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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.