In the 1970s, Vogue magazine proclaimed that ‘There are no rules in the game now’.
This was a time that took the bright colors and themes from the previous decade, and ran with it, creating bigger and bolder looks with each passing year.
In this article, we have created a list of 10 of the most iconic, recognizable makeup looks that came from the seventies. Let’s take a look through.
1. Cut Crease Eyeshadow
Cut crease eyeshadow was at the forefront of fashion up until a year or so ago, when it was slowly but surely nudged out of the way by more naturalistic makeup looks.
If you ask us, this is a real shame. Crease cuts have been used for decades upon decades, but it was during the 1970s that they truly became a staple in the world of makeup application.
For those who aren’t aware, a crease cut is when one or two eyeshadow colors are applied to the lid and the brow bone, with a darker color making a line between the two, creating a divide.
This gives the illusion of a more prominent eyelid.
If you have hooded eyelids and would like to make it look as if you have more visible surface area on your lids, a cut crease is always a good option.
2. Colored Eyeliner On Waterline
While black eyeliner has been a makeup hit for many decades (more on that later), lighter colors have also been used to enhance the shape and overall look of an eye.
Wider eyes have always been viewed as being more innocent and ‘attractive’, especially in Western cultures.
Applying a lighter colored eyeliner to the waterline of your eye can create the illusion of a wider eye, as it can be mistaken for the white of your eye from a distance.
This was a particularly popular trend in the 1970s, when people would use all different colors of eyeliner; not just white. Pastel colors work best when trying to achieve the wider-eye appearance.
Black eyeliner can also be used on the waterline, although this will achieve a grungier, more punk appearance.
3. Thin Eyebrows
For the past few decades, thick eyebrows have been at the forefront of fashion (thank you, Cara Delevingne).
However, the public’s preference of brow size has constantly wavered over the decades, switching up every couple of years.
In the 1970s, thin eyebrows were the in-thing. Most women would pluck their brows until only a neat, slim line was left above their eyes.
Thin eyebrows appear more tidy than thicker ones, and they are easier to brush and maintain.
However, they can take more maintenance in other ways, e.g., having to pluck them every other day, depending on how fast your hair grows.
If you are brave enough to try a thin eyebrow, we say go for it! This can create an elegant look that will compliment your features, and work well with your makeup routine.
4. Winged Eyeliner
Some may find it surprising how long winged eyeliner has been around, since, for some reason, it feels like a pretty modern trend.
This is because winged eyeliner is a timeless form of makeup that will enhance anyone’s eyes, and overall look.
This trend first became truly mainstream the decade before, debuting in 1950s Bollywood. However, it was in the 1960s that it really became popular amongst the public.
The reason that winged, black eyeliner looks so good is that it blends in with your eyelashes, creating the illusion that they are a lot longer and thicker than they actually are.
Winged eyeliner is always in fashion, since it really is a timeless trend that works with pretty much all fashion styles.
5. Defined Eyelashes/Thick Mascara
As we mentioned earlier, large, wide eyes have often been viewed as being innocent, sweet, and overall attractive.
While some people have naturally big eyes, others have to find ways to make them appear a certain shape and size.
White eyeliner on the waterline is one great way to make your eyes appear larger, but, perhaps, the most popular way to do so is to apply some thick mascara to your lashes.
Mascara has been around for the longest time, but it was Twiggy, in the 1960s, who really redefined what thick, luscious lashes can do for a look. This trend followed through into the 1970s.
By applying mascara to the top and bottom eyelashes, the eye appears wider, and ‘prettier’. To this day, mascara is one of the most popularly-bought makeup products around the world.
6. Colorful Eyeshadow
While it was during the 1960s that bright colors really came into fashion, along with the ‘flower power’ movement, this trend followed through into the seventies, where it seemed to remain for several decades.
From this point onwards, more men were opting to wear bright makeup, alongside women (see also “Best 1920s Makeup To Keep Wearing Today“). David Bowie and Mick Jagger were just two of the male figures in the limelight who adorned brightly colored eyeshadow while performing on stage.
The vivid eyeshadow choices made in this decade paved the way for what was to come in the 1980s; even brighter colors.
If the public still felt even slightly reserved about their makeup choices in the sixties, that uncertainty had been completely diminished by the following decade. The makeup of the 1970s was bigger and brighter than ever before, and filled with plenty of color.
7. Suntanned Skin
In the 1970s, tanning became somewhat of an epidemic. Sunbeds were becoming more widely used, and it even became a trend to use cooking oil on your skin to help you tan (or, rather, burn) faster.
The public, even back then, were fully aware of the dangers of too much sun exposure, including the increased risks of skin cancer.
This didn’t really make too much of a difference, however, as the community had already caught tan-fever.
The expression ‘sunkissed’ became a fashion trend in itself, with everybody wanting to become a couple shades darker.
Today, with the help of self-tan bottles, or even bronzer and some foundation in a slightly darker shade, you can gain a tan using much safer measures.
8. Pale/Glossy Lips
Paler shades of lipstick made its way into the forefront of fashion during the sixties, and it became a staple in the makeup industry by the seventies.
During the start of the 20th century, darker lipstick colors were more favored, such as reds and maroons.
These were popularly adorned by golden Hollywood stars, which made these colors favorable with the public.
In the 60s and 70s, nude shades became more popular, along with baby pinks. Additionally, more people were using glossy lip makeup rather than matte, which added a bit of shine and dazzle to their everyday appearances.
Pale lip colors and lip gloss are constantly weaving in and out of fashion, but they never truly go away. They are a timeless combo, in our eyes.
9. Disco Eyes
When most people think of the 1970s, their thoughts usually go to the most popular, era-defining music genre of that decade: disco.
During this time, discotheques were the place to be. Many people wouldn’t even go there to get drunk; they would simply show up in their comfiest shoes, and dance the night away with their friends.
In order to suit the location, those in the seventies would match their appearances to the theme. This was often done by using facial jewels and sparkles to add to their eye makeup, or anywhere on their faces.
Facial jewels and glitter are still used to this day, typically at festivals and concerts. They are a gorgeous way to upgrade any makeup look, especially for special occasions.
10. Minimal Makeup Looks
Finally, we have a makeup look that completely contradicts the previous entry to this list, and isn’t really a makeup look at all. Or, at least, that’s what they want you to think.
The seventies saw a rise in minimalistic makeup looks, i.e., makeup that doesn’t look like makeup. It was suddenly becoming cool to look natural, avoiding using foundation, concealer, or anything that covered up the skin on your face.
However, this doesn’t mean that people didn’t wear makeup. They would use subtle forms of makeup, such as mascara and powder, to enhance their features without making it obvious.
Naturalistic makeup looks are becoming more popular in 2023, with bright eyeshadow looks and dark lipsticks fading a little into the distance.
These types of looks can help to enhance your natural beauty, and it is a lot easier to remove at the end of the day.
Whether you prefer a more natural look, or you are a fan of all things glitter, the 1970s was the perfect era for all makeup styles.
It evolved the trends from the 1960s, and paved the way for some more outrageous, iconic looks to come in the 1980s.
We still love each of these trends, and believe that they still hold up to this very day. Do you still use any of them?
If not, we think you should give them a try.