The 1960s was a time of experimentation for faces, the early years simply using variations on post-war makeup themes but the late 50s and particularly the mid-60s saw a breaking away from tradition and what amounted to a revolution in the art of makeup.
The previous generation has emphasised lips with strong cherry red colours but the 60s took this away and replaced it with lovely subdued pearls and subtle colours based on light red. At the same time the eyes, previously not emphasised, were now the focal point.
It was also a time, probably the first time, that young girls had help from a source other than their mother. Magazines appeared that actually taught how to apply and blend make up and, for example, how to use the new lip brushes that were appearing, allowing teenagers to experiment thus finding their own styles.
Makeup manufacturers like Gala and Max Factor were quick to capitalise on this trend and made a point of producing make up designed for the younger women.
Eyes were emphasised and this trend soon caught on, eye makeup become a dominant part of the face. This was encouraged and nurtured by the film industry, in particular actresses like Elizabeth Taylor sported this look in many of her films. Eyes were dramatic with long curled lashes and framed by dark blue or green eye-shadow and paler surrounding skin to add extra emphasis. This was also a time for false eye lashes to again build up the visual impact of the eyes.
In those days it is true to say that both magazines and films played a formative role in developing make up ideas and styles. But designers played their part too, Mary Quant was at the forefront of this make up revolution when she brought out a whole range of cosmetics that were both designed for the younger women and much more affordable. For the first time this allowed teenagers to experiment and capture the look then in vogue. In particular, she encouraged the use of eye-liner and blusher designed to achieve the ‘hollow cheek’ look favoured by such fashion icons as models Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy.
I have not yet looked at mid-60s hairstyles but the Vidal Sasoon inspired short hair came to complete the look that was to become the iconic 60s woman.
Fashions change, of course, but the ideas created in the 60s never really went away and are still with us today: look around and you will often see makeup that is very obviously 60s inspired.