The 1960s was an era of change. The decade threw prior notions of female posterity and modesty to the wind, which gave us trends like mini skirts and beautiful eye makeup. Neutral tones and delicate cat eyes were traded for pastel colors and bold eyeliner. Although the era’s influence has long lingered in modern-day trends, ‘60s eye makeup looks have recently been coming back in full force.
I first took stock of the ‘60s eye makeup revival while scrolling TikTok (#modmakeup currently has over 1.9 million views). All of a sudden, my feed became an endless array of floating eyeliner and Jean Shrimpton makeup tutorials. Then I started noticing the beauty style on celebrities like Bella Hadid, Lily Collins, and Lucy Boynton. And, TBH, it makes sense — the curtain bangs of the the 1960s bombshells have been all the rave this year, so makeup was sure to follow suit.
It’s a trend makeup artists are noticing, too. “I see the convergence of a couple of factors driving this renewed interest in the ‘60s aesthetic,” says Fatima Thomas, senior national artist at M.A.C. Cosmetics. One reason? The pandemic. “The ‘60s featured a strong emphasis on eye makeup, making it the perfect inspiration for mask-ready beauty,” she tells Bustle. The second factor has to do with the reemergence of society, she explains, and people wanting to embrace the newfound freedom outside of quarantine.
Before you hop into your cosmetic time machine, make sure you’re stocked with Q-tips, small liner brushes, and micellar water to delicately fix mistakes, says Jamie Dorman, celebrity makeup artist. Then you can have fun recreating four of the most iconic ‘60s eye makeup looks, below.
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1. Dramatic Bottom Lashes (aka ‘The Twiggy’)
The makeup look that’s most synonymous with the ‘60s is the dramatic bottom lashes made famous by women like Twiggy and Diana Ross. The doll-like glamour effect was achieved by painting on eyelashes underneath the eye.
When creating this at home, you’ll need a light eyeshadow color, dark eyeliner, mascara, and, depending on personal preference, individual false lashes. Dorman says the process begins by applying a light eye color all over the eyelid. Then, using a dark or bold eyeliner, draw a half-circle that goes around the eye socket. If the floating liner feels too dramatic, you can replace the socket outline with a more demure smear along the lash line.
The pièce de résistance of this look, however, is the lashes. Take your eyeliner of choice and “draw on the lower lashes towards the outer edge of the eye,” says Dorman. You can choose to draw them on uniformly or in descending size from outside the eye to the inner corner. The last part of the equation is mascara: “You want to use a lot of mascara for this look, preferably a volumizing formula,” she says. Once you’ve coated the top and the bottom lashes, you’re good to go.
2. Bedroom Eyes (aka ‘The Edie Sedgewick’)
Another eye makeup revival from the ‘60s is Edie Sedgewick-style bedroom eyes, according to Dorman. The look is a subtler take on the Twiggy-esque bold lower lashes: The clean lines with precise shapes are replaced with softness and blending.
Begin by painting your lids in a light color shadow, says Dorman. Then, arm yourself with a dark eyeshadow and a thin eye brush. “Draw a line through the crease that peaks on the inner side of the socket and descends downward as it approaches the outer edge of the socket,” she explains. Since it’s done with shadow rather than pencils, it’ll be easier to blend. With the same eyeshadow brush, finish by drawing a line under the bottom lashes and then smudging it for a perfectly undone je ne sais quoi.
3. The Sharon Tate
The late Sharon Tate epitomized a beauty look that combined the previous two makeup styles. “This look has the same shape as ‘the Twiggy’ through the crease along with the same smudgy-ness of the ‘Sedgwick,’” says Dorman.
The defining feature is the crease line, which ends on the outer edge of the top lid. The rest, however, is dealer’s choice: Add individual false bottom lashes, a pastel base shadow color, or whatever eye makeup look you’d like.
Because the finished eye makeup can sometimes wind up looking costume-y, Dorman suggests pairing it with a glossy lip to keep things modern.
4. 1960s Smoky Eye (AKA ‘The Brigitte Bardot’)
The final 1960s makeup look making the rounds is “a smoky, deep-toned, winged out, and smudgy eye inspired by Brigitte Bardot,” says Dorman. Because it’s meant to be imprecise, it’s the easiest one to master.
All you really need are two eyeshadow colors, says Dorman: “A deep tone for the socket and under the eye, and a very slightly lighter shade for the lid,” she tells Bustle. The depth and darkness of the look are completely up to you — go with a light touch or build on the pigment for depth and contrast. Besides the two shadows, Dorman says an easy way to bring this look into the modern-day is by adding glossy glitter to the lid.