The Roaring ‘20s is THE look for this year’s New Year party season. The ‘20s were known for prohibition, flappers, jazz, the Charleston dance, and organised crime. In line with the booming economy, it was considered pretty normal for girls to be flashy and gaudy, especially when attending formal soirees and dances.
In this article, we take a look at how you can create an authentic look for your ‘20s party night by using the makeup styles and techniques of that bygone jazz age and giving them a modern twist.
Until the 1920s, "nice girls" didn't wear makeup, which was referred to as "paint." In fact, what would today be considered to be regular makeup was associated then with dancing girls, movie stars, and prostitutes!
More adventurous ladies of the age took their makeup ideas from movie stars. In the 1920s, films were silent, and there were no speaking parts. So, the actresses of the day, such as Bebe Daniels, had to look directly into the camera to communicate their emotions solely through their facial expressions.
The most popular eye shadow style for evenings was the smoky eye that was typically created by using black and dark grey eyeshadow, which was shaded and blended upward toward the brow line with a brush.
Red rouge was also all the rage, and you can recreate that look by swapping black eyeshadow for red. Draw a line of red shadow on the waterline, and use a blending brush to smudge the line. Finish off by applying mascara, and explore various options and colour combinations of eyeliner.
The eyes are described as the “windows to one’s soul,” so, naturally, the eyes were the key to successfully putting across those 1920s actresses’ emotions, and long, thick lashes quickly became the fashion.
Girls who were blessed with naturally long eyelashes sought to make the most of their assets, and very quickly, eyelash curlers became popular.
Towards the middle of the 1920s, beaded eyelashes became all the rage. This incredibly difficult to create style entailed applying tiny beads of melted cosmetic eyelash coating to the ends of each individual lash with something similar to an orangewood stick.
Modern “flappers” can buy ready-beaded false eyelashes, some with sparkles to enhance the glittering evening look.
Towards the end of the decade, creative makeup artists introduced stunning metallic lashes in gold and platinum shades. The look was further enhanced by the addition of tiny gemstones or “glass” jewels along the lash-line.
Today, you can further complement the look by adding a sparkling sequin beauty spot.
In the 1920s, mascara was available in liquid, cake, or wax form. Brushes were usually straight and had to be moistened before dipping them in cake powder. If no mascara was available, girls would apply some brown liquid makeup to a finger and then to the lashes by batting them onto a finger. That creates a soft look that goes well with smokey eye makeup.
Mascara, in the 1920s, was always free from clumps and left each lash defined. That’s what makes false lashes so perfect for recreating that 1920s look, although you do still need to apply mascara to the bottom ones. Use new mascara, as more clumps will form if the mascara is past its best.
To get the flapper look, curl the lashes, and then apply mascara straight down on the bottom and straight up on the top. Don’t move the brush from side to side, as that will make the lashes stick together.
When the mascara is dry, use an eyelash brush and run it through your lashes, making sure that all the hairs are separated.
The lips of the 1920s flapper were painted to form a classic Cupid’s bow shape. Dark red lipstick was the most popular shade and was always glossy and designed to look inviting and kissable!
Use a lipstick liner to draw or paint well-defined lines around the edges of your lips and infill using a pillar box red glossy lipstick to get the 1920s look.
Flappers have a distinct, easy-to-copy look. Keep your makeup, hairlines, and shapes well-defined. Go for long, luxuriant lashes, perhaps with beading or metallic overtones, and you'll look as though you're on your way to Jay Gatsby's New Year's party in a Rolls Royce Speedster!
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