During the 1970s, the political and economic freedom for women advanced dramatically and the decade saw an explosion of Second-wave feminism: Switzerland gave women voting rights in 1971, the USA passed legislation to ban sex discrimination in employment, five male-only colleges at Oxford University allowed women in 1972, women were allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange in 1973, Britain passed the Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act in 1975 and domestic violence was no longer a “private matter” with The Domestic Violence Act of 1976. Additionally, in 1979, Britain saw their first female Prime Minister.
But what does this have to do with make-up? Well, as is true with most of the 20th century, the socio-political climate influenced advertising and therefore the cosmetics industry. Companies wanted to appeal to the new, independent, liberated female. Strikingly bright eyeshadows became extremely popular, especially in blue and green hues. With the popularity of sunbathing, bronzed, dewy skin became fashionable. Disco music was extremely popular during the 1970s, as was the shimmery, glossy make-up that went alongside the music.
Iconic American make-up artist Way Bandy utilised the Saturday Night Fever-esque look of smokey eyes and light red lips, a look which influenced stars of the decade such as Debbie Harry and Donna Summer. Female beauty icons of the time included Farrah Fawcett, Lauren Hutton, Stevie Nicks, Blondie, Cher, Diana Ross and Barbara Summers.
Now get the 1970s look!
1. Hydrate skin and apply foundation or a tinted moisturiser. Add an eyeshadow primer to your eyelids.
2. Groom eyebrows with a clean mascara wand or with some brow gel. Brush up for a fresh, clean look. Thin eyebrows were fashionable in the 1970s as part of the 1920s revival.
3. Using a flat, medium sized eyeshadow brush, pat a light blue or green shadow onto your eyelids.
4. With a fluffier, larger eyeshadow brush, blend the colour into the crease of your eyelid. Ladies of the 1970s usually used just one shade for a wash of colour.
5. Using a much smaller eyeshadow or eyeliner brush, apply navy or dark green eyeshadow to your waterline, and smudge beneath. Add mascara!
6. Add a subtle, shimmery highlighter to your cheekbones, brow bones and down the centre of your nose for a Farrah Fawcett-esque glow. Add bronzer to just underneath your cheekbones and blend. Add bronzer to your forehead, chin and tip of your nose for a natural looking tanned complexion.
7. Add a peachy nude gloss or lipstick to your lips.
8. Using a wide barrelled curling tong, take two inch sections of hair at a time and curl outwards and away from your face.
Don’t forget some hairspray!
Tip: A middle parting is extremely 1970s. After you’ve washed your hair, create a centre parting using a rat-tail comb and then blow-dry.
Featured image via ShutterStock/the author.