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Trends: Retro Makeup

A mod look for the modern world.
A mod look for the modern world.
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Forget the Amy Winehouse-esque, thick black liner. In 2006, the troubled British songbird briefly resurrected winged 60s eyes and towering beehives – but her drunken, matted version would have made the original mod glamour girls wince; Winehouse resembled the modern love child of Keith Richards' boozy excess and Ronnie Spector's “Be My Baby” bouffants.


When done tastefully, retro hair and makeup can be both timeless and eye-catching. Current designers are embracing vintage looks on the runway – for his fall 2009 collection, Chris Benz decked his models out in 70s glam and 80s party-girl chic, with midnight-blue eye shadow, glitter and black lip gloss. Hollywood It Girl Nicole Richie commonly flaunts a boho-chic 60s style; liquid liner and blunt bangs have become her trademark.

The key, however, is to avoid looking like a discount Halloween costume.

Keep thick, dark eyeliners on the conservative side – definitely go for the gorgeous liquid blacks and browns, but focus on the upper lid. The lower lid should be set off with a smudge of dark shadow, or simply a coat of mascara. The same rules apply for those Cyndi Lauper-inspired rainbow tints from the 80s – don't layer colors, but stick to one hue and nix the dark eyeliners. As with any eye-oriented look, keep lips and cheeks neutral. The mod girls of Swinging London preferred their pouts pale, but kept their eyes bristling with false lashes and sweeps of black liquid liner.

Embrace your inner retro queen, but remember that proper application and technique will keep you looking more Marianne Faithfull than music video extra.




  • McGruber Frey 5 years ago

    All I want to do is wear liquid eyeliner, but I'm afraid. Seriously. I just feel like if you make a mistake there's no going back.

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