Beauty queens, let me take you back to the 70s. Disco is fun and disco makeup was shimmery, glittery, glossy and designed to be seen. You can only imagine how much fun this kind of look can be to recreate.
Women’s liberation and feminism were growing in popularity in the 70s. This had a direct impact on advertising and the cosmetics industry. Makeup trends are very cyclical much like fashion trends. They tend to come back around every couple decades or so. In the 70s what we see is a resurgence of the 20s and 40s makeup trends. These were brought about by movies that were released at the time called the boyfriend and the great gatsby.
Among many others, you may remember when the great gatsby was remade for us in 2013, there was a huge resurgence of 1920s trends from clothing to makeup. It was crazy and one of the most interesting things I discovered was that a lot of the trends for the disco makeup were inspired by singers. This is much more different than any of the other historical trends which have been more inspired by actresses, movie stars and models.
The disco era was all about the singers and the most popular one in the 70s for disco makeup was Donna Summer. She was the queen of disco makeup. Other singers that inspired makeup and hair trends included Debbie Harry, Cher and Suzie Suh.
So let’s hop on the groove train and I will give you my tips on recreating a historically accurate 1970s disco makeup.
Eye shadow For 70s Disco Makeup
First eye shadow. For my recreation I used the L’Oreal infallible shades in burst into bloom. There is a full collection but I normally use a light lavender eye shadow. It has a shimmery finish to it and this type of finish was very popular in the 70s. Mattes were also popular but they were more for the natural side. For the Disco side you want something very shimmery and iridescent. Popular colors were blues, greens and purples.
Earthy shades were also very popular but they were reserved more for the natural look of the 70s.
Not so much used in the disco looks. Eye shadow was also applied into a cat eye shape. I normally use a fluffy brush to extend it out past the outer corner of the eye and create more of a winged shape.
Unlike the 60s, where you will see a really harsh line applied into the crease and not blended out. The 70s had very soft blended lines. You do want to take some extra time to blend along the edges and soften up the lines.
Then I will use the shades improvise and instinct from Stila’s in the moment palette. I will use improvise to deepen up the outer V of the eye. There was usually just one color applied all over the lids in disco makeup. Normally, an optional brow highlight is applied underneath the brow bone. But I use the dark purple to help bring the eyes forward and add some dimension to the look.
For that “under the brow” highlight, (this is where that trend was born) a white or silver shade was usually used there. I normally will use the shade instinct from Stila’s in the moment palette. Applying it liberally underneath the brow bone. This is more of a lilac white shade and it adds a lot of shimmer to the look.
Eye shadow was also applied heavily onto the lower lash line so I often use a mixture of improvised and burst into bloom. Blending these two eye shadows along the lower lash line. For my lashes, I normally use two pairs of inky minky lashes in the style white lie. False eyelashes were still worn in the 70s but they were more natural-looking than they had been in the 60s.
We look kind of weird without any eyebrows so we’re gonna have to add those in. I use the Inglot brow defining gel in the shade number 14 to fill in the eyebrows. Eyebrows were kept on the thinner side, so I would not fill mine in as thick as I normally would. The thin curved brows were reminiscent of the Art Deco skinny brow that was very popular on Liza Minnelli in the film Cabaret. It’s amazing how movies have such an impact on makeup trends of the moment isn’t it?
Lots of mascara was packed onto the lower lashes. You really want those lashes to pop. I always use the Chanel de volume mascara.
Cheeks were kept very natural-looking even in disco makeup. So shades like peaches and light pinks were used. They were applied from the temple down the sides of the face. You want to think of the blush application as defined stripes along the cheeks. Remember a disco makeup is designed to be seen
For lipstick, there were a lot of very popular colors. They used colors like plums, mulberry and cranberry shades. They also used pastel, peaches and pinks. So you could go with a light peach like I always do with Mac’s pure Zen. You can go with something a little bit more bold with something like wet and wilds divinely chilled
There are a lot of really popular hairstyles in the 70s. First being long straight hair. Cher made this look very popular. You can use a brown paper bag to iron the hair to become very straight. Not very good for the hair but it works.
The shag was also a very popular haircut. It is a unisex cut, so it works for men and women. It is a no frills cut that involves evenly progressing layers with graduated sides and a full fringe in the front.
The pageboy haircut was also very popular. This is one that we would call today the bowl cut because that’s what it looks like. It ooks like you put a bowl on your head and just cut around it.
And one of the most popular hairstyles of all was the afro. This encouraged the african-american community to embrace their natural hair structure. But it was also worn by other ethnic groups and it wasn’t confined to just women. People with very curly hair loved to wear the afro as an alternative to the uniform long straight hair trend of the 70s.
so which style would you prefer to go with? I decided to go with the straight hair but the afro speaks 70s disco. Natural hair structure was being embraced in the 70s
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