Most Popular Makeup Trends of the 1960s

Makeup trends in the 1960s can be divided into three significant stages. During the advent of the decade, the fad leaned towards the more familiar, subtle, classic, and elegant style. Just a few years later in the mid-1960s, it evolved to the British-led mod phase, shifting to a girlish look to cater to young women and teenagers and match the rise of vividly colored clothes and mini skirts. At the end of the 60s, feminism grew stronger and fashion sense switched to dress styles that exuded women’s equality with men. Thus, veering away from the chic look, which then developed into the early hippy counterculture style. In this article, let’s discover more about these popular trends and how they were reflected in the 60’s makeup elements.


Women at the start of the decade used pale, cream foundations on their faces to emanate a fabulous flawless look. Other girls used concealers to correct and cover blemishes and redness. Translucent powder is then set liberally in the face’s entirety to create a perfect matte finish. It was pretty simple, sans any contouring or highlighter, and only little no to bronzer. A breakthrough innovation in the decade introduced the powder and foundation combination, which allowed women to attain a polished yet natural appeal. The main trend was to steer clear of the cakey look and embrace the idea of being less is more. 


Mascara and eyeliners became the go-to makeup products for women in the 1960s. No wonder, as the eyes became the focal point of the decade’s overall look. For daytime, elegant style was achieved by using pastel and light matte colors on the eyelid. For the perfect evening look, jet black eyeliner was applied along the waterline and the upper lash line to make the eyes pop. Many then opted to go for brown, green, and blue-toned eyeshadows to accentuate the look.

Such a modest look was replaced during the British-led mod phase. Twiggy, the British cultural icon, immortalized the new look. Black liquid eyeliner still dominated the new stage, but a white pencil liner was utilized on the waterline to provide the eyes a more “opened” look. Huge doll-like false eyelashes accompanied the style and became one of the primary accessories of women in the 1960s. 


You might be surprised, but blushers weren’t actually a makeup commodity during the 1960s. In the cases they used, they were seen in subtle, peachy shades and were just sparingly applied to achieve a soft, natural glow. Other acceptable colors then were pastels, such as soft rose, coral, pink, and warm brown. Blushers also came in powder, as other formulations like cream, liquid, or cake weren’t still available then. While the ‘60s is renowned to be an era where colors exploded, it was reflected more on the clothing styles rather than makeup, which stayed on the modest side to complement the former.


The eyebrows have seen the most substantial changes through the decades, even prior to the 1960s. During the 60s, women wore well-groomed eyebrows, usually shaped, sculpted, and defined using eyeliner or brow liner pencils. Other women opted to shave inner lines of the eyebrows to replace them with softer and shorter strokes. The late hippie counterculture in the latter part of the decade saw eyebrows reverting to a more natural look without the heavier pencils.


As the eyes were the highlight of the 60s’ makeup, lips were kept pale to avoid shifting the focus. Women choose natural colors, ranging from pastel peach, pinks, corals, beige nudes, and subtle reds. Some women even used foundation to conceal their lips to put them in the backseat and help them blend to the face’s entirety instead. Other venturesome women who followed the mid-decade British mod-style were often seen wearing white lipsticks.

Final Words

The 1960s was one of the most diverse decades in terms of makeup trends. Yet, that was what made the era exciting as it allowed women to express themselves in a variety of ways. Likewise, people enjoy changes and are always ready to embrace new trends that may come into the fascinating and ever-evolving world of makeup.