At some point in their lives, most women will have a moment with liquid eyeliner (and ideally, a full box of cotton swabs at the ready for corrections). There is truly something about that sly swoop across the eye that finishes a retro makeup look like no other. Whether 1960s housewife, post-rockabilly tough girl or ingénue, this era is reinterpreted in fashion time and again for good reason: There is deep meaning behind this makeup trend’s polished quasi-perfection. The ‘60s were a time of cultural upheaval and an aesthetic so pronounced, it is nothing short of iconic.
In Fall 2011 collections, the 1960s retro makeup trend made a comeback at Alberta Ferretti, Gianfranco Ferre, D&G and Louis Vuitton. And it isn’t just on runways that we see the 1960s influence – there’s many pop culture reference too from the polished (often challenging) women of Mad Men and ABC’s new flight attendant-focused series Pan Am, to musicians like Duffy, Adele and indie breakthrough bombshell Lana Del Rey who embody this retro makeup trend in their own unique ways. The look is simultaneously about shyness and sex appeal, femininity and feminism, and these dichotomies are what allow this aesthetic to be culturally and purposefully revisited so frequently throughout fashion and time.
On runways, here’s how the 1960s retro trend was brought to life in the hair and makeup looks:
Mod makeup tips: Full brows
A full, unbleached brow is a must for framing the ‘60s-inspired face. At Alexander Wang, brows were darkened and filled in, and at Oscar de la Renta, they were structured with emphasized arches. A strong brow not only frames the entire face, it also acts as an important accent for a heavily lined and shadowed eye-the single most important feature for playing up a retro sexy look.
Mod makeup tips: Made-up eyes
The key to ‘60s beauty is in the eyes: wide, lined and wing tipped. For Fall 2011, we saw heavy liquid eyeliner take different shapes from classically curled up at Gianfranco Ferre to sloped down at Marc Jacobs and teal coloured at Jil Sander with a striking bright red lip. There’s a coquettish feel to flicked liner that makes the face light up and it’s no wonder this technique winds up somewhere in almost every fashion season.
More mod and ‘60s makeup tips on the next page …
Mod makeup tips: Matte lips
Matte nude lips are the perfect offset to an exaggerated eye. In the early part of the 1960s, lined eyes were paired with prim,
rouged lips as somewhat of a beauty hangover from the ‘50s and only in later years, when mod came into its full hysteria, did mouths go nude and distinctly matte. At Alberta Ferretti, understated lips inspired by Twiggy rounded out the ‘60s vibe. Tip: dab your concealer over your mouth and smudge thoroughly over the lip line to create a muted pout.
Mod hair tips: Teased hair
Finishing a retro trend beauty look almost certainly has to be done with teased hair; either piled high, in a ponytail or let softly down over the shoulders-it’s all about volume at the crown of the head. At Bottega Veneta, teased and twisted bouffants channeled a ladylike Amy Winehouse.
Going forward for Spring/Summer 2012, beauty is moving more minimal with fresh, healthy skin emerging as the prevailing trend, however we’re still seeing an influence from the 1960s in eye makeup. Eye shadow emphasized in the crease at Peter Som and Zac Posen speak to bright, mid-century doe eyes and heavy eyelashes paired with tough-girl bandanas at Marc Jacobs resulted in a post-Rosie the "We Can Do It" Riveter aesthetic. Predictably, in London for S/S 2012, Amy Winehouse inspiration was in full force with massive amounts of liner at Jonathan Saunders and teased crowns at Christopher Kane and Mulberry. Regardless of collection or season, it’s safe to say that this retro trend – the finished, togetherness of it all – will always have a place in beauty.
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