Any time I research anything like “1950’s style” or “1950’s makeup/hair looks”, I’m always overwhelmed and bored by how many people think that the equation for a 50’s look is just victory rolls + red lips + cat eye + fluffy skirt. And a lot of pearls. I’ve tried looking for authentic 1950’s makeup or hair tutorials in hopes that someone might stray from this standard, but to no avail. And I just want to shout “you guys, come ON. Have you ever even watched a movie from the fifties???”
Sure, sometimes they wore red lipstick. Sometimes they did victory rolls. Sometimes they had fluffy skirts held out by petticoats. But watching a movie or searching street style from that era, there was so much more. And very few cat-eye looks, I should point out. I feel as though more often, it was pink or orange or even neutral lipsticks, soft brown shadows (or, hello, blue shadow), liner that was pretty subtle (it was all about the lip shape back then), fantastic brows, and hair that was fluffed and curled to glamorous volume. Hair was parted down the middle, given that special wave to one side, pulled back, worn up, tied back with ribbons, tied up in a headscarf, and even worn straight and flippy at the ends. Along with those puffy dresses were skirts that had subtle volume and flowed with the body, tied-up shirts, wide lapels, smart slacks and neck scarves, short shorts, and slinky, body-hugging cocktail dresses. And so many button up blouses, my goodness, the button up blouses.
So today, I wanted nothing more than to present a really authentic 1950’s makeup and hair (and outfit) look, but I was running short on time and I really want to research this more before I present a tutorial. There won’t be any cat eye-liner in it, and probably no bright red lips, either. My hair isn’t going to be in victory rolls. And um… no fake lashes, either.
Today’s look was inspired by the 50’s, though; I used this makeup ad as a somewhat guide, and was originally going to use orange lips (as advertised) but… the 50’s women did like to match, and this skirt is pink.
skirt, Tara Starlet | shirt and sandals, Target | earrings, vintage/grandma’s | headscarf, thrifted
And once I had done with my makeup, I didn’t have time to get to my hair much more than pulling it back. It will most likely end up in a ponytail by the end of the day, because it’s going to be a hot day and I’m a pregnant woman.
I’ve also realized that I have absolutely no plain button up blouses in my closet (at ALL.) so that is a thing I must rectify before I can properly pinpoint a true 1950’s style look. I’ve noticed that a large reason I love vintage looks is the history, the research, and getting something just perfectly right. It’s the perfect subject for my nerd side and my fashion side.
What do you guys notice most about retro looks? Is there a historic era that you think people get wrong all the time?
(P.S. This is not to say that people can’t dress in a retro way inspired by vintage instead of being historically accurate — even I, with my love for being authentic, do not want to be a perfect vintage reproduction all the time. I’m just saying those who do present tutorials as “authentic” while falling back on the three hugely popular things from that era (victory rolls, cat eye makeup, red lips) should rethink their authenticity.)