1920’s themed makeup

Quite of few of my most recent posts have been more dramatic and what I classify as costume makeup and I still have a few more to post in the lead up to halloween. After Halloween it’ll be back to more product reviews and swatches etc. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying these costume makeup posts because I’ve been having so much fun experimenting and trying techniques and products I wouldn’t usually wear on a day to day basis.

Today’s post is a 1920’s themed look and I was inspired to try it out because I was researching looks for my cousin who has a Chicago/1920’s themed party to go to. I read up quite a bit on the era and the types of makeup techinques that were used that varies from how makeup is worn today. The main defining features of the look are very distinctive thin, black, droopy eyebrows; very defined cupid bow lips and the more rounded bedroom eyes. This look isn’t the most flattering look as it pretty much contradicts the techniques and styles we favour in today’s makeup but it’s fun to wear out for a night if you have a costume party to go to.

Here are some pictures of the 1920’s actress Clara Bow who pretty much epitomises that 1920’s flapper girl look:

Here’s my interpretation of the look. I’ve included two pictures in colour and the rest are in black and white as I want you to focus more on the shapes of the look and how I manipulate my features rather than the colours I used.

The thin eyebrows seem to be a very important part of this look so I had to cover mine in order to reshape them. I used the soaping the eyebrows method that I saw on Pixiwoo’s youtube video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZHD8Pg_dZs

Covering your eyebrows is something that takes practice and while I think it worked out ok for the purpose of me showing you guys on my blog, I don’t think it came out well enought for me to actually wear out and I need to practice more to get it right. Also I should point out that this soaping the eyebrows method will work great for those with lighter/thinner and more sparse eyebrows but for people like me who tend to have darker and thicker eyebrows, I think the glue stick method would work better.

I’m including a link to a youtube video by Petrilude who shows you how to do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb3D-afzKEc

The hardest thing about covering my eyebrows was the concealing part because it is so hard to get black eyebrows concealed! I soaped them which made them lie flat but I had to conceal, powder then conceal and powder again and then use powder foundation and then set with a different coloured powder foundation to attempt to get the colour right! It’s such a strange sensation to be wearing so much product on your eyebrows because you don’t usually wear anything heavy up there but the effect it gives in changing your whole face is amazing. Also I should say that when concealing your brows, you really need a thicker consistency concealer and I found that my Bobbi Brown creamy concealer was perfect for this. Something too liquid just doesn’t work.

So back to the actual look. I decided to go a bit more wearable with my look so while I did draw a thinner, longer, black eyebrow, I decided not to make it as droopy as was the style back then. The eyeshadow application is quite distinctive to the 20’s as the contouring pattern is the opposite of what we use now. The effect is to close the eye off rather than open it up so the darker colours are concentrated toward the start of the eye near the tear duct and then brought down to the end of the eye in a triangular shape. I brought the eyeshadow down underneath the lashline but then used white eyeliner on the waterline to give it more of that droopy, circular look.


The lips have also been manipulated in a very different way and to get that 1920’s look I had to extend my lips higher around my cupid’s bow and shorten the length of my lips so that you’re left with a more circular pout. I think this lip shape is alot easier to do if you don’t have fuller lips like I do but hopefully it gives you an idea of what to do. Lining the lips is essential for this look as you really need to create that definition around the lips. I didn’t have a dark enough lip liner so I tried doing it using a lip brush and a mixture of black and red lipstick but it didn’t really work as well as I had hoped. I also used concealer to conceal around the edges of my lips to emphasise the shape.

I think this is such a fun, dramatic look to try out and it really takes your costume to the next level but practice definitely makes perfect so just keep trying but remember it’s all for fun so don’t take it too seriously!

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Categories: halloween, how to

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One Comment on “1920’s themed makeup”

  1. March 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM #

    I love the 1920s look. 🙂 One way to make the lips look more 'natural' is if you draw the bow inside the lip rather than out onto the skin. It'll be smaller, of course, but less 'costumey'.

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