Model: Tammy Jaqueline Snipe
Photographer: Steve Cave at Cave Studios www.cave-studios.co.uk
The 1960s was a defining decade for Britain, led by a new teenage generation thriving on independence and expression. Within ten short years, London transformed from a bleak conservative city recovering from the atrocities of World War II to the city of dreams, the shining epicentre of style where anything was possible. With the abolition of National Service in 1960, young people now had fewer responsibilities and cosmetics mirrored the social changes of the decade.
Make-up and fashion were heavily influenced by the interests of the youth, from high fashion to the consumption of recreational drugs. Subsequently two main looks were born: the mod and the hippy.
Originally associated with dapper Modernist boys who listened to Jazz, the ‘mod’ look applied to anything stylish, fresh and unconventional. Gone were the days of post-war gloom, with teenagers alive with excitement and freedom. Fashion exploded and with new disposable income to hand, men and women flocked to Carnaby Street and Kings Road to explore the latest styles. Men sought out boutiques and dressed in bespoke Italian suits, while women embraced Mary Quant’s bold and daring miniskirt. The ‘mod’ style favoured striking geometric patterns and black and white prints; this inspired the distinctive mod eye make-up look. Exemplified by the iconic Twiggy, eyelids were painted matte and then defined with a dark crease line, applied in an arch from the inner to the outer eyelid. The line was razor sharp, with absolutely no blending or smudging. Eyeliner was then used to paint on bottom lashes for a dramatic finish.
In the very early 60s, make-up saw the continuation of typical 1950s style, with flicked eyeliner, matte eye shadows and red lipstick. It was the colossal impact of the baby boomers that changed make-up for the masses. Cosmetics were no longer a tool used to emphasise glamour but became playful, representing a new rebellious nature.
Music went hand in hand with make-up and everything from Rock and Roll, Motown and psychedelic rock influenced style. Bands like The Beatles, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones encouraged self-expression and the ability to question authority.
The 60s face focused very much on the eyes, with favourable eyeshadow colours including white, and pastel blues and greens. Max Factor was still one of the leading brands, as was Covergirl, Revlon and Elizabeth Arden. False lashes became the accessory of the decade, with trendy women wearing them every day. Lashes mainly came in black or brown and were made from human hair, synthetic hair or animal hair such as mink or sable. Lashes were so popular that some women even wore two sets, placed on the top and bottom for a real retro flapper effect. Lashings of mascara were essential to complete the look.
The rest of the 60s face was understated, to draw attention to the eyes. Cream foundations were used to create a flawless canvas, with concealer to correct any imperfections or blemishes. Blush was very natural and universally matte; delicate peachy hues and soft rose tones were used to add a gentle flush of colour. Lips were also minimalist, with popular colours including pale pinks, beige nudes and peaches. Lip cosmetics however were designed to create a fashionable sheen; Yardley’s Lip Slickers, Max Factor’s Ultra Lucent Crème lipstick and Revlon’s ‘Moon Drops’ all gave the desired finish.
Towards the mid-to-late 60s, make-up was used to express happiness and peace as the hippy culture made its mark, synonymous with the flower power movement. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD were hugely popular and the effects of such mind-altering drugs were seen in the vibrant and outrageous colours used for face and body paint. One might visualise the average hippy dancing in fields with hair flowing freely, covered in bright colourful flowers.
A decade heavily punctuated by social and political upheaval, make-up was viewed in two very fascinating ways. The rise of feminism encouraged some to dismiss cosmetics as a sexual tool objectifying women but many embraced make-up and applied it like a badge of honour, as a symbol of change, liberation and hope for the future.