Before I begin this fun little history lesson, I thought I should properly introduce this new mini-series to you. I went a little pin-crazy today on Pinterest (highly addictive) and came across some retro makeup looks. After viewing several it dawned on me that it would be SO much fun to do a series of makeup looks inspired by a certain time period, along with a brief history of what woman used during that time. There you have it. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, and if you have a specific time period you would love to see, feel free to leave it in a comment below, or email/tweet me. πŸ™‚

(Image source:

Whenever someone mentions the 1920s I think of Flappers almost instantly. The rebel girls who wore skirts too short and hair bobbed, so risquΓ©! It’s no surprise that in the ’20s women changed how they wore makeup seeing as how the metal lipstick tube was invented just a few years prior and that rouge (now more commonly called blush) was finally made into powder form making it easier to apply. While interpretations of what women in this time period wore may vary, there are a few points that most sources I read can all agree on.

First is that the lips were shaped into a cupid’s bow and the lower lip was slightly exaggerated. Colors varied from year to year, but deep reds, red-browns, oranges and raspberry colors were popular. For the most part lighter, more porcelain skin was in vogue, of course until Coco Chanel arrived from back from a vacation in the sun with a glorious tan. Rouge was bright and usually red and anything but subtle. I used my lipstick as my blush and, using a stippling brush, lightly dotted it on the apples of my cheeks.

Eyes were kohl-rimmed and usually shaded with green, turquoise or deeper, darker greys. Mascara did not exist in the form that we know it today. It was mostly in cake or wax form later in the decade, but earlier on women used what they had at their disposal. Using a combination of Vaseline and soot, a woman could give her lashes a darker, waxy appearance as was the style. In my rendition I imagined that if I had used Vaseline on my lashes (I didn’t) my eyes might get a little smudgy, even greasy looking. I added a small amount of Vaseline to each of my eyes to simulate the effect it probably had.

Eyebrows were thin, and very dark. They had a distinct rounded feeling and were turned downwards.


Products used:




I hope you enjoyed the final results. I had a great time doing this tonight except I have to say, I’m surprised by how long it took me to get the lips right. I thought it would be so simple. It wasn’t! πŸ™‚

(Sources: Flappers, 1920s Makeup, Cosmetics in the 1920s)

(item marked with a ‘*’ was provided by PR for review purposes only)


29 responses to “The History of Makeup: The Roaring ’20s”

  1. annie says:

    Ooooh this is so FUN! I’m excited about this series! 20’s makeup actually suits you – loving the eyes on this look!

  2. What a great idea Danielle! Loving the look!

  3. This is totally gorgeous – I tried to do 20s makeup for an event once, and it was really hard for me to get the look just right. I think you’ve pulled it off beautifully, especially the lip shape! That’s what I had the hardest time perfecting.

    I would totally love to see you do this for all the decades πŸ™‚ I’m really not familiar with anything but the 20s and the 50s pin up look.

  4. Kayla says:

    This is such a fun idea for a series, Danielle! I LOVE the 20s and this look is positively gorgeous on you! Very nicely done!

  5. Jessica says:

    I LOVE this. The whole look (down to the hair) is spot on, but particularly the way you’ve created the shape of your lips.

    I definitely look forward to more of these.
    β™₯ Jessica

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks Jessica! πŸ™‚ I really need to work on the next one but I haven’t had the time! Maybe I will be able to do some research this weekend.

  6. Absolutely love this series! You did a fantastic job recreating the Flapper look, and I can’t wait to see what else you come up with.

    P.S. You’re on Pinterest? Where? I would like to stalk your boards please πŸ˜€

  7. jessica says:

    intresting woahh her eyebrows lol

  8. SUCH fun!!! Did you see Lisa Eldridge’s videos on this? I reposted them on my blog– they are terrific, she interviewed woman who wrote a history of make up and she showed Lisa all of this ACTUAL make up from the time that she had collected. It’s super cool, I think you would dig it.

  9. Alison M says:

    This is going to be too much fun! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next πŸ™‚

  10. Sabrina says:

    Great post idea and awesome look! Love the lip shape especially and of course the color!

  11. You did such a fantastic job — I LOVE the brow! And I’m also really enjoying this lip colour on you πŸ™‚

  12. Sarah S. says:

    You did a great job. I love how cute the lips look with the sultry eyes! It’s like naughty + nice and so chic πŸ˜€

  13. What a fun series! I look forward to seeing more looks!

  14. Yay I can’t wait to see more from this series, I’m a total sucker for the history of makeup πŸ™‚ *sigh* What I wouldn’t give to be immortal and have been around back then

  15. Jen W says:

    Love the idea for this series. Can’t wait to see the other looks!

    You’ve done an amazing job recreating the period, and the lips are perfect.

  16. Ruth says:

    Fascinating article, thanks! You look so pretty!

  17. […] too long since I did my last History of Makeup lesson post. In case you missed it, I covered the Roaring ’20s. It was fun, but much, much different than the makeup we sport these […]

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