Help me pull this off without looking like a drag queen
October 8, 2007 3:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice, instructions, and products to achieve a 60's hair and makeup look. And by adopt, I mean look like this every day.

I'd like to try these looks.

Specific examples:

Barbara Eden, Ann-Margaret, Brigitte Bardot, Twiggy, Sofia Loren, Tippi Hedren , Natalie Wood, Liz Taylor, Jacqueline Bisset, Jo Anne Worley

If it helps, my hair is naturally wavy, very thick, layered, and slightly longer than my collarbone. Currently I own no gear except for a blowdryer. I'm all for buying new makeup, too. Maybelline is my preferred one, but I'm willing to go as expensive as Lancome or other upper mid-grade department store brands. Suggestions for accessories are welcome too.
posted by pieoverdone to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
You will definitely need liquid liner, fake eyelashes, mascara, eyebrow filler (like Benefit's Brow Zing!).
posted by spec80 at 3:37 PM on October 8, 2007

Oh and a gentle eye make up remover and cotton balls swisspers at the end of the day. :) I like Lancome's Bi Facil.
posted by spec80 at 3:38 PM on October 8, 2007

Livejournal community vintagehair and vintage_look and vintagemakeup. These people DO adopt vintage looks daily. Check out their 'memories' (on the 'profile'/'userinfo' page, midway down) -- they often have favourite resources. They usually go a bit earlier than the 1960s (usually 1920s-1950s), but it's not to say there's nothing there for you.

If you want me to, I'll try to check this thread. I have an lj account, so I can post this question for you.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:51 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Bitch magazine often has advice on doing vintage hair and make-up. If your library carries old copies, they may be worth flipping through.
posted by occhiblu at 3:55 PM on October 8, 2007

check out makeup artist kevyn aucoin's books- i think the one you want is called face forward. in it he makes celebs look like beauty icons from the past, with clear instructions. i'd flip through all his books in a bookstore to see which has the best 60s advice- memory fails me.
good luck with this- i love the 60s look too!
posted by twistofrhyme at 4:01 PM on October 8, 2007

If you look at the Sofia Loren picture, what I'm getting at is how do I get my hair that big and that perfectly sculptured? What tools do I need and how long will this take in the morning?
posted by pieoverdone at 4:02 PM on October 8, 2007

Invest in this. (Ozone be damned whence big hair is concerned.)
posted by miss lynnster at 4:05 PM on October 8, 2007

-- Carefully groomed eyebrows that aren't plucked too thin. If you aren't handy at shaping your brows, you may want to have them professionally waxed once. Then you can do the maintenance plucking, and go back every few months to maintain your shape. You'll also need brow powder to fill in any gaps (this is a product few modern women use, which will give your look a distinct retro flavor).

-- Matte, porcelain skin. Invest in a good medium or full-coverage foundation that matches your skin tone and hides your imperfections. Make Up Forever Mat Velvet is quite popular; so are foundations from Giorgio Armani and Kevin Aucoin. But you might find your perfect formula at Clinique, Prescriptives, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown or many other brands. Check the reviews at makeupalley for lots of ideas. Apply with a sponge or a foundation brush to get a more even finish. Skip highlighters and bronzers, and use powder or blotting papers to keep shine at bay.

-- Dramatic eyeliner and mascara, but no shimmery/glittery/wacky eye shadow colors. For liquid liner, find the type with a pen-tip applicator instead of a brush -- it's easier to control. I have one from Almay, but I think Cover Girl does a pen as well. Favorites for dramatic lashes include Max Factor 2000 Calorie or L'Oreal Voluminous; Lancome also makes awesome mascaras if you're willing to pay more. Bobbi Brown is a go-to brand for matte, neutral eye shadows, though you can probably get away with skipping shadow altogether.

-- Reddish-pink cream blush under your cheekbones

-- Lipstick, not lip gloss. MAC makes an incredible range of colors for all skintones, and they don't taste weird. Some formulas are creamier than others, so it's worth trying them out at the counter to find one you like.
posted by junkbox at 4:07 PM on October 8, 2007

The babe cake eyeliner from Benefit is super awesome for getting those retro eye makeup styles. This article has some tips for getting a slightly modernized version of the 60s eye look, along with some specific product suggestions.
posted by logic vs love at 4:09 PM on October 8, 2007

The current issue of Bust magazine (Oct/Nov 2007) has a how-to on styling your hair into a bouffant. If you click on the link, you can "flip" the pages of the current issue on the screen to preview the look.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:14 PM on October 8, 2007

I think getting the enormous Big Hair look is quite difficult. I think most of the women in the 60s used hairpieces to achieve that type of volume. You could start with a hair rat, which is like a little round cushion of fake hair that you then pin under your real hair and rat the hair over. The big headbands of the early 60's, AFAIK, were often used to hide where the real hair ended and the fake hair began.

You could also try GIANT rollers. My mother used to sleep with her hair rolled around frozen orange juice cans, with her head propped up on a pillow! I asked her once how she actually slept and she said she didn't, much. When you're taking the rollers out, dry the hair at the roots to volumize. Don't forget that hairspray adds weight and will deflate your hair, so use sparingly. Also, women in that era absolutely did not wash their hair every day. Slightly dirty hair rats up bigger anyway.
posted by alicetiara at 4:33 PM on October 8, 2007

if i'm not mistaken, the poufy hair is actually a hairpiece called a fall. you can probably get one at your local wig store. it's basically a hunk of hair attached to a comb that you pin at the top of your head. there is usually a noticeable seam, so that's why those tiaras and kercheifs and headbands were so popular--they concealed the seam.

it might be a better option than doing your hair from scratch--it will save time and your hair (can you imagine teasing it every day and then having to comb it out every night?).
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:35 PM on October 8, 2007

As for the hair, I've had my hair done in vintage styles quite a few times. They always start by putting my hair in rollers and then sitting me down in a hair dryer chair for about 45 minutes. Then the rollers come out, hair gets brushed out and then teased up to all hell. And then you smooth the hair back over the teased part and spray it with a gallon of hair spray. There was a reason that women generally got their hair done once a week: it took so freakin' long to style it. After going to the salon, they'd sleep on satin pillow cases and fluff up the 'do each morning in an attempt to refresh it.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:47 PM on October 8, 2007

A rat is a great place to start, especially for the front hair in the Tippi photo. You can make your own with an old pair of nylons, some fiber fill, and scissors.

Stila Smudge Pot or another gel eyeliner is good stuff for eyeliner, contrary to the name it doesn't actually smudge, but it's not as painfully annoying as liquid eyeliner, either.
posted by anaelith at 4:49 PM on October 8, 2007

Madrid full wig
Perfect Angel full wig
Ashley full wig
Gabriella 3/4 fall

I swear by wigs (although my personal fav is this one...Perfect Life)

I buy them from Beauty Trends, love the quality, and the fact that I can have a lot of different looks for less than the price of a good hair cut and styling.

I have Madrid in both dark auburn and blonde on ash brown frost. It's very retro-looking, and might be just what you need, without all the daily fuss. You can spend the extra time doing your makeup!
posted by Corky at 5:16 PM on October 8, 2007


Corky, I've been toying with the notion of donning a wig for fun, for years and years. I just ordered a "Madrid" in brunette and one in blonde. My husband will have a heart attack.

This should be the best Hallowe'en ever.

posted by Savannah at 8:34 PM on October 8, 2007

I am blonde with short-ish hair and pale skin. My everyday mod 60s look (and I do mean everyday) is lots of mascara, black liquid eyeliner with a subtle cat eye, and pale pink or nude lip gloss. I usually wear my hair in a ponytail Dare Wright style, though it's not nearly that long. I also wear very basic clothing, monochromes, vintage when I can find it. It's very easy to carry off this look daily with little time spent getting ready and without looking like a cartoon. I find clothing wide it's more about the accessories than the outfit.

I vamp it up a little for night time — red lipstick, extra eyeliner, fake lashes. I'm trying to grow out my hair for the Bardot bed-head.

I think this is a pretty cool question.
posted by Brittanie at 11:07 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also, the best liquid eyeliner of all time is L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Black Mica. It has a felt-tip pen/brush and goes on so effortlessly, and the Black Mica color has the faintest hint of shimmer to it.
posted by Brittanie at 11:10 PM on October 8, 2007

I don't have any first-hand experience with creating a 60s-ish look, but there are a few nice websites that might be of help: Miss-Vintage (vintage beauty, cosmetics, and grooming section) and That 60s Girl (particularly the beauty section which features makeup and hair in a 'step-by-step guide of how you can create your own sixties look'). I'm not sure if the information/tutorials will be as specific as you're looking for, but the sites do have original articles reprinted from magazines from the 1960s (and earlier).
posted by Mael Oui at 11:38 PM on October 8, 2007

Sorry to keep posting, but I also wanted to say there are lots of videos on youtube showing makeup and hair methods. Ignore the annoying fact that most of them are from modeling agencies:

Bardot hair
quick modern beehive
mod eye make-up
Twiggy make-up

Lots of other videos linked on those pages.
posted by Brittanie at 12:00 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

tease your hair at the roots...its the one thing that really pumps up volume fast. Heather Locklear does this well with her hair style.

Also, from what my mom tells me, those hairstyles were often 'set' and left for the entire week, without washing. That Aquanet is like glue.
posted by 20something at 6:26 PM on October 20, 2007

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