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05 May 2014

1950s Inspired Makeup Tips for the Retro Bride


While many brides opt for a natural look on their wedding day, there is a rising trend for retro styles. If you admire the classic beauty of the old Hollywood starlets such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, then take your makeup back to the glamorous 1950s with picture-perfect matte skin, a well-defined brow, winged eyeliner and bold lipstick. Here's how!


Because winged eyeliner is notoriously tricky, we would recommend doing your eye makeup before your face - you don't want to ruin your foundation if you make a mistake! Start with a neutral eyeshadow - stick to nude or taupe shades - and sweep over the eyelid to create a flawless canvas for your eyeliner. Using liquid eyeliner, preferably one with a fine brush tip, draw a dot next to each eye to indicate where the wings will end. Stand back from the mirror to check that they are symmetrical. Now sweep the eyeliner from the outer lashline up to meet the dots you have drawn - it may take a few attempts to get both sides even! Once you're happy, finish lining the upper eyelid. The perfect 1950s eyeliner starts very thin at the inside corner of the eye, gradually getting thicker towards the outside. Do not line the lower lashes. Once the eyeliner is completely dry, if you are wearing false lashes, apply them and sweep two coats of mascara to blend with your real lashes. If you are not wearing falsies, curl your lashes and use two coats of mascara to add length and volume, emphasising the outer lashes.


Statement makeup needs a strong brow to hold the look together, otherwise your eye and lip makeup could end up looking "lost". The 1950s brow was full but well-defined, so visit the salon to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded into shape, leaving plenty of time for any redness to subside before your big day. Use an eyebrow pencil a couple of shades lighter than your natural colour to fill in any gaps - avoid a pencil that is too dark!


The aim is to create a flawless canvas with the face so that your dramatic eye and lip makeup will really stand out. To achieve this, start with freshly cleansed skin and smooth on a mattifying moisturiser, gently massaging in an upward circular motion to stimulate blood flow, which will give you a natural glow. Leave to sink in for five minutes. (Note: You may wish to skip this step if you have very oily skin.) Next, smooth on a primer to create a super-smooth base for your foundation, minimise pores and "fill in" fine lines. Apply your foundation with a clean brush, starting with the T-zone and blending outwards. Check your face in natural light to ensure there are no obvious lines. Take a concealer pen and use around the eye socket to banish dark rings, around the corners of the nose, where the skin tends to be redder, and dot a small amount over imperfections as needed. Pat gently with your ring finger to blend in - use a light touch and avoid dragging on the skin. You may also want to highlight your forehead, nose and cheekbones using an illuminating concealer pen. Apply blusher with a soft round brush. For an authentic 1950s look, use red or pink shades with a blue or purple undertone, and avoid anything yellow or peachy. This step is crucial to add colour to your face and avoid looking mask-like. Finally, set your foundation with a sweep of powder, and ensure you have blotting paper in your kit for emergency touch-ups throughout the day.


The old Hollywood starlets were famous for their bold red lips, so no 1950s-inspired look would be complete without lipstick. Again, choose a shade with a blue or purple undertone and avoid anything yellow or peachy. Start with a chapstick to keep your lips smooth and moisturised, as lipstick can be quite drying. For an extra-voluminous pout, line the lips with a lipliner the exact shade of your lipstick - practice this beforehand to avoid looking like a clown! Now apply the lipstick and gently blot with tissue to remove excess product. Finally, use a lipstick sealing product to ensure your hard work stays put all day. Remember to check your teeth for lipstick marks before heading out the door!


This makeup works wonderfully with a 1950s inspired wedding dress, particularly a fit and flare Rockabilly number. The old Hollywood starlets also knew how to accessorise, so a great pair of vintage earrings really ties this look together.

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