Beauty and Make Up Fashion History After 1950
In the 1950s colour films made an enormous impact on
cosmetics. The huge cinema screens illuminated the unblemished appearance of
stars and caused the make up artist Max Factor to invent an everyday version of
the foundation he used called “Pan Cake”. This was a makeup to gloss over
skin imperfections. He also brought out a range of eye shadows and lipsticks. Later in the 50s titanium was added to tone down the brightness of products
and this resulted in lips with a pale shimmering gleam. The idea was extended to
create frosted nail varnishes of pink, silver and a host of other colours.
One unexpected facial accessory of 50s was
spectacles. Frequently these were inlaid with diamante or scattered glitter dust. The
exaggerated wings at the outer corners flared in the style of butterfly wings.
In the early 50s the ponytail was a popular youthful
hairstyle and it matured into the French pleat. For the more sophisticated a permanent wave in the
favoured by Elizabeth Taylor and the young Queen Elizabeth II were
Right - Elizabeth Taylor who set trends in hair
and make up looks.
As products such as hair lacquer sprays came into general use
it was easily possible for ordinary women to create more and more complex
hairstyles of height. By the late 50s outrageous backcombed bouffants,
beehives, and French pleats led the way for the intricate coiled hairstyles of
In the late 50s the make up company Gala had introduced pale shimmering lipsticks
with added titanium. Later Max Factor brought out a colour called Strawberry
Meringue which was a pastel pearly pink. They really caught on in the
sixties as young girls were frowned upon if they wore brazen red lips, so the
softened pink and peach colours were acceptable initially to parents, but then became a trend.
Magazines taught step by step how to use recently introduced
lip brushes and young girls began to blend and mix their own lip colours often
having first blotted the lips out with Max Factor Pancake make up. Nail polish
followed a similar trend with pastel pearl colours being the rage.
Eyes were a main focus and once the film Cleopatra was
released showing Elizabeth Taylor with very emphasised eyes everyone learnt to
apply eyeliner and socket lines. The models Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy (Leslie
Hornby) along with the actress Julie Christie all with their lined eye sockets
captured the look that said Sixties Chick with chic.
Quant brought out a range of great and affordable cosmetics in
up to the minute formulations with innovative cheek contour shaders and
She encouraged users to use make up brushes to apply eyeliner and
blusher to achieve the hollow cheek, wide eyed look of the model Twiggy. It really
was the best make up to use then if you wanted to get the look just so, as it
contained information leaflets with diagrams of positions for the blush shading
and highlighting which was all very new at the time to ordinary mortals.
Many of the
items she designed bore the Quant
daisy logo. Vidal Sassoon gave Quant a new equally fashionable
haircut that defined one particular 60's look and spawned many variations.
A natural look was important in the mid and late seventies. Eyeliner and painted on eyelashes all became passé and softer looks were
fashionable. In the early seventies eyes sometimes had white highlighter on the brow and sometimes soft
coloured eye shadows were used around the eyes in a way that had been used for
eyeliner. Pearlised liquid eyeshadows were a new innovation and a similar
product was promoted in 2001. Very long
eyelashes were still desirable. Loose powder went out of fashion and foundations
worn alone gave a sheer effect. Lip liner was all the rage.
Right - Charlie's Angels with Flicked up hair
The rough cut blonde flicked hairstyle was popularised by Farrah
Fawcett Major (above) from the series 'Charlie's Angels'. Constant use of blow
drying, tongs or
heated rollers were required to make the hair flick. Other styles included Afro
perms which only required washing and forking with a special lifting and
Make up came back in fashion. I t was quite a natural lighter
look, but in truth strong red lips which matched the many tomato red jackets
which abounded were not very natural. Make up was quite defined to match power
dressing, but the main feature was the emphasis put on skin care, anti ageing
and beauty treatments or therapy. Skin cancer became talked about and a big
issue was to tan or not to tan. Many people spent hours under sun beds. Fake
tans were improved and bronzing gels and bronzing face powder beads were
A favourite product of the era was Clarins' Beauty Flash
instant facial pick me up.
Hair was almost more important than make up. Hair was big and
blousy and uplifted with mousse in true Dynasty and Dallas
Yves St Laurent launched his famous Touché Éclat which
became a must in many women's handbag. New lighter face skin foundations seemed
to be announced every month and the end of the decade saw some very good
foundations emerge in the marketplace.
& Spencer launched great skincare and
make up ranges to suit the pockets of everyone. More importantly some of the
items they sell can be easily bought from their internet site worldwide and
delivered anywhere in the UK.
Staying power of lipsticks improved. In 2000 the Max Factor
company launched the Lipfinity lipstick range which
consisted of two products. The sticky lipstick is painted onto the lips and
allowed to dry for 1 to 4 minutes depending on the amount used. Then the product
is sealed with a special separate lip gloss. This wonderful product when
correctly applied stays on the lips through normal eating and drinking and even light kissing
and dentistry for up to 8 hours.
Only a really greasy cream cake, a
heavy steak or oily sauce can dissolve it. But you must apply the gloss coating
at least once for this to work well. To keep it looking fresh and
glistening it just needs a retouch
with the gloss through the day. Those tempted to reapply the colour without cleansing it off
first will find that makes it bitty. If you need to change the colour in
the day then carry some Neutrogena face wipes with you as they dissolve it well.
If fine lines around the mouth with lipstick runs are your
problem this lipstick will transform your life. Be warned it does have a
different texture to standard lipsticks and it does take about 3 or 4 days to
get used to it. But you'll never see a smear on a cup again. My favourite
colours in the original colours which would suit an ash blonde are 110, 120 and 140 in the red
range, 40 and 46 in the pinks and, 50 and 80 in the mauve berry tones. All
colours can be mixed on the lips when wet during application so it is possible
to make your favourite colour. For more ideas go to How
to Assess A Fashion Look.
Lipfinity 2009 Review - I believe that in 2009 or at the end of 2008, Max
Factor must have altered the numbers of some of the Lipfinity colours. Why - I
have some older Lipfinity sticks in my bag that are same number, but appear to
be different colour mix. Some stores like my local Boots have two types of
Lipfinity on offer as they get rid of older stock. They have both types of stock
at present which includes the old white case lip gloss sealer and the newer
black cased lip sealer. I preferred the older white case. In a tumbled make up
bag, it was easier to locate the white stick compared to the new black case as
many products like mascara use black cases. The end labels used to denote the
colour have also been moved to opposite ends of the colour stick. Since this
label end is now touched much more the number wears off much faster about half
way through product usage and confuses one trying to establish the number for a
repeat buy. The repeat numbers are also so tiny you need a microscope!
But it still is a terrific lip colour system.
Since 2001 other manufacturers such as Clarins have launched long lasting lipsticks that
really do have better staying power. The Clinique 'stay the day' one
is a good, but slightly different alternative to Lipfinity. This is
available in the UK now at £14 for a 12gm product, making it much the same price
as other products, but with more product in the container.
In Autumn 2005 I tried Maybelline Superstay
lipstick and it is every bit as good as Lipfinity. It has a similar format
as the Lipfinity of a separate lipstick you paint on and a separate solid gloss
sealant. I prefer this format to the long stay lip types that have the wet
lipstick and wet gloss in one single case. The Superstay is slightly smaller at
2.6ml of lip colour, but it is also less expensive than Lipfinity by a few
pounds too. The colour range is also pretty.
I have also found that you can mix Lipfinity colours with
the Superstay colours and use either Stick Gloss Sealant and it still works.
However you can't use the liquid gloss sealant from StaytheDay or Avon with
either Max Factor Lipfinity or Maybelline Superstay.
New facial cleansers that washed off were popular in place of
cleanse and tone separately.
By 2000 throw away cleanser wipes at low cost averaging 15p
-20p a wipe were
used by many. Some of the best include those by L'Oreal Plenitude, Nivea and Oil of
Olay. These all remove both eye make up and lipstick properly, but gently unlike some of the less
adequate products available which can be gentle, but less effective.
The Plenitude and Nivea ones are pre soaked in a dual purpose wet
cleanser and toner so they are very swift and easy to use and quickly wipe away
face make up. The Olay
facial cleansers need to be wetted to release the impregnated product in the
wipe and give a wet wash and exfoliation from the irregular surface of the
disposable cloth. In truth with all wipes, one cleansing wipe is needed to remove about 90% of the
make up and a second wipe to really remove every last trace of deposit.
In general hard traditional bar soaps lost popularity in the
bathroom as they were replaced by moisturising bath and shower gels and liquid
handwashes and cream cleansing bar products like Dove.
Aromatherapy products for face, body and hair took a huge
percentage of the market by 2000 as self indulgent pampering became the norm. Decleor's Aromessence with neroli oil, Elemis milk bath, L'Occitane's pure soap
products and Jo Malone's bath essences were typical of the feel good factor
products used daily by many.
Consumers became very aware of skin cancer. Most people now
know a victim of melanoma skin cancer. So fake tans and make up bronzing products were even further
improved in the 90s, providing effects which were very natural.
The fake tan called St.Tropez usually salon applied was
thought one of the best fake tans around. Competition from other great products included
the wonderful natural looking low odour Decleor Auto Bronzant and Elemis self tans. Other
good products giving great overnight results at home include Clarins Self
Tanning Instant Gel, Lancôme Soleil Flash Bronzer, Sisley self tanning Gel and
St.Tropez Tinted Self Tanning Lotion a D.I.Y version of the salon treatment.
All the products work best if the skin is first scrubbed free
of loose dry skin with a skin exfoliant product, showered, dried and then
creamed well with a body lotion. The fake tan is best applied with long strokes.
Anyone who finds it difficult to apply to areas like feet/ankle bones/elbows
where you can get unnatural excess product build up and an over coloured
appearance, might find adding a little extra moisturiser to the tanning product
makes for a smoother application.
Waxing or shaving of body hair should be done at least 24
hours before application of fake tans on grease free skin.
Pre tan accelerator treatments applied for about a fortnight
before a holiday also became popular for those who still liked to sun worship.
But by 2002/3 self tanning cubicles became more and more usual throughout the
UK. It takes only 5 minutes to sprayed with fake tan by a therapist at
St.Tropez Airport 1 and the bronzer used best suits blondes or olive toned
skins. These spray treatments are a huge improvement and give a more even
New rivals to St. Tropez include Au Courant also available as
a spray treatment or a home DIY kit. Easy application is also possible
today using Estee Lauder Sunless Towelettes at around £17. They are great for
top ups and for eliminating strap marks in one quick wipe. Any mistakes
that are hideous can be removed with St.Tropez's self tan remover at around £15.
Permanent body art such as tattoos and more adventurous body piercings
are popular with
adolescents and adults in their twenties and thirties. An article in 2001 in The
Sunday Times suggested that if a female did not have a tattoo, she might well be
of a certain generation and probably marked as over 50.
Tattooing is seen as a rite of passage in some circles. Once
it was putting up the hair, then having ears pierced and then the audacity of
other body piercings. Now the latter are so normal that individuals seek to
establish personal identity by individual body markings. Nothing unusual about
that in some parts of the world, but formerly frowned upon by a western society
that now embraces tattoos.
When recent films with beach scenes were made the producers found
it difficult to find nubile young teenage girls without tattoos on their
shoulder lines, navels, thigh lines, backs or breasts. The girls were required as extras
for a beach scene set in the 1950s and it seems that even the best make up does
not give adequate
coverage in film close-ups.
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Skin jewellery was briefly popular because it was so simple
to apply and so easy to remove. Skin jewellery takes the form of self adhesive
crystals that can be arranged in patterns. The best of these are made by Swarovski Crystal Jewelry and they can be bought from various outlets such as Marks and Spencer,
QVC, beauty and jewellery departments. They are more readily available in the festive
winter season. Crystals and fake gems are also added to nails today and the nail
art produced is often a work of art.
All over the world body painting of children's faces is
common, particularly at school functions and fairs. In the 1990s it became
quite normal for men to paint the colours of their football teams in stripes or
patterns on their faces or scalps. This followed the film Braveheart.
time we recall seeing this form of painting in the street beyond the tribal effect seen in
anthropological films and that worn as media art by the model Verushcka, was in 1977. A small number of the huge crowds
greeting H. R. H Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace during her Jubilee
used Union Jack
colours in a flag arrangement, on their hair and faces. After the wedding of
Prince Charles the fashion for face painting seemed set for festive occasions
and the film Braveheart took it into the sports field.
For several years bindi or henna tattooing has been seen in
the UK. Madonna adopted
it as body decoration a few years ago and it became popular with many
Now the latest trend is to have professional eyebrow shaping
which lifts and contours the face providing a frame. It gives the instant effect
of a mini face lift and involves waxing and plucking of the brow hairs for the
smoothest outline. In the hands of skilled technician, the eastern method
of threading is considered to be the most superior way of removing brow hair.
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