Melbourne Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Blog

Melbourne makeup artist and hair stylist Kristy Bassett shares her tips, inspiration and latest work

Fifties Fashion

I recently attended a 50th birthday party where we had to come in our favorite Fifties Fashion. I had so much fun deciding what to wear and how to do my hair and makeup that I decided to write about it!

Me and My Man in the 1950s

Me and My Man in the 1950s

The basis for any 1950s makeup is a peaches and cream complexion. The eyebrows are heavily shaded and much thicker than we see today and slightly narrowed toward the temple. I decided against shading my brows too thick or dark because I didn't want to look like Agro. 

Eye shadow was quite subtle in most cases, popular colours included greys, browns and for evenings golds, greens, blues and sapphire. A common look was to apply a rich layer of colour on the eyelid and apply a layer of silver over the top.

Liquid eyeliner is applied to the upper lid, this creates a sharp highly contoured look with a wing at the outer corner.  Blush is minimal and natural looking. Lips are coloured lush and full with pastel shades of apricot, honey, pink and peach by day and the most popular colour by night is red. This was the first time I have ever worn red lipstick and I loved it!

Elvis and Lucy in the 1950s

Elvis and Lucy in the 1950s

Hair and Makeup in the 1950s was influenced by many things, the poodle haircut was worn by Lucille Ball in one of the most popular shows in TV history "I Love Lucy".  Elvis Presley "The King of Rock and Roll" made the ducktail haircut popular amongst the men.

I knew that the best place in town for me to to go and find the perfect dress and accessories would be Exclusive Vintage in Prospect (if you haven't been there I recommend that you check it out). The boutique is run by Fern who really knows her period fashion and I had lots of fun playing dress ups. Originally I wanted to go as Marilyn Monroe but with my red hair I am a little more "I Love Lucy" than "Happy Birthday Mr President". In the end I settled for a classic black number with a cute little beret - cheaper than costume hire and something that I've already worn again!  Although I didn't dress as Marilyn I'll borrow a quote from her to summarise the glamor of the 1950s:

Real glamor, it's based on femininity. I think that sexuality is only attractive when it's natural and spontaneous . . . We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it's a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift. Art, real art, comes from it- everything . . .  Marilyn Monroe

Melbourne Hair & Makeup Artist