AW13 Makeup Trends: 1950s Makeup

The 1950s makeup style is a trend that is here to stay this autumn, so we have looked over the 50s makeup, icons, colour pallent and how to modernise this and asked some wonderful beauty experts for their take on this iconic look.


What are the standout features of 1950s makeup?


Amber, founder of Forever Amber

Iai??i??d say the things I personally associate with a 50s look are red lipstick and catai??i??s eye flicked eyeliner: I think those two elements alone will instantly give even a fairly contemporary look a bit of a 50s twist.


Who are your biggest icons of the 1950s?

Jeni Yesterday

Jeni Yesterday, the founder of Yesterday Girl

For me, Elizabeth Taylor epitomises 1950s glamour. She had an elegance that was portrayed not only through clothing, but her love of accessories and by her simple 1950s cosmetic application. She was lucky enough to have strong natural brows and she certainly didn’t appear to need to wear to much eye makeup to accentuate her eyes. She kept her look natural, so much so that in some images you can see her freckles, but her bold lipstick added the mid-century glamour.


Are there any influential films that you think help to inspire the 50s look?


Sara, founder of Darling Lovely Life

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Elephant Walk, Sabrina, To Catch a Thief, The Seven Year Itch and, of course, The Prince and The Showgirl.


What colours are used in a 1950s Colour Pallete?

Stevie, from Glamour Daze

The principle behind choosing your ‘colour type’ in the 1950s was to match your natural hair and complexion colours with your clothes and makeup.

You broke your personal colour chart into 3 palettes and once you chose your wardrobe – for daywear, eveningwear or special occasions- you then created your 1950s makeup colours to match one of these 3 colour charts:

Colour Pallette

Blonde Haired -
1.The Principle Colour – Gold, muted or greyed yellows
2.The Complimentary – Sky Blues down to marine greens
3.The Dramatic contrast – Vivid Magentas

1.The Principle Colour – soft pinks, muted rose, warm red and brick reds
2.The Complimentary – blues to greens.
3.The Dramatic contrast – deepest purple

1.The Principle Colour – burgundy wine reds, purplish reds
2.The Complimentary – tropical greens
3.The Dramatic contrast – all one colour, black, white, blue etc.

Silver Grey Hair-
1.The Principle Colour – Muted blues, lilacs, soft purples, mauves
2.The Complimentary – soft yellow greens
3.The Dramatic contrast – Cardinal Red.

Colour Pallette 2


What application tips would you give for a 1950s style?

Demi, the beautiful face behind the Demi Lauren blog

The 1950s look can very much be varied for different face and eye shapes! Sometimes it’s important to stay focused on either the eyes or lips. If the eye shape is smaller, focus can be made more on the lips going for deeper and brighter reds. For different face shapes eyebrow shapes can make a lot of difference. For example the stunning Elizabeth Taylor was rounder near the chin but this was balanced out by her beautiful thick eyebrows. Eyebrows were always well kept and shaped perfectly in the 1950s, the most common shape for eyebrows was an arch.


How would you mondernise the 50s makeup style?

Cailtin Peterson, founder ofThe (Ef)Face

My typical makeup routine consists of a matte powder foundation in a very light shade.
Then, I swipe on blush on the apples of my cheeks and blend it up towards my hairline. A pink cheek adds life to the look. After blush, I put a very neutral shade of shadow on my eyelids. Then I take a liquid liner and draw my cateye shape. I tend to put a little more curl, rather than making such a straight pointy shape; that keeps it cute and softens it. Then, I grab my favourite lipstick and swipe it on. I’m always careful to accent the cupid’s bow. Also: if I really need my lipstick to stay, I fill my lips in with red liner before.


What is your step by step process for a 1950s look?

Lucy Jayne

Lucy Jayne, Makeup Artist and founder of Lucy Jane Makeup

The face is prepped with pale cream foundation to create a blank canvass and a matt face powder to set. Powder eyeshadow is 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 gives a real doe-eyed effect and eyeliner is applied along the lash line and flicked out to exaggerate and to add to this super feminine look. Brows are kept natural and neat but are defined with slightly darker pencil. Pinky peach blush gives a hint of colour to the cheeks and is 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.


To help create this look yourself, check out House of Fraserai??i??s full makeup range to find the products that will give you the ultimate 50s look.

Alice Carroll

I'm Alice, Al or, if you are the five year old me, Ice (yes, I did want to be a member of Kris Kross, and yes, I did wear my jeans backwards). Womenswear Editor at House of Fraser Online, I've grown out of backwards clothes and instead chose to invest my money in vintage sportswear and bomber jackets, while inking my body with unnecessary tattoos and rapping along to every word of The Streets - Original Pirate Material. My proudest moments were seeing a shoot I styled in my favourite magazine and getting a three-dart-finish in a game of darts. Oh, and Bart Simpson was my first crush.

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