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Other 50's era female TV stars included Barbara Billingsley, who played Beaver's mother June Cleaver. June's makeup was subtle: what you notice is the seeming clarity of her skin and eyes. Again, no shadow was in evidence: as a married housewife, June didn't have the lifestyle for shaded lids.
Makeup in the 60's, like fashion and lots of other things, went wild. If you've seen Love, American Style, or Laugh-In, you've also seen mile-high beehives, minuscule skirts, and piles of bright shadows (often in blue and green), thick mascara and false, furry eyelashes (often worn by the same woman at the same time), and eyebrows that ranged from dense and black to virtually non-existent. The 60's were about the time when mascara started becoming higher in quality. Women wanted gigantic eyes, and makeup that wouldn't run. They were sick of gluing on false lashes which could fall off into the soup when you least expected it. Mascara responded by becoming more user-friendly.
After the 60's, 70's styles seemed downright tame, but looking back from 2004, the 70's still look pretty freakish. Skirts were still tiny, and short-shorts and bikinis made the summertime scene. Polyester made leisure suits a weird part of the masculine wardrobe, and men who weren't even pimps wore gold chains and pinky rings. In makeup, glitter became part of daytime looks, shimmering in slippery lip gloss, sparkling in eye shadows and glimmering up foundations. James Bond movies spanned the 60's and 70's, giving us a timeless look at bizarre fashions and makeup that could be put on with a trowel.
The eighties styles were silk blouses and big shoulder pads, and eye makeup became an important part of the career woman's wardrobe. Maybe because women were trying harder than ever before to smash through the recently-identified glass ceiling, makeup was assertive, almost mask-like. Big jewelry, thick hoop earrings and gold projected the dress-for-success look in the Me-decade. Lined and lipsticked mouths and shadowed, mascaraed eyes competed for attention in faces gessoed smooth with thick foundations. Eyebrows tended to be more real and well-groomed rather than yanked out and drawn on, in keeping with the overall bolder, more "masculine"(natural) look.
Since the nineties, a wide range of looks have become acceptable, perhaps because with the aging of the general population, more women have found the style they'll be staying with for the rest of their lives. Let's face it, at some point, we all choose a look and pretty much stick with it, and women who were in their thirties and forties in the 80's predominate in the population, while younger women experiment with lighter makeup, more casual hairstyles and the smaller trends that wash across the seasons in little waves.
If you look at modern-day stars like Isabella Rossilini, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Julianne Moore, you'll notice that, while makeup enhances their natural looks, it never takes center stage. Lipsticks are a slightly stronger expression of natural lip colors, foundations are muted, and eye makeup draw attention not to itself, but to the eyes. It's not that these women don't wear makeup--they do--it's that the makeup is applied with perfect restraint (and then thoroughly airbrushed, but that’s another story).
If you want to be current with your own eye makeup, spend a lot of time figuring out which colors play up the color and shape of your eyes. Don't fall for trendy colors: you'll just have to buy new ones in a couple of months, and they won't look that great on you anyway. Check out neutral tones in beige, brown and grey, with slightly darker colors for evening. Experiment with mascara, but keep in mind that, contrary to what the ads say, longer and thicker lashes are not necessarily always better-looking. Cows have long, thick lashes too. You want enough lashes to outline your eyes, but not so much that no-one can look away from them.
Eyebrows should be as natural as possible while observing a certain restraint in terms of thickness. If your brows are very pale, you might try a brow pencil, but go gently with it, and get opinions from real and honest friends before taking your new look outside.
As trends have taken us from one extreme to another, finding your own look keeps you from making fashion mistakes that will haunt you in photographs for years to come. With the medical and cosmetics industries coming up with more and more sophisticated formulas, it's a good idea to check out new products that contain sunscreens, hypoallergenic properties and herbal or cosmeceutical ingredients shown to decrease lines, prevent skin cancer or soothe sensitive skin. Obviously, you aren't going to buy into every fashion fairy tale: decades ago, women were using hormones extracted from animals as anti-aging moisturizers. But when you do find something that works for you, you can dance for joy and bless the fashion goddesses for bringing you clearer skin, fewer wrinkles or non-greasy protection from UV rays. With recent advances in skin care, just imagine what the next decade will bring!
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