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Your Guide to a Stunning 1950s Makeup Palette

We know that you vintage gals are huge fans of 1950s cosmetics, right? You’ve probably spent hours perfecting the perfect angled eyebrow and rouged lip, but what was it that made the 1950s makeup trends so iconic?

The 1950s Colour Palette.

In the modern world, makeup trends are changing all the time, and now that we’re not limited to a few simple colours and products that work with all kinds of skin tones, the sky’s the limit! So where can you begin to put together the perfect 1950s makeup look with such an abundance of modern cosmetics?

This guide to putting together a stunning 1950s makeup palette help you to identify what colours were in a 1950s colour palette and show you how you can turn your modern cosmetics into vintage makeup products simply by choosing the right colours to work with.

So what should you include in your 1950s makeup bag?


1950s cosmetics were made in a very different way to our modern day makeup. Pastels dominated the cosmetics scene in the 1950s, with powder being comprised of a number of different pastel tones, it was common to find pale pinks, soft greens, light blues, pastel yellows and light violet colours would be mixed to make the perfect pressed powder compact.

If you’re looking to buy an authentic looking 1950s face powder, we recommend looking for some powder pearls.



1950s rouge was based around many of the colours we still see in blushers today, but they were always tinted pink or red. Rouge should be applied to the upper cheekbone and should be applied sparingly to give a natural flushed effect.

If you’re choosing a 50s blusher, look for one with a pink or red tinted base such as these:



50s eye makeup always corresponded to eye colour. Coordinating with your eye colour was essential for most 1950s eyeshadow looks, but you could also match to a dress or accessory if the occasion called. For this reason, most 50s eyeshadow colours were shades of gray, brown, green and blue, with extra shades such as gold, silver and bright greens and blues for special occasions.

Most eyeshadow palettes nowadays offer you colours from the whole spectrum! But consider which colours would best go with your eye colour to perfect the everyday 1950s look:

1950s Eyeshadow Palette



One of the most essential makeup accessories of the time, mascara was a must-have for creating the ultra-feminine look! Often paired with a soft line applied along the upper lash with a gentle flick to open the outer edge of the eye, mascara could be worn in either black or brown for everyday. However, by the mid 50s many mascaras were made to match eye shadows, with dark blues being particularly popular.

Coloured mascara isn’t as popular as it once was, with many modern mascara lines being available in shades and tones of black and brown, but you can still pick up a cute blue mascara if you’re really feeling your 50s vibe.

1950s Mascara Palette



The red lip has become a trademark of 1950s beauty. Whatever lipstick shade you chose, it was sure to always be a red tone – orange reds for blondes and redheads and purple-reds for those with dark hair. We love to experiment though, so choose whichever shade makes you the most excited! The most desirable quality of a lipstick in the 1950s was a long-lasting lipstick – much like today! Lipstick was applied to lined lips and secured with light powder before a final layer for a little gloss.

The key difference between lipsticks now and in the 1950s is that glossy lipstick hadn’t come into style yet. So If you’re going for an authentic 50s makeup look, why not try a matte red lipstick.

1950s Lipstick Palette

Does anyone else collect vintage makeup? There’s something special about owning a piece of the 1950s glamour, but of course we wouldn’t recommend that you actually use it unless you want to give yourself some real skin trouble! However, there are a few vintage brands that are still in operation today that can offer you all the vintage inspired cosmetics in the world to pop in your vintage makeup bag.

If you want our advice, take a look at Revlon’s Fire & Ice Lipstick (originally made in 1953) and Max Factor’s Pan Stik (popularised in the 50s after a 1947 release) for an easy-to-apply foundation that can be used before you apply your powder.

Wherever you’re buying your 1950s cosmetics, make sure that you get that authentic look by consulting our stunning 1950s makeup palette.

1950s Colour Wheel

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