Because You Can

Subtlety’s for squares, man.

When it comes to makeup, I’ve always thought the natural look is overrated. Like, it’s all well and good to actually not wear makeup–more power to my bare-faced sisters who let their skin breathe! But if I’m actually taking the time to slop a bunch of product on my mug, I don’t want the end result to be a “prettier, enhanced” version of myself. I want to look dramatic, different, transformed. When I meet somebody who hates on makeup (usually for the no-duh reason that it’s “fake”), I wonder what that person has against FUN. Like fashion, makeup is this incredible thing that lets you be somebody else for a day, and that’s a powerful feeling.

The ’60s really understood this approach to makeup. Beauty back then was super interesting, because people understood that makeup isn’t just about flattering your looks, it’s about harnessing the drama. So even if your usual routine consists of washing your face and applying Cherry ChapStick (I mean, it IS a totally flattering shade), I hope you will be inspired by this guide to my favorite MEGADRAMATIC makeup looks. It’s really fun to draw a different face on top of your regular face.

Clockwise from top left: Liza Minelli via Pinterest; Donyale Luna via Her Famed Warm Gun; Veruschka von Lehndorff via Fashion Model Directory; Barbra Streisand via Life

So these aren’t the craziest looks ever, but it’s all about THE EYES, and not so much the lips or cheeks. I spy brow powder, multiple eye shadows, fake lashes, and some very strong eyeliner game–all while sporting a pale or nude lip (OK, Barbra Streisand has some blush and gloss going on, but you know Babs is always OTT).

Twiggy via College Fashion

Twiggy was the acknowledged master of the dramatic eye back in the day. Here she provides us with a very handy tutorial on how to get her look, because Twiggy is service-y like that:

1. Using a black eyeshadow (like this one) and a thin eye-shadow brush (like this), draw a half-moon shape in the crease of your eyelid. Use your finger to smudge it a teeny bit so it’s not a sharp line.

2. Using a black liquid eyeliner (Forever 21’s is easy to apply and super cheap), draw a thin line along your top lashes.

3. Apply fake eyelashes to your top lid, then use mascara to blend them in with your natural lashes. Go all out here and try the longest, thickest fakies you can get your hands on. M.A.C.’s 6 Lashes are the gold standard for mega-thick (yet natural-looking) fake lashes, but at $16, they’re sort of spendy. Revlon’s Beyond Natural lashes are really similar, and 10 bucks gets you four pairs–perfect for something that will probably fall off your face in a few hours.

4. Using your liquid eyeliner, draw in a few long spiky lashes just under each eye. It’s OK if the lines vary in length and thickness–a little bit of imperfection enhances the handmade, doe-eyed adorableness of the look.

Clockwise from right: Twiggy via My Passion for Fashion; Diana Ross via Flávia Durante; Veruschka via Pinterest

Here’s Twiggy’s signature look in action, and the divine Diana Ross working a similar eye. I love that ’60s makeup could be really colorful, too. That’s Veruschka, one of my favorite supermodels of the era, in the lower right, working a fake-eyelash situation, but with an allover wash of blue eye shadow. This can look so amazing on girls of all skin tones–if your skin is pale-to-tawny, apply a pale blue shadow using a dry brush. If you have medium-to-dark skin, use a darker, shimmery blue shadow (like Blue Icing by Black Radiance), and apply with a wet brush to make the color go on bolder and last longer.

Peggy Moffitt via Born Late; Twiggy via We Heart It; Penelope Tree via A.G. Nauta Couture

Here are some other babes working the dramatic Twiggy eye + colorful shadow thing. If you’re wondering who the sad-eyed lady in blue is, that, my friends, is my favorite ’60s beauty icon. Her name is Penelope Tree, and here she is doing Cher-style, black-and-white badassery, tawny Earth Woman makeup, and the pastel megadramz look:

Penelope Tree via Bluebird Vintage and A.G. Nauta Couture

I wanted to do a DIY in tribute to one of my favorite Penelope Tree looks, the Bronze Goddess. Warning: you will need A LOT of brown and gold glitter for this.

Clockwise from left: Penelope Tree via Avant Guardian; false eyelashes, $8, Sephora; white eye pencil, $3, Ulta; Hello Kitty bronzer, $28, Sephora; NYX eye shadow, $5, Urban Outfitters; NYX glitter powder, $3, Urban Outfitters; necklace, $7, Forever 21; retractable brush, $22, Sephora (similar)

1. Bronzer: Using the biggest makeup brush you have and a bronzer that’s a few shades darker than your natural skin tone, brush a generous amount all over your face. Use extra bronzer at your temples and underneath your cheekbones to give them extra definition (this is what we call “cutting a cheek,” darling).

2. Eyeliner: Use a white eye pencil to line your lower waterline (that’s the area just above your lower lashes), then dab some extra in the inner corner of your eyes. This will give you huge animé eyes, and you will probably want to do it all the time now.

3. Eye shadow: Sweep a shimmery gold shadow over your lid. Wet the little spongy applicator thing, then use it to apply extra shadow to your eyelid crease (a la Twiggy). Bonus points if you add a little smattering of gold glitter over your eyelids.

4. Lashes: These are the most important part of this look! Using a bunch of those little individual lashes and some eyelash glue (both are usually sold as a set), apply the lashes to your lower lash line only. Applying falsies can be tricky (consult my fellow Rook Amy Rose’s awesome tutorial for help). It usually takes a steady hand and some patience to get it right. But the good news is that fake lashes are SO MUCH easier to apply to your lower lashes than your top, and they stay on better there, too.

5. Lips: If you have naturally pale lips, then don’t change a thing, they’re perfect for this look! If your lips are more pigmented, apply a bit of foundation (yes, the kind you’d usually use on your face) to them with a makeup sponge, then top with a bit of lip balm. Don’t go too bananas with the foundation–you want your kisser to be pretty close to your skin tone, but not so pale that people start asking if you’re suffering from hypothermia.

6. Extra junk: Get all Mr. T with it: throw on some big-ass gold chains, pity the fools who aren’t as rad as you, and enjoy your new theme song by one of my favorite bands, Felt. Because when you’re this iconic people write wonderful songs for you.


  • Lavender Blonde September 6th, 2012 3:13 PM

    I love makeup and I love this article. I don’t know how anyone can “hate” makeup. That should be a crime. Makeup is glorious.

  • LeatherStuddedFae September 6th, 2012 3:16 PM

    This is awesome! Now all I have to do is put a mindset to the I-Don’t-Give-a-Fuck mentality. :))

  • sparklybandit September 6th, 2012 3:23 PM

    im prone to tear up after i have spent the last hour doing my eyes – how can this stop?! i look badass in the morn but as soon as i get on the buss goodbye cateye!! what can i do to stop this??x

    • I.ila September 7th, 2012 1:32 PM

      Try wearing waterproof makeup?

  • i-like-autumn September 6th, 2012 3:25 PM

    I don’t wear makeup day-to-day (I actually dislike the feeling of it on my face, it creeps me out a little) but GOSH do I love to experiment! These ideas are going into my to-try list!


  • Lillypod September 6th, 2012 3:36 PM

    Personally, I adore makeup! I’ve always loved twiggy’s look.

  • HollinsCollins September 6th, 2012 4:00 PM

    I never wear makeup (ever) but I’ve been wanting to use eyeliner/mascara…so I should!

  • Lulli September 6th, 2012 4:10 PM

    I love this. It’s perfect.

  • pinballwizard September 6th, 2012 5:18 PM

    I love this article. The 60s is my favorite decade for makeup. Great job!

  • lylsoy September 6th, 2012 5:39 PM

    I started modelling and I love when someone does my make-up.. but doing it myself? I always end up looking ‘fake’ instead of *fabulous* when I do it ;(

  • Tyknos93 September 6th, 2012 6:32 PM

    These hands were not made for makeup application. Normally, I look like I’ve gotten into a brawl or fell asleep halfway through. Please tutorials for girls who are hopeless around makeup like myself??

  • Ben September 6th, 2012 8:10 PM

    OMG! I love this! I feel the same way i was talking to my cousin and we don’t want to wear makeup to look “prettier” it’s just super fun! I just did the twiggy thing and got some false eyelashes recently that I love! They are so much fun! I love experimenting with makeup!

  • marengo September 6th, 2012 8:31 PM

    That song is woooonderfull

  • Madness September 6th, 2012 10:31 PM


  • Kaetlebugg September 6th, 2012 11:20 PM

    I like this a lot, but the only problem is that a lot of the dramatic eye looks are on girls with really thin eyebrows, which many people don’t have.

  • paige.xo September 7th, 2012 12:09 AM

    When people say they hate make up, it annoys me. But its worse when they say that girls only wear makeup because they are insecure about their appearance. Make up is fun and dramatic and it takes confidence above anything else to pull off these looks. Rookie, you get me.

  • MaggietheCat September 7th, 2012 1:26 AM

    I rarely endorse anything in public, but I just wanted you all to know that Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara is amazing and I’m in love with it. It makes my lashes so long they bump into my sunglasses. Perfect for these kinds of looks.

  • ivoire September 7th, 2012 3:45 AM

    60′s make up is to die for! except that i don’t think the twiggy eye works for people who don’t have a deep set eye.

  • alliya September 7th, 2012 4:44 AM

    Oh man, this exactly what I think about makeup! If I’m gonna wear it, it’s going to be dramatic, otherwise what’s the point in wearing it at all? Thanks for putting the point out there :D

  • Isil September 7th, 2012 7:27 AM

    I’m 19 years old I’ve never used or bought make-up products, but I want to start it. This article makes me enthusiastic about buying and using make-up products. Thank you, Leeann!

  • jenaimarley September 7th, 2012 8:55 AM

    Oh my gods this is awesome.
    I barely ever wear makeup but when I do it’s for fun craziness (I totally agree it’s a waste of time to do a bunch of work and cover yourself in “enhancing touches” so if ya are gonna do it do it all out!)
    Thanks for the fab ideas!

  • Tasya September 7th, 2012 10:17 AM

    i’ve always wanted to rock a cateye but i never feel like it suits me so instead i just wear lipstick (red is my favourite!). and yes, i completely agree that when wearing make up, it should be dramatic and fun. i feel like if you want to go for the ‘natural’ look just go bare faced but when you wear make up just go all out. because what’s the point of wearing make up if it doesn’t show? ;-)

  • rrruthie September 7th, 2012 12:04 PM

    Oh man. I love Edie Sedgwick and her eye makeup is consistently fantastic. This article has given me so many ideas–time to switch up my daily cat eye!

  • hazeleyedgirl September 7th, 2012 3:35 PM


    So much love for all these looks, I can’t wait to try them out! <3

  • Rosslin September 7th, 2012 10:25 PM

    I also believe makeup is fun, but rarely use it dramatic for fear to attract too much atention from others. My favorite singer Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) used to use an amazing wild make-up that i loved!!!

  • Teez September 8th, 2012 8:10 AM

    for uk rookies, i love experimenting with liquid eyeliner but i always use them up so fast, and used to end up spending wayyyyy too much on what essentially is black goop. natural collection at boots do a really good sized one for only £1.99, i have about a million at home. really good for the twiggy look

  • prettyontheinside September 9th, 2012 6:18 PM

    great article and then felt!!! ahh you made my day! :–)

  • MarianRock September 10th, 2012 9:12 AM

    Love the tutorial! so gonna try it out 8D

  • anisarose September 10th, 2012 9:32 PM


  • That-Creepy-Ginger September 14th, 2012 1:17 AM

    It’s really awesome to see a person who shares the same view on make-up. You have some really unique ideas. :3

  • hoggster September 19th, 2012 4:28 PM

    I love drawing on my eyelashes!! Pink lipstick and purple hair… Not natural but very dramatic :)

  • Elsie September 24th, 2012 1:22 PM

    This is what I’ve always believed about make up. Thank you.

  • gillianmarie September 27th, 2012 12:16 AM

    I love your articles Leeann. The makeup above is very cute. Is there a way to achieve this look with lighter makeup?

  • Erin. November 29th, 2012 4:35 PM

    I appreciate the idea of this article: that, if you’re gonna wear make up, really go for it and be creative. But, at the end of the day, I think it’s most important to do what makes you feel best. If it feels best to be inventive with makeup, then go for it. If it feels better to not wear makeup, then do that. Personally I never wear makeup, not because I hate it or because I think that no one should wear it ever, but because it strangely makes me feel even more self-conscious than usual.

    That said, if I strongly felt like channelling the 1960s, I’d turn to this article.