Vintage Hairstyles and Make-up 1920-1960s

Each decade had its own styles in clothing, hair and make-up. That is what makes it easier to identify a decade for a photograph by looking at hairstyles, clothing and make-up of the ladies.

The flapper age of the 1920’s, the 1930’s Hollywood look, the pin-ups of the 1940’s, the golden glamour of the 1950’s, then the mod-look of the 1960’s.

For the 1920s- the ladies all had the think straight eyebrow or a thin eyebrow that sloped down to the outer eye. The eyelids were colorful. Their lips were red lipstick, with deep blush color on the cheeks. With the ‘roaring twenties’ women were letting loose and expressing with their short hairstyles and a good deal of makeup.

During the Great Depression the 1930s, the Hollywood movies and their movie stars were on everyone’s mind, everyone loved the glamour. So American ladies wanted to look glamorous also. The hair would be styled with curls and waves in the hair. Eyebrows were still thick in size but more curved up. Eyelashes were thick and full and the lips full with colorful lipstick. The facial skin color was toned down to be creamy, soft looking.

During the 1940s, it was war-time for the first half of the decade. The eyebrows were shaped, of medium thickness, not as think, brushed and gently colored in. Skin color was more natural with a gentle sun-kissed tone and rosy cheeks. Red lipstick was still popular. Hair was pulled back to form curls and buns. There would also be curls along the side of the face.

A bouffant, hairstyle

Ladies of the 1950s wanted those thick and full lips in strong colors, red to deep rose red. One’s eyes were very important with a good deal of eyeliner and mascara used to define the eyes with full eyebrows. The hairstyles had names such as: the poodle cut, a bouffant, the pixie, the short and curly and of course the favorite ponytail.

A beehive hairstyle

Then the mod-1960s featured softly curved eyebrows and the wearing of matte eye shadows such as greens and blues. The face had a very soft blusher applied and the lipstick ran from browns, soft red to corals and pinks. Again there were names for hairstyles such as the beehive (piling one’s hair on top of the head in a conical shape and setting it in place with copious amounts of hairspray), the flipped bob as worn by Jackie Kennedy was very popular, the long, flowing hairstyles called bombshell, the new pixie hairstyle that was very short, Afros (worn by ladies and men), then the hippie hairstyle (Men and women alike began growing out their locks into long, natural, unkempt styles that directly challenged the structured, glamorized looks of previous years.)

See if your female ancestors followed the trends of a certain decade.

Photos: Examples of make-up and hair over the decades – 1920s to 1960s.

Related Blogs:

Fashions to Date Photos

The Consumer Age

Victorian Fashions in the Summer

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