The 1970s Makeup Look – 5 key Points

by Besame Cosmetics Gabriela Hernandez

1970s makeup! An easy guide to the look by Besame Cosmetics founder Gabriela Hernandez. From shimmer eye shadows, bronze powders to perfect 1970s lips

Jane-Seymour-1972 makeup

The Era of Cream Shadows and Lip Gloss

Read more in Gabriela’s book Classic Beauty – The History of Make-up

The 5 Key Points of the 1970’s Makeup Look

  • Shimmer Shadows are used on the eyelids with mascara on the top and bottom lashes.
  • Eyebrows are kept natural, brushed, and tamed with ‘clear’ mascara.
  • Light liquid formulas and opalescent or pearl powders are used for a healthy glow.
  • Bronze powders are applied liberally all over the face;berry shades on the apples of the cheek.
  • Shiny clear glosses or pink and nude pearl lipsticks coat the lips.
1970s Make up Color Palette.

Women during the 1970’s worshiped a tanned, athletic, and natural look. They wanted their looks to be simple and effortless, although it took more effort, than less, to achieve it.

1970's makeup---Besame-Lipstick

Glamour Daze loves this classic lipstick from Besame Cosmetics. They’ve named it Chocolate Kiss Lipstick !

Free Yardley 1970s Makeup Guide


Shimmers were used to highlight the cheekbones. Natural peaches and pinks were used on the apples of the cheeks.
A natural sheer foundation that matched the color of the skin was used.
The application was kept light to look normal.


The decade’s most characteristic shadow was a fusion of the banana shape over the eyelid crease with the upper lid outlined with shadow. One of the most trend-setting innovations was doping this kind of shading with black and white !

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The Enduring Legacy of Max Factor

Cream shadows also made their first appearance. The eyelid wore heavy shadows in three coordinating shades, with shimmers becoming very popular.

Rouge began to be applied in “L” shapes.


False lashes – so popular in the 1960’s, continued into the 1970’s, but with more natural shapes.

The lips remained pale with shades of peach and pink for daytime and glossy vibrant colors for evening. Light brown lips, not overly made up, sometimes in the same shade as the foundation, were covered using the very same foundation.


Eyebrows were kept natural and brushed. Eyes were emphasized with heavy pastel cream shadows and thick liners in the evening and light to no make-up looks in the daytime.

Mascara in black or brown was applied to look natural in daytime, and more defined for evening.


Lips were dewy and glossy. Yardley’s Pot O Gloss being a particular favorite

Get the 1970’s Look

  • 1970’s Blush

The-1970s-Face---Revlon Blush

Bronzer is applied liberally on the face and well blended. The color is swept with a large brush on the cheekbones, the tip of the nose, chin, jawline, and hairline. the color chosen is two shades darker than the face to maintain a natural look.

Blush is used on the apples of the cheeks.

The color is a deeper version of a natural blush, like a vibrant peach or raspberry stain. The color is blended to look like a natural flush.
Shimmer highlighter is used on the tops of the cheekbones.

  • 1970s Eyes


Eyes feature new shimmer pastel color eye make-up. Black mascara, black eyeliner, and shimmer eye shadows make the eyes very dramatic.
During the late ’70s, softer looks become more fashionable and replace powders with soft foundations that provide sheer coverage.

The eyes are kept neutral for daytime with mascara used on the top and bottom lashes.


The eyebrows are kept natural, brushed, and tamed with clear mascara. The application is light to look natural. The inner lower lash lines are rimmed with white eye pencil.


For more dramatic evening looks, three highly pigmented shadows in bold colors are applied: one very light and shimmery, the other medium-toned, and the last one is the darkest. They are often different tones of the same shade, such as baby blue, blue-gray, and navy.
From lash line to crease, a pearl opalescent medium shade is used.
On the crease and on the outer edges of the upper eyelid, the darkest shadow is used. On the brow bone and inner corner of the eyes, the lightest shade is used.
The edges are well blended to fade any hard lines. Pastel shimmer eye shadow is spread on the whole eyelid with an eye shadow brush. The eye is lined underneath with pastel shimmer eye shadow using a small eye shadow brush.

For an evening look, black eyeliner is used on the top eyelid starting at the outside corner of the eye working toward the inside corner of the eye. the line is started high on the outside corner of the eye to achieve a cat-eye look. the bottom of the eye is lined with black eyeliner. Dense false lashes add extra drama to the defined evening make-up.

That’s all !

©Gabriela Hernandez – Classic Beauty – History of Makeup


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