1920’s Classically Styled Makeup

There are many different ways a lady can go in terms of her makeup look for upcoming holiday parties and festivities. Of course the makeup should be appropriate for the occasion. You don’t want to go all out glam and false eyelashes for a “barbeque and bonfire” party, but you would want to go all out for a “black tie” affair!

The 1920’s Clara Bow (silent film’s first “It” Girl) face has always been a fabulous makeup look to emulate. I’m not a huge history buff by any means, but makeup history is a bit more interesting!

A quick historical fact about makeup in the 1920’s

Women like Clara Bow started wearing much more elaborate and heavy makeup due to WWI. The war had quite a slew of men folk displaced, so the women were stepping it up a notch in the looks department because they had more competition and less fish to catch! Guess the women of the 1920’s figured the more makeup, the more attention they would get!

At the height of her career Clara Bow was best known for the smokey overdone eye makeup and perfectly “bowed” lips that could be no other color other than red. Why else wouldn’t you want to look like Hollywood’s first real sex symbol??

Here are the basics to achieving that 1920’s look:

1. Brows. The eyebrows of the day were very thin and extremely arched. Now unless it’s a period party you’re going to, I don’t suggest plucking away at your brows to achieve this, but just keep them very clean (no straggly hairs) and filled in with a brow pencil or shadow to make the arch obvious.

2. Eyes. Smokey Smokey Smokey. Trace along your upper and lower rim of your eyelids with a soft black pencil such as Rimmel’s Soft Kohl pencil in Jet Black ($3). Smudge it with your pinky finger/Qtip/or eyeliner brush to create a very “smudged” effect. Fill in your eye bed up to your crease with a deeply pigmented charcoal grey shadow. Also apply the same color shadow on top of the eyeliner you’ve rimmed along the underneath of the eye bed with a stiff bristled small brush so that you’ve got color all around your eye. Two greys to try, MAC’s Silver Ring and Nehru (both $15). Curl your lashes and apply tons of black mascara on your upper and lower lashes.

*JennySue Tip* – For more “How To” instructions check out my previous blog entry of “Smokin’ Hot Smokey Eyes

3. Cheeks. Cheeks were very prominent in this era too, but to modernize this look, I’d go very light on this feature for the sake of not looking like a clown;-) I’d do a very light application of a stained cheek like Tarte’s cheek stain in Flush ($28). Just apply it with your fingers on the apples of your cheeks.

4. Lips. This is where the look really comes into play. The whole flapper look of the 1920’s always incorporated a red lip! Prep your lips to prevent fading and feathering by using a lip primer balm. Then use a matching lip liner and lipstick, and trace your natural lip line, being sure to pronounce that upper lip bow then filling in your lips with your liner. Follow by a swipe of red lipstick, blot with kleenex, then another swipe for staying power. No gloss for this look, keep it matte. Popular reds are MAC’s Russian Red ($14)- for fair and medium skin tones, and for dark skin tone, try a more burgundy red like Revlon’s Color Stay Soft & Smooth lipstick in Divine Portwine ($10).

There you go, you now look like a sexy screen siren! Go paint the town red tonight.

Editor’s note: Go Dawgs! Beat Tech!