The Hottest Makeup Trends of the 1970s

‍The 1970s was a time of change and rebellion. The decade saw the rise of new social movements such as feminism, environmentalism, and New Leftism. There was also an increase in interest in spirituality and mysticism in response to the rapid technological advancements, which had brought space exploration closer than ever before. Meanwhile, the sexual liberation movement led to more open discussions about sex, which is reflected in the makeup trends of the time. The influence of punk culture also played a big role in shaping the aesthetics of that era. Let's take a look at some of the biggest makeup trends during this period.

Natural beauty was in Fashion

The Seventies was a decade that celebrated simplicity, authenticity, and the beauty of nature. During this time, people preferred natural makeup looks over overly dramatic ones. This shift in attitude was also due to the fact that cosmetics were now more accessible and affordable. Women were keen to experiment with different beauty products, but they didn’t necessarily want to go overboard with them. This is why they preferred subtle makeup that was appropriate for both daytime and nighttime wear. For instance, mineral makeup became popular in the 1970s. This type of makeup was formulated with natural ingredients and was completely organic. It was marketed as a safer option that didn’t contain harmful chemicals like traditional makeup. Another popular trend was the use of natural-looking, blush-on lipsticks. These lipsticks were scented with herbal extracts and didn’t have harsh chemical ingredients like regular lipsticks.

Kohl eyeliners were used in the 1960s and had been present in various forms of makeup since the Ancient Egyptians. During the Seventies, these eyeliners were particularly popular among Western women as they were used to create dramatic looks. Women who liked to wear more natural makeup were also fond of kohl, as it could also serve as an eye shadow. Aside from being a makeup product, kohl was also used in ancient Indian and Persian cultures as a remedy for eye infections. It was considered a product that was helpful and beneficial for the eyes. Due to its many uses, kohl remained popular among women during the 1970s. Another type of eyeliner that was all the rage in the 1970s was liquid eyeliner. This product was formulated with a stiffer consistency that could be applied using a fine brush. Liquid eyeliners had a thicker texture than kohl, which meant they could be applied more precisely.

Color-blocking became a thing

Due to the popularity of the New Left movement, which was a movement that attempted to divert attention from class conflict to race and gender issues, color-blocking became a big trend during the Seventies. It involved wearing garments or accessories that were of two contrasting colors or hues. The makeup trends of the time also followed this concept, as women often used two different shades of eye shadows. For instance, one eye was colored blue and the other one was colored green. Alternatively, one eye was colored pink and the other one was colored red. While color-blocking was usually done with two contrasting colors, it could also be achieved by combining two monochromatic shades. This meant that both eyes were colored the same color but in different intensities – one eye would be more vivid than the other one.

Glitter was a must-have

Glitter was one of the most popular makeup trends of the decade. It was largely used as a finishing touch on everyday makeup looks. However, some makeup artists used it as a main feature of theatrical makeup looks. For example, glitter was often used to draw attention to the upper eyelids. During the 1970s, glitter was incorporated into various types of makeup products, including eye shadows, eyeliners, and lip glosses. It was also commonly applied to the face and body. There were two types of glitter – loose glitter and pressed glitter. Loose glitter was applied on the face and body using a makeup brush or by shaking the glitter into one’s hand. For instance, it could be applied to the face to create a “disco ball” effect. Pressed glitter was applied by pressing it into the desired areas of the face and body.


All in all, the 1970s was a decade that promoted a simple, natural aesthetic that celebrated authenticity. Beauty trends during that time favored clean, neutral tones and earthy colors, which were inspired by the simplicity of nature. These trends were a response to the growing interest in spirituality and mysticism that characterized the decade. This interest was also reflected in the makeup trends of the time. The 1970s was also a decade that saw the rise of new social movements, such as feminism and environmentalism, which also influenced the aesthetics of the time.