1950’s Bridal Makeup

Vintage makeup is such a popular look at the moment! I am asked to do strong kitten flicks, deep red lips and big lashes for my brides and makeup clients all the time. I love how bold this style is and of course I like to incorporate it in my own makeup routine, although it is fun to go vintage and can be quite dramatic… 

lucy jayne makeup artist 1960s makeup

Here I am with my 1960's hair and makeup at a recent awards show!

If you are a bride that likes her makeup more subtle and natural but wants a vintage/retro influence. I think I have found the perfect era for you!! THE 1950s!

  • What are the stand out features of a 50’s look?

The key to the 50s makeup look is pale porcelain skin with every feature from the eyes to the lips softly defined by a hint of colour as the women from this era liked to feel ‘made up’ but in a more natural way than in previous years, think Betty Draper from Mad Men!  Eyebrows were neatly tapered and defined with pencil and the eyeliner was winged.  The length and depth of the wing depended on personal choice and just how glamorous you wanted to be, with film stars opting for a dramatic look and the average woman opting for a softer style.

1950s makeup moodboard

  • Who do you think are some of the biggest beauty icons of the 1950’s?

Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren were popular beauty icons of the 1950’s with Marilyn’s eyeliner and Audrey’s eyebrows still a popular look today.

  • How would you style a modern day 50’s look for this Autumn/Winter?

My winter go-to-foundation is great for this 1950s style! I use Doublewear liquid foundation by Ester Lauder, its great for giving that ‘blank canvass effect’ and I think that in the winter it definitely feels more comfortable to wear a heavier base, I would then conceal around the under eye area and finish my base with a veil of translucent powder. I always want to give the illusion of flawless skin and I find MAC Prep + Prime Translucent Powder does the job perfectly without looking heavy. For everyday I would keep the eye shadow neutral with either a nude matt pink or a shimmery pearl swept from the lash line to brow bone. This will also give the illusion of a higher brow bone and will help when defining the brows. Eyebrows were quite heavy in the 50s being defined with pencil but a softer alternative is to use a shadow – Benefit do a great eyebrow shadow ‘Brow Zing’ and this comes with all the tools you will need to get the perfect Audrey Hepburn brows! I think cream liner is the best product for creating the perfect eyeliner flick and depending on the occasion the length and thickness of the flick would vary, for everyday I would keep it quite subtle but would maximize my lashes with loads of mascara. I think pastel shades are a nice soft look but I think that in the winter women tend to be a bit braver when it comes to makeup (I know I do!) so instead if a pink lip I would be more inclined to go bolder with a deeper pink/mauve lipstick for the evening or a lip stain for everyday – this is also great for the cheeks to give a pinch of colour.

Bridal makeup Behind the scenes

1950's Bridal Makeup

  • What are some of the classic colour pallets that are used for a 1950’s beauty style?

Pinks and Pastel shades were a huge trend in the 1950s. Eyeshadow palettes had hit the market that gave the option of soft pinks, pale green, baby blue and lilac’s that were also matched to the day’s wardrobe choice. Women wore their makeup a lot heavier than they had in the past and the foundation colour was a touch paler than their natural skin tone with pinky blush giving a hint of colour to the face. The pastel theme was reflected in the lip colour with lighter hues of pink, coral and orangy-reds.

Dana Bolton Wedding Dress Designer

Pastel Pink and Frosted Pink were popular shades in the 50's

Step by step process to create this look?

  • The face was prepped with pale cream foundation to create a blank canvass and a matt face powder to set.
  • Powder eyeshadow was used in pastel and shimmery shades but kept to a minimal sweep across the eyelid, as the main emphasis was the eyelashes.
  • Lashings of heavy mascara to the top lashes gave a real doe-eyed effect and eyeliner was applied along the lash line and flicked out to exaggerate and to add to this super feminine look.
  • Brows were kept natural and neat but were defined with slightly darker pencil.
  • Pinky peach blush gave a hint of colour to the cheeks and was occasionally swept across the brow bone.
  • It was popular to exaggerate the natural lip line and cupids bow. The lip colour of choice was more pinky than the reds of previous eras making the lips look big and voluptuous.

    Dana Bolton Wedding Dress Designer

    Pastel pink lips with a highlighted cupids bow

Can the 50’s look can be varied for different face and eye shapes?

Women in the 50s did the ‘strong natural’ look well and one good thing that we can take from this era is that this style can be tailored to suit everyone. I think you just have to tweak it to fit in with your own look. You might not want to go crazy with all pastel colours but some will suit you more than others e.g. lilac and peach look great on blue eyes, blue and lilac look lovely on green eyes and purple and blues really bring out brown eyes! One of the key parts of the 5o’s makeup look is the eyeliner flick, the size and length of your flick may depend on the occasion (or how steady your hand is!) and can look great on any age but I would soften the line with a cotton bud for a casual day look or if its worn on a more mature eye.

 Lucy Jayne x