What Are Some Examples of 1950s Hair and Makeup?


Quick Answer

Women's perfectly coiffed hairstyles of the 1950s are both long and short, featuring soft curls, pompadours and rolled bangs. In keeping with the more feminine look of the 1950s, makeup consists of a natural foundation, strongly enhanced eyebrows, and eyes outlined in eye liner and accented with shadow and mascara. Lipstick colors are predominantly bright red and pink.

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Full Answer

Short hairstyles of the 1950s include the Italian cut, made popular by Italian movie stars Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, and later adopted by Elizabeth Taylor. It is a short and shaggy hairstyle with waves, soft curls and kiss curls carefully sculpted around the face. Audrey Hepburn's pixie-cut in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday is a short, layered cut with shaggy mid-forehead bangs.

Also popular during the 1950s is the pageboy or brushed-under bob, which varies from short to shoulder length. A style often seen on Grace Kelly, the pageboy is sleek and smooth, with ends that are turned under in a soft roll. Hair pulled back into ponytail styles, worn both low and high on the head, are also popular 1950s trends. The first bouffant hair styles are evident by the mid-'50s, as is hair piled atop the head, a forerunner of the beehive styles of the early 60s. Bouffant styles are accented with headbands, feathers, jewels and bows.

Makeup of the 1950s is glamorous, with an effect that is almost mask-like. A thick application of creamy foundation is first applied with a flesh-colored powder to set it. There is less use of rouge than in the 1940s, with the emphasis instead on tapered, feminine eyebrows and brightly colored lips. The introduction of creamy eye shadow, wand-type mascara and the eyelash curler in the 1950s create new possibilities for eye enhancement, such as the popular cat-eye and wing-tip styles.

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