Exploring the Glamorous World of 1920s Makeup

Exploring the Glamorous World of 1920s Makeup

Exploring the Glamorous World of 1920s Makeup


The 1920s, also known as the Roaring Twenties, was a remarkable decade marked by significant social and cultural changes. Women’s liberation, jazz music, and an overall sense of liberation were prominent aspects of this era. The makeup trends of the time perfectly reflected the spirit and vibrancy of the era. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the glamorous world of 1920s makeup and discover the secrets behind the iconic looks that defined the era.

The Iconic Flapper Look

One of the most iconic looks of the 1920s was the flapper makeup look. Flappers were young women who rejected societal norms and embraced a more rebellious lifestyle. Their makeup choices were bold, dramatic, and unlike anything seen before.

The flapper look focused on emphasizing the eyes. Dark, smokey eye makeup was a popular choice, along with heavily defined eyebrows. The use of kohl pencil to darken and elongate the eyes was a common practice. This look was all about creating an intense and sultry gaze.

The lips were often portrayed in a cupid’s bow shape, accentuated with dark, berry-toned lipsticks. Rouge was applied to create a more youthful and flushed appearance. However, a natural or pale complexion was often preferred, sometimes achieved by the use of powder.

The Influence of Hollywood

The rise of the film industry in the 1920s had a significant impact on makeup trends. Hollywood glamour became a major source of inspiration for women all over the world. Actresses like Clara Bow and Louise Brooks, known for their unique beauty, became style icons.

Women started embracing bold and defined eyebrows, inspired by the likes of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Thin, rounded eyebrows were shaped and then filled in with dark brown pencils or powder to create a striking contrast against the skin.

For the eyes, the “smokey eye” look became even more intense, with shimmering eyeshadows, long lashes, and heavy mascara being popular choices. The use of false eyelashes also gained popularity, enhancing the overall dramatic appearance.

The iconic “Cupid’s bow” lips remained a staple, but now with a wider range of lip colors available. Red lipstick, representing sensuality and power, became a key feature of the Hollywood-inspired makeup looks. A hint of blush on the cheeks added a touch of youthful glow to complete the glamorous look.

Makeup Products and Techniques

During the 1920s, beauty products evolved, and new techniques emerged to achieve the desired flapper and Hollywood-inspired looks. Here are some of the popular makeup products and techniques of the time:

  • Kohl pencil: Used to define and darken the eyes.
  • Powder: Used to achieve a pale or natural complexion.
  • Rouge: Applied to create a youthful flush on the cheeks.
  • Lipstick: Dark, berry tones and bold red lipsticks were popular.
  • Eyeshadow: Shimmering, metallic shades were used to create a glamorous eye look.
  • Mascara: Used to enhance and lengthen the lashes for a dramatic effect.
  • False eyelashes: Became a popular choice to achieve fuller lashes.


Q: How did the 1920s makeup differ from previous eras?

A: The 1920s makeup was characterized by its boldness and focus on the eyes. It deviated from the more reserved and natural looks of the previous eras.

Q: What inspired the makeup trends of the 1920s?

A: The makeup trends of the 1920s were inspired by the changing societal dynamics, the rise of the film industry, and the desire for female liberation.

Q: Were there any restrictions on makeup during this time?

A: While makeup was becoming more popular, it wasn’t widely accepted by everyone. Some conservative groups and older generations viewed makeup as scandalous or improper.

Q: What role did celebrity icons play in influencing makeup trends?

A: Celebrity icons such as actresses and performers were major influencers in shaping the makeup trends of the era. Their looks were admired and emulated by women across the globe.

Q: Are any 1920s makeup trends still relevant today?

A: Absolutely, many of the trends from the 1920s continue to inspire and influence modern makeup looks. The focus on bold eyes, defined eyebrows, and captivating lips has remained timeless.