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1960's Mod Makeup:
Flower Power Fashions Popular in the Sixties Era


The shift between the '50s and the '60s is usually explained by the fact that, during the Sixties, around 70 million young people became teenagers nearly overnight. In a country whose populations was about 177 million, a significant portion of the population was undergoing that radical, hormone induced, years-long agony called puberty. Post-war economics had made many people comfortable, and teens had more spending power and personal freedom than ever. By sheer numbers, teenagers recreated fashion as a youthful enterprise. The fashions of the Fifties decade were for grown women; Sixties fashion knocked about ten years off the average age of the consumer.

When nearly half a nation is adolescent, you can predict rebellion on a grand scale. Add to that the fact that young men were expected to register for the draft and go to war; add to that the tremendous social injustices being perpetrated against blacks and women; add now the passion and power of entitled youth: how could you have anything but an era of revolution?

Sixties Fashions and Clothes for Women

But, between parental concern and the innate conservatism of the teaching profession, fashion treads slowly at school. School fashions were still modest, with skirt hems below the knee. There wasn't much change between school clothing of the Fifties and early Sixties; administrators simply wouldn't allow it. But trends and party styles changed; jeans and mini-skirts appeared. Hippies wore jeans, granny skirts, combat boots, T-shirts with messages, love beads and sandals. Macramé handbags, ponchos and other ethnic-inspired fashions abounded. Girl Hippies' hair styles were long and straight; girls with wavy or curly hair either combed perm fluid through it or ironed it flat and glossy. Hippies didn't wear makeup, except maybe some fruit-flavored lip gloss; some took to washing at longer intervals, in reaction to the starched cleanliness of the Establishment.

The Mini Skirt Was Part of the Mod Sixties Styles

Miniskirts were invented and hit it big in 1966, starting in England, and crossing the Atlantic along with short, bobbed hair and the supermodel Twiggy. The fashionable figure was thin as a rake, only with breasts. The new polyester fabrics were marvelous—drip dry, fitted without necessarily being clingy, and available in a thousand outrageous colors. Bright colors were in: orange, lime green and psychedelic patterns made their debut on the super-short skirts worn by schoolgirls and young women. Platform sandals and go-go boots made short skirts seem even shorter.

Kids who didn't go hippie were influenced by the English invasion which brought the Beatles. Parents must have been terrified by hippies, but horror-struck when they saw the micro-mini skirts, heavy makeup and tall, wedge shoes affected by Brit-fashion loving teens. Hairstyles were more controlled than the hippies' smooth hair and could be short or long. Long hair was adorned with tightly wound curls whether up or down—think Sean Connery's James Bond movies. Hair was rolled on curlers the size of soda cans, creating styles with long, luxurious waves. Wigs became popular for women.

1960s Makeup Styles and Cosmetics

Unlike the too-natural Hippie look, the early Natural Look was anything but. Heavy foundation makeup (called "translucent"), masked the complexion, which might then be brightened by a mod pink blush. Many cosmetics designers decided to forego blush entirely, settling on a matte, slightly tanned look for foundations, and playing up the eyes. Lips were left nude, covered with foundation, or in shimmering, titanium-based lipsticks in shades so pale they made models into anemic aliens. Pale, silvery lips and a broad expanse of colorless face put focus on the eyes. Mascara was vital to the look; preferably so thickly applied that the lashes clumped together in spikes like false eyelashes. False eyelashes were also in vogue, and many women put mascara on top of them. Eye makeup was harsh: eyeliner all the way around the eye; eye shadow up to the browbone, even in daytime. Big, dramatic eyes were the ultimate fashion ploy.

A '60s party theme is Flower Power. Vintage costumes, long boots, groovy music and strobe lights make the look.

Check out these other decades for makeup and fashion styles:
1920s Makeup, 1930s Fashion, 1940s Styles & 1950s Sock Hop



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