfect for recreating ‘60s make-up. Both pairs can be bought from Boots and Superdrug, as well as many other make-up orientated shops.

There are countless methods you can try with your hair no matter what the length or type, and while the intricate and neat styles may be daunting, backcombing really is your best friend when recreating victory rolls or beehives.

If your hair is pixie cut or bob short, the 1920s is definitely the place to look for inspiration. Not only is it right on trend with glamorous flick The Great Gatsby recently being on screens, it really dips into the indulgence and richness we see every Christmas time.

The trick is to make sure your hair is healthy before attempting a style. Backcombing can be necessary, but if your hair isn’t healthy enough to recover after brutally brushing it out, you should avoid any styles that need it.

YouTube is the place to go for easy to follow vintage hair tutorials;

PinupDollAshleyMarie really is one of the only YouTube uploaders you need on your subscription list when it comes to retro hair tutorials. She shows us how to do everything from victory rolls to waves to elaborate and stand out styles. She makes something delicate and time consuming suddenly quick and easy, and shows that practice makes perfect when it comes to the trickier parts of the classic do’s of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

You can be part of the 1920’s trend too if your hair is long or medium length, as shown in the following handy tutorials to show how to make the chic waves seen in many hairstyles of that era; faux bob, finger waves and for longer hair lengths.

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