Cosmetics in the 1970s

Face Makeup

From the beginning of the 20th century popularization of cosmetic brought many dramatic swings in the worldwide fashion. After early Flapper and Art Deco fashion of the “roaring 20s”, to the more subdued visuals of the WW2 and post WW2 western hemisphere, another movement came that drastically changed fashion – hippie movement. Created during 1960s by the American youths, this movement influenced not only American culture, popular music, literature and arts, but it managed to do so across entire world.

1970s started with hippie movement still being strong. Psychedelic fashion (influenced by their lifestyle that was based on the concepts of freedom, alternative thought and unchained mind), focus on “peasant look”, and bright colored clothes could still be found everywhere, but cosmetic use had more varied look. Majority of the female hippies preferred feministic natural look of their faces during the day, with minimal makeup that was specifically made to be as less intrusive as possible (natural or transparent colors). Even working class women, intrigued by the works of famous fashion designers and artists (such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Francesco Scavullo, and Way Bandy), adopted this natural style, decorating their faces win serious and polite forms without any bright colors or contrasts.

On the other side of the Atlantic, European women adopted mire colorful and sensual look that was viewed as total opposite of American “natural look”. Bright red lips, long red nails, eyelid makeup, and pencil thin eye makeup were all based on the fashion of Italy and France. During those years, magazine Vogue was the center of European fashion.

With both Europe and America championing very distinct fashion styles, it was not strange to see the formation of the third movement which tried to discard all the trends of society and cause controversy and shock. These fashion movements were Punk and glam. Punk was formed in the late 1970s by youth which did not want to become part of established society. Punk fashion was based on aggressive make up, body alterations (piercings of all kinds), tattooing, and dark (usually pure black) clothes. On the other hand, glam was the fashion style of musicians who started promoting extremely extravagant style, that used high contrast colors, glitter, extreme hair, platform-soled boots, all stylized to the themes of sexuality, androgyny, science fiction, symbolism, mysticism and mythology. The most popular musical artist who spearheaded all the trends in this interesting fashion era were David Bowie, Sweet, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, New York Dolls and Gary Glitter.