Have you ever looked back at old beauty magazines, ads, or even old pictures of yourself or other family members and thought, “Wow, I really wish people still did their makeup like that.”? There are ways to make old trends and classics new again, updated for the modern woman.
Let’s be honest: red lips never really go away; they’re classic. However, the undertones, finishes, and application methods can shift over time. Orangey-red was a thing in the 1940s. Blue-toned reds showed up later. Take your pick between the two, but always keep your eye makeup simple (liner, mascara, and light shadow—and don’t forget to curl your lashes). Try a long-lasting lipsticks to enjoy yesteryear’s shades without smudges. Try Kat Von D’s Everlasting Lipstick in Malice (orange-red) or Underage Red (bright red), $20.00 each at katvondbeauty.com.
Of all the possible lip colors, brown is probably most associated with the 1990s (not flattering on very many people). However, berry lips deserve a spot in the list, and berry shades look great on most skin tones! Wear them like a red lip or pair them with a smoky gray shadow look for drama. Don’t go too glossy or too matte; a nice sheen’s all you need. MAC’s Brick-o-la is great ($18.50, maccosmetics.com).
Full brows work wonders. They frame your eyes, add balance when you wear a bold lipstick, and can make you look younger. Think you’re out of luck if your brows are sparse? Try the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21.00, Ulta) to fill in any gaps and give the appearance of thicker brows.
Heavy Blush (aka: Rouge)
We’re not talking striped, contoured 80s-inspired cheeks here. This is more of a nod to the rosy cheeks of the 1930s. Let your youthful glow be the focal point of your look when you feel inspired to take inspiration from this trend. Keep eye makeup light and use a sheer, rosy gloss on your lips. This is perfect for those days you want to look fresh and vibrant in a hurry. (You know how “no-makeup makeup” can take longer than a full face sometimes? Not the case here.) Try NARS Orgasm ($30.00, Sephora).
Look for a shimmering white-nude instead of a stark white to give it a modern twist that accomplishes the same wide-eyed effect when applied to the lower waterline. Very fair skin tones can still pull off the white, but make it a pearly shade, not matte. Try Tarte’s Fake Awake Eye Highlight ($20.00, Ulta).
Matte doesn’t equal dull. The goal is to look polished and glowy (but never shiny). Try the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation ($47.00, Sephora). Make sure you exfoliate regularly and moisturize well for a gorgeous matte finish.
Lighter skin tones do best with these simply because they show up a little better on their lids. Instead of going for frosty or opaque and matte, choose something in-between. A satin pastel shade can make a gorgeous lid color. Use it all over the lid and below the lower lashes for a subtle, sultry look that’s like a smoky eye you can wear anywhere, any time. Check out the NYX In Your Element palette ($30.00, nyxcosmetics.com).
Orange eyeshadow is having a moment right now, and if you have blue eyes and/or golden undertones, you probably don’t want to see it go anywhere any time soon. Check out the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette (Ulta, $54.00) for a lot of orange shades all in one place. Keep the shimmering orangish bronzes to the lids and then burnt orange and red-orange mattes (along with a little sienna or other browns for balance) to the crease, outer corner, and beneath the lower lashes.
This trend was hot in the 1990s and it may not be far enough behind in the rearview mirror for you to even want to create it. However, if you do, use a bolder, royal blue as an accent color concentrated on the lid instead of the frosty blue that used to be everywhere (literally, from lash line to above the crease). Or do a shimmering mid-tone blue on the lid, with a deeper navy in the crease. Consider Stila’s Vivid & Bright Eyeshadow Duo in Sapphire ($20.00, Ulta).
You can take any old trend (okay, maybe not mall bangs or frosty white lipstick) and make it new again. If there’s something from the past that you love, there’s no reason not to give it a modern twist with new and improved products that are more comfortable to wear.