Hollandsch Meisje

Make up of the 1960s and 1970s

Recently I filmed some 1960s and 1970s looks for a collaboration. As someone who isn’t necessarily very good at make up I did a little research and looked for inspiration images. Just like I do for any type of look I try to recreate, except I’m not that familiar with these styles. I overdid it and read so many articles and watched a lot, A LOT, of tutorials for different styles and trends from the era. So I thought I would share with you.

One of the challenges with these things is that the collective memory of a certain age isn’t usually actually a correct representation. The 60s and 70s looks often blur together. Did you watch films from the 60s or more modern films about the 60s? A modern interpretation might not be historically accurate and more aesthetically pleasing for modern eyes for instance. Products used then and now are very different and give different results. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it is the first thing to determine when looking for historical fashion trends and methods: How historically accurate is your reference? 

Modern interpretation found on pinterest versus >>
Actual make up looks from the 1970s

Another thing to remember is that whatever celebrities did, and fashion magazines said everyone was doing, are usually not what everyone actually did in real life. That was no more the case back then as it is now. Furthermore, in 10 years there are a lot of trends and iconic looks to base your look on. 

But generally speaking some things are true for most of a decade. Here’s some things I found that might make it easier to distinguish between decades and create your own vintage (inspired) make up look:


  • Bold eyeliner
  • Big lashes, often false lashes
  • Matte 
  • Focus on eyelid,  brow bone and brows
  • Neutral lip colours, matte


  • Soft eyeliner, if any
  • Soft lashes and brows
  • Shimmery
  • More focus on lower lashes and undereye
  • Glossy lip and later bold colours

For anything you do, your reference determines the outcome. I used this image from an ad as inspiration for my 70s look. But if I went with a modern reference photo or even another 70s style it could have looked very different. 

Why did I pick this one? Because I have the same eye colour and complexion, I had an eyeshadow colour in my palette that matched as well as a similar lipstick. It was easy, or at least easier, and like I said at the beginning of this blog post: I’m not necessarily that great at make up. Next time I might give the BIBA style a go or try Debbie Harry or Donna Summer’s bold styles. The great thing about make up both then and now is that you can do whatever you like and change it up whenever you want!

Have fun!