How is Makeup Different Today Compared to 50 Years Ago?

beauty tipsLook at photographs of 50 years ago, and you can certainly see that makeup and makeup artistry have changed. Then, pale pink lipstick (perhaps frosted), plenty of mascara, foundation and powder were the order of the day, with powder refreshed hourly along with a reapplication of lipstick for a flawless matte complexion. Blush was not used much and lips were usually pale, with the eyes the focus of the overall look.

Hair, too, was carefully shaped, cultivated as part of the polished effect. Coiffed, bouffant, held in place with formidable applications of hairspray, the result was pulled together, perfect, flawless.

Contrast that with today, where the look is more natural; eyes are still accented with smoky shadows and liquid eyeliner and mascara, but the touch is lighter and gently enhances features. Even when hair is carefully styled, today’s high-tech products provide light, invisible hold that leaves hair soft and touchable.

What’s really different about makeup today versus 50 years ago?

  • It’s simpler

Today’s approach is simpler, with a more natural look. Today’s woman doesn’t have time to spend two hours on “beauty time” in the morning, so the result is a streamlined effect that achieves more with less.

The 1960s woman also dealt with an endless array of products, such as foundation, rouge, powder, talc, and hairspray in addition to the still-present lipstick, eyeshadow, and mascara. Rollers secured with plenty of bobby pins were a staple to achieve that bouffant look, as was setting lotion and plenty of hairspray. A simple wash and condition in the shower with a quick blowdry is usually enough today.

  • It lets the real “you” shine through

If you’re like many women, you still use products like mascara, eyeshadow, and blush, but may also have a sonic exfoliator for soft, smooth skin. Moisturizer with SPF and gentle cleansers replaced heavy face cream, and light foundations that let natural skin tones shine through are the order of the day.

Today’s foundation isn’t heavy; it’s light, almost translucent, so that natural skin tones can show through. While 60s foundation can be compared to movie set makeup, modern foundation covers flaws without obscuring the skin.

Some things stay the same

Some things haven’t changed. Lipstick is still an essential for most women, and moisturizer, too, is still a must, although today’s often include SPF in them to protect against sun damage. Perhaps you also use a bronzer for that sun-kissed glow – something that was around in the 1960s, as well.

Makeup and makeup artistry may have changed in the last 50 years, but women who embrace it have not. The desire to be beautiful has never changed, and it’s something every woman can achieve — perhaps with your help.

Do you have a special interest in makeup and makeup artistry? Evergreen Beauty is looking for talented individuals who are driven to achieve success in the salon and spa industry. We teach the latest in makeup and skincare techniques to keep you on the cutting edge of the industry.


Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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4 years ago

so was the makeup back then harder ?

4 years ago
Reply to  iotrhithrij


Emerage Cosmetics
Emerage Cosmetics
3 years ago

Contrast that with today, where the look is more natural, eyes are still accented with smoky shadows and liquid eyeliner and mascara, but the touch is lighter and gently enhances features.