Concise illustrated history of 1960s makeup. Tutorials, videos and shopping links. Get the mod swinging sixties groovy chick look of Twiggy.

A Brief History of 1960s Makeup

The early 1960s makeup look was all about elegant eyes, pale pink hues and loads of powder. By the mid 1960’s, this evolved in to a simpler girlish style, typified by the likes of British models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.

Two defining images – early classic 1960s and late ‘London’ Look


However the London fashion explosion brought with it – the London Look and a revolution in hair styling (Vidal Sassoon) and Makeup (Mary Quant Cosmetics), and all eyes for a time turned to the fashionable scenes of Carnaby Street and Portabello Road in London.

1960s Eye Makeup Tutorial

60's eye-makeup tutorial
1960’s eye makeup. The defining look of the 60’s has to be in the eye makeup. Follow an original eye makeup lesson from Max Factor in 1968.

Eye contouring 60’s makeup for deep-set eyes, prominent eyes, small eyes and close-set eyes. Whether it’s the makeup of Pattie Boyd , Jean Shrimpton or Twiggy’s makeup look that you wish to emulate, these tips are the ones to follow for your eye type, regardless of color.

Deep-Set Eyes

60's eye makeup - deep-set eyes

Highlight the whole lid with white. Then blend a pale or iridescent shadow on outer part of lid to wing up and out.
Highlight just below the arch of a good brow-bone. But if the brow area is fleshy or overhung, shadow the prominent bulge away with brown, beige or grey. Line top and bottom lids finely, and mascara lines.

Prominent Eyes

60's eye makeup - prominent eyes

Shadow the whole lid with neutral brown, grey, soft blue or green. Emphasize socket arch with brown shadow or pencil, and highlight brow-bone with white to decrease prominence of lid. Draw a strong eye line close to top lashes, and outline lower lid delicately. Sweep up top lashes with several coats of mascara.

Small Eyes

60's eye makeup - small eyes

Apply a pale or softly iridescent shadow over the whole lid. Outline socket crease with dark shadow or pencil, feathering slightly upwards at outer end. Highlight just below the arch of the eyebrow. Finely outline upper and lower lids, extending lines slightly beyond the eye corner and leaving them open. Thicken the line on the top lid in the center. Draw the line under the eye a fraction below the lash roots and soften with a fingertip. Use lots of mascara on top lashes and tip bottom lashes with color.

Close-set Eyes

60's eye makeup - close-set eyes

Highlight the whole lid with white. Then blend a pale iridescent shadow on outer part of lid and wing up towards brow-bone. Finely outline three-quarters of top and bottom lids, curving lines slightly beyond the outer corner and leaving them open. Broaden top line near outer corner. Draw bottom line fractionally below lash roots and soften with fingertip. Lengthen outer top lashes with a lash-building mascara or half-strip of false lashes. Tip outer bottom lashes with mascara, and draw tiny lashes for the evening.

How to Apply 60’s Eye Makeup Tutorial

Jean Shrimpton shows how she does her make-up. British Vogue in 1963. Along with the Beatles, she helped launch the British invasion in the fashion world.

Read the full how to apply 60’s eye makeup tutorial for beginners.  Eyebrow shaping, eyebrow defining, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara

1960’s Makeup Tutorial Books and Videos

For original 1960’s makeup tutorial books, direct to your device, we suggest visiting Vintage Makeup Guides. You can perfect the sophisticated Mad Men makeup style of Jessica Pare with ease.

Jessica-Pare---Mad Men makeup look of the 60's
1960s eye makeup and pale lips. Jessica Pare in Mad Men. She helped put blue eye shadow back on the makeup map.

Vintage 1960’s Makeup Tutorial Video

1960s-makeup-tutorial film from 1969
The definitive 60’s makeup tutorial film

You can also watch our viral success – Vintage 1960’s Makeup Tutorial on our YouTube channel. With nearly 6 Million hits, it’s popularity is showing no signs of waning.

How to be Pretty in 1960 | AI Enhanced Film

A London beauty salon brought to life with AI Enhancement. A full swinging sixties makeover plus hairstyles

This short is an AI enhanced compilation of a makeup and hair feature from the film Girls Girls Girls. Courtesy Harold Baim Collection (Richard Jeffs).

Vintage 60s Makeup & Hairstyle Tips for Army Girls

1960s women in the forces get instructions on how to style their hair, skincare and how to apply makeup.

1960’s Makeup Products

The London 1960s makeup look, if it could be defined, was pale lips and pale eye shadows. Besame Cosmetics produce the perfect retro 1960’s lipstick with their portrait peach lipstick.

1960 lipstick - Besame Cosmetics

A gallery of makeup inspiration for you to enjoy. Women of the 60’s applying their makeup.

Yardley of London – tapped into the new youth look and their firm experienced a whole new lease of life with iconic 1960’s models Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton modelling their makeup products under the banner of The London Look.

English Model and Beatles chick Pattie Boyd wrote a Letter from London column in the American teen magazine 16. Teens from across the USA eagerly read about her exploits and followed her makeup tips and Hair Tutorials. There were three distinct looks in the 1960’s, the classic, the mod and the hippy. The mod look is the cosmetic look most remembered from this beauty era.

By the mid 60’s, emphasis went back to the eyes in makeup. In particular false lashes, or  more liberally applied mascara helping define the 1960s makeup style.

The 1960’s was the first ‘retro’ decade with styles in clothes, makeup and hair hearkening back to the 1920’s. However with a more waif like appearance. Lips were pale to help emphasize eyes. Legs were finally revealed in all their glory via the miniskirt fad.

Twiggy and her lashes!
Twiggy and her lashes!
  • Eyes – eyeliner was the most important makeup tool. Eyeliner was doubled up at the end of the lid.White eyeliner drawn down over upper lid to inner corner of eye.
  • Eye shadow – the popular palette was blue,grey and white.
  • Eyelashes – placed on both top and bottom for a real retro ‘flapper’ effect.
  • Powder – Lots of powder in the early 1960’s to just a dab of translucent by the end of the decade.
  • Lips – very pale pinks and reds outlined with a pencil.

1960’s Eye Makeup

Eye-shadows turned pale for a daytime look. In the evenings – lush primary shades like blue and green were in vogue. Foundation compacts out-sold liquid and cream foundations. The Mod look dispensed with the heavily powdered elegance of the early 1960’s.


In the Swinging Sixties in contrast with paler eye-shadows, foundations and rouges all emphasis went on eyeliners and lashes. False eyelashes applied with lashings of mascara were made particularly popular by Twiggy. Lip liners were rarely used by younger women, who now preferred a softer line.
For a time lipsticks took second place to the eye.
Notable 1960s cosmetic brands include Mary Kay Inc (1963),Cover Girl (1963)

© Stevie McGlinchey – Glamourdaze.com

Further Reading:
A Short History of 20th Century Cosmetics
History of Makeup – 1900 to 1919.
A History of Makeup – 1920s
History of makeup – 1930s
A History of makeup – 1940s
History of makeup – 1950s

A Concise Illustrated History of Fashion – 1900 to 1919
Concise Illustrated History of Fashion – 1920 to 1929
A Concise Illustrated History of Fashion – 1940 to 1949


Further Reading:

The 1960’s Eye Makeup Look – Maybelline.
Rare 1960’s Makeup and Beauty Tutorial on film
Pattie Boyd’s London Makeup Look
1960s Fashion Era – makeup.
1960’s Beauty and Makeup – Pinterest.

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