It was an era defined by glamour and excess, and now the styles of the Roaring Twenties are making a very big comeback in both the fashion and makeup scenes. The 1920s was a decade defined by indulgence and beauty – the skirts got shorter, the cocktails got bigger and the world fell in love with the silver screen.
The 1920s was also the era when makeup became more readily available to ordinary women, with MaxFactor and Maybelline creating many more affordable products and beginning to refer to them, for the first time, as ‘makeup’. With stars like the glamourous Greta Garbo applying bold red lipstick and dark eye makeup to intensify their on-screen presence, interest in the beauty industry really began to kick off in a big way. Makeup became a tool for the increasingly aware feminist movement, allowing women everywhere to express themselves and take control of the face they showed to the world.
The makeup of the period was, like everything else from that time, characterised by excess. This year we have seen 1920s-inspired makeup from some of the top artists at the big fashion houses, with gold eyeshadows and dark, thick eyeliner giving a real wow-factor to their models. It’s also surprisingly easy to achieve the same results at home, if you know how and have the right tools for the job.
One of the boldest looks from the Roaring Twenties were those elongated eyebrows popularised by the ethereal screen sirens of the era. Using a brow pencil which suits your natural colouring, a few short strokes at the end of your brows can help draw them out and help make your eyes appear much larger.
Red lips were also the order of the day, offering a stark contrast to the matte skin and showing up particularly well on the black and white screen. Don’t be afraid to go bold – use a lip brush to accentuate your cupid’s bow and make sure the colour is evenly carried to the corners of your mouth.
When it comes the eye makeup, the smokier and more seductive the better. In order to achieve those heavily defined eyes so beloved of the ‘20s, choose a dark grey eyeshadow or something dark brown/red if you want to be a bit different. The best tool for blending your eye makeup is a small oval makeup brush such as those available from Jolie Beauty. The soft heads of these brushes allow you to blend colours seamlessly to achieve that flawless, smoky effect.
Starting at the inner corner of your eyelid, generously sweep your eyeshadow outwards and over your eye socket, then round it off with a kohl eyeliner along your top lashes. For added definition, you should try and blend your eyeliner itself up slightly so it runs into the eyeshadow, creating a dark outline to your eyes.
When it comes to your skin, use one of the larger oval brushes in your set to gently buff loose powder into your cheeks, working outwards in a circular motion to create that even, matte tone which was popular during the period.
Nothing sings parties and fun quite like the makeup and fashions of the Roaring Twenties, so it’s easy to see why they’re making a comeback this summer. Heed our advice and get in on the act – it’s guaranteed to make you feel a million dollars.