You don’t need us to tell you that makeup trends come and go. In recent years, we’ve seen the fall of bold Instagram brows make way for wild, fluffy strands, waved adios to the sharp contouring trend that saw us waste hours on YouTube trying to perfect the chisel, and laughed a photos from yesteryear that show us sporting foundation-toned lips. Just like in fashion, beauty also has its time-defining trends.
And while makeup artists, as a rule, typically recommend sticking to timeless techniques (much like how some of the best fashion stylists around do), there is one particular time in makeup they find themselves looking back to over and over again. “I suppose we can say that ’70s makeup is making a comeback, but I’m not sure it ever really went away,” says makeup artist, Mira Parmar. In fact, she describes the ’70s as being a truly defining time in makeup—one that championed not only the healthy-looking glow that sets the precedent for great makeup today, but also creativity and self-expression. “It was all about colour, glitter and graphic lines (things we still see today), but also skin-focussed glow and healthy radiance,” she adds.
Blush has fallen off the radar in recent years, with many people finding it tricky to use and even harder to pull off. But blush is back and it’s easier to use than ever before. “Blush was big news in the ’70s and made a statement. It’s the perfect way to highlight the high points of the face and open up the complexion. The perfect blush makes your face look healthier and more glowing,” says Parmar. The secret to nailing it every time? Look for a shade slightly deeper than your skin tone to mimic a sun-kissed effect and sweep it over the high points of the cheeks and over the nose.
We’ve already touched on the fact that apricot tones were big news in the ’70s (across both fashion and makeup FYI), but really this statement applies to anything orange or brown in tone. When it came to skin, a peachy, healthy-looking tan reigned supreme. “It was all about that peachy complexion that really focused on the skin,” says Parmar. And while time has taught us that sizzling in the sun is the last thing our skin wants, it couldn’t be easier to mimic that sun-drenched glow with makeup. “Think about adding freckles and amplifying a dewy, fresh glow.”
We’ve been talking about the comeback of graphic liner for a little while now. In fact, we’d go as far as saying graphic liner has appeared in seasonal beauty trend report for the past few years. And while it hasn’t yet taken off in a way that has everyone stepping out the house in artistic eye looks, 2023 is the year it’s finally going to stick—and the ’70s makeup revival has a huge part to play in that. “You could say graphic liner is making a comeback but, to be honest, people have always been using it in moderation. Ever since the ’70s, people have been adapting graphic liner to suit their needs,” reveals Parmar. This year, however, it’s time to let your liner speak for you. Whether you want to add some sharp points to your corners or go for something swirly, there’s really no right or wrong way to apply it.
Yep, you guessed it—coloured eye looks are back. “Coloured liner was played with far and wide in the ’70s, and it’s made a serious comeback,” says Parmar. And while graphic liners can certainly incorporate colour, you don’t have to go so bold. For something easier to achieve, opt for a smoked-out hue across your lash line or even dab a bright shadow over your lid to create a low-fuss wash.
It’s time to go Studio 54 with our glitter looks. While glitter is typically reserved for festive, wintery makeup looks, the truth is, there’s no reason you shouldn’t reach for shimmer all year round. “Glitter was huge in the ’70s. We’ve been seeing glitter trickle into mainstay trends more and more (partly in thanks to Euphoria), but this year it’s going to be everywhere—from spring/summer through to autumn/winter,” says Parmar.
While the ’70s was no doubt all about glamour and excess, there are certain makeup subtleties that define the era, too. “I, along with other makeup artists, love using a peach nude inside the waterline to open up the eyes. They used this technique a lot in the ’70s, and it’s remained an insider secret. It’s a great way to open up and brighten smaller eye shapes,” explains Parmar.
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