If Allure threw a party at Studio 54 in 1979, the room would be filled with ‘70s makeup trends like glittery eyeshadows, bushy natural brows, and graphic white eyeliner. (Bianca Jagger would have been invited, but we’d ask her to leave her white horse at home.) In 2023, we’d expect to see some familiar looks in the room.
The ’70s brought us disco! The women’s liberation movement! Charlie’s Angels! So it’s only fitting that this groovy era would bring us beauty trends that could still hold their own on TikTok. Would-be Fleetwood Mac groupies will relish in bare skin and thick, natural brows. Club-goers will love bringing back glitter and spiked lower lashes. And Farrah Fawcett herself would approve of the pastel eyeshadows and dewy foundation.
To help us bring these trends into 2023, we asked the pros to break down the best ’70s makeup trends and their must-have products to get the look.
Meet the experts:
Statement Lower Lashes
If your upper lashes are the lead single on the album, your lower lashes are the underrated B-side. We often overlook them — but they’re sometimes even sexier than the hits. To get Dua Lipa and Ivy Getty’s ’70s Cher-inspired lash, makeup artist Jenny Patinkin recommends starting with a tubing mascara to avoid a wet, clumpy mess. “Point the applicator at a perpendicular angle to the eye and swipe mascara back and forth over the lower lash line,” she says. If you want an even more dramatic spike, Patinkin recommends using small tweezers to pinch sections of lashes together into little packets of spikes.
“Caliray’s mascara works well for this look because you can control the application without getting big wet blobs, and I find that it doesn’t flake off throughout the day,” says Patinkin.
Some of us don’t have the patience to flip the record over for the B-side (isn’t that what Spotify is for?) If that’s you, a pre-spiked lower lash strip will save you the time and effort.
Nothing pairs with a pair of bell bottoms quite like cheeky white eyeliner. “Even the slightest bit can be so impactful when strategically placed,” says makeup artist Kristine Studden. Line the inner corner of the eye to widen, the waterline to open it up (like Lady Gaga has done here), create a white flick for a wink of fun, or try a negative space liner for something graphic like Janelle Monae. “The options are endless,” says Studden.
Studden likes this trusty MAC liner in Pure White. “The color is really rich and pigmented so it pops off the skin,” she says. A pencil works especially well for inner corners and water lines.
If you’re looking to create a sharp flick or play with more abstract shapes, a crisp liquid liner pen will glide on more easily. Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is a beloved fan favorite.
Soft Pink Lips
Every decade has its own pink. The ’50s were filled with baby pink poodle skirts. The ’80s were all about neon. Hell, the millennials even have their own chewed bubblegum-hued pink. In the ’70s, pink was a soft, satiny, almost-nude pink. Charlie’s Angels pink. “Blow a kiss and beat the bad guys” pink.
“If you’re just starting to play with pink, I think it’s best to start with a lip balm,” says makeup artist Joseph Carrillo, who recommends this green-to-pink balm. “It leaves just a wash of color, but enough to be noticeable,” he says.
For a slightly bolder version, Carrillo recommends this satin-finish lipstick in Rosy Shell. “It has cool and warm undertones for a wider range of skin tones, and it’s so pretty.”
Somewhere during our Daisy Jones & the Six binge-watch, we had a hankering for a messy love affair, a tambourine, and pastel eyeshadow. The love affair seemed less advisable, and the tambourine is a quick way to make enemies with your neighbors, so we’re sticking with the sugar-sweet color wash shadow trend in light blues, lavenders, and pinks. (Pair this trend with the pink lips from above and Charlie will make you an honorary Angel.)
Pastels, by nature, tend to disappear into the skin. To give the color some punch, Carrillo recommends starting by covering the lids with a white primer or eyeliner.
This E.L.F. palette hits all the trendy ’70s hues — denim blue, lilac, sage, and then some. Layer a wash of color on top of the white base to get the most color payoff.
Foundation in the ’70s was hydrated and dewy — like you had just spent the afternoon at the roller rink and had a light glisten going. (You know, the sexy kind. Not the drenched-in-sweat kind.) “Dewy is and forever will be the fountain of youth,” says Carrillo, who adds that a damp beauty blender will help to keep things light.
Carrillo recommends applying this buildable foundation that has a “gorgeous sheen” on the face, ears, neck, and decollete.
For an extra “ABBA just came on and I hit the rink hard” glow, dab this shimmer-free highlighter along the cheekbones for a touch of sweet dewiness.
“’70s bush” wasn’t a term coined for brows but we think it contains multitudes. A bushy brow has ’70s free-spirit energy, but in 2023, we curate where they land a bit more. “Just brush your brows lightly into place with gel,” says Patinkin. “Step away from the tweezers.”
Patinkin highly recommends this clear brow gel. “It gives great hold without drying stiff or crispy,” she says.
If your brows are a lighter color or even just a little sparse, a saturated tinted brow gel like Glossier’s Boy Brow will help to give a bushier look without having to painstakingly paint on individual hairs.
The very first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was printed in 1964. By the 1970s, the special edition was already a cultural phenomenon with icons like Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley gracing the cover. Many turned to tanning beds and SPF-less tanning oil to get that sandy, ’70s surfer look. We’re a lot smarter now about achieving our beach babe aesthetic. “I love a bronzed look, but only when it’s from a bottle and it mimics the look of tanned skin with products to add that bronzy glow,” says makeup artist Dani Kimiko Vincent.
This gradual tanning lotion has won Allure’s Readers Choice Award for self-tanner many, many times over thanks to its ease of application (no gloves required).
For face, Vincent recommends this moisturizing tint “which can be used alone or mixed into your moisturizer or SPF for some added glow.”
“I love the playfulness of the ‘70s sheer lip gloss look,” says Vincent. “It’s fun, carefree, youthful, and refreshing.” Like driving a Firebird with the windows down and Electric Light Orchestra on the radio. Vincent recommends reaching for a simple gloss or lip oil, but prep for this trend will go a long way. “As with any lip product application, it begins with exfoliated lips so there are no snags in the finish.”
Vincent recommends this glassy, thick gloss which comes in several nude and sheer shades with a touch of shimmer.
“These lip oils are non-sticky, and have a rich, balmy texture,” says Vincent. “I love the mirror gloss shine and the lip-caring formula,” which includes nourishing cherry oil.
If Janis Joplin wrote for Allure, she’d be singing the praises of beautiful bare skin. Patinkin agrees but understands if you have a few spots you might want to hide. “Bare skin that gets just a little touch up with concealer is a great way to balance wanting to look ‘perfect’ and wanting to look natural,” she says. “I like to apply a creamy concealer under the eyes, around the nose, and on the chin.”
If you’re going Janis Joplin bare, all you’ll need is a nourishing moisturizer. Studden likes the dewy shine of Creme de La Mer, either all over or used as a highlighting sheen on the cheekbones.
If you do want to do a minor touch-up, Patinkin recommends this hydrating concealer. “It glides on the skin so nicely but still has nice coverage,” she says.
If you’re looking for late-night dancing at Studio 54, glittery, shimmery disco eyes are the price of admission. “To get the look at home, finish off your eyeshadow look by using your finger to place a fine glitter or shimmer color over the entire lid, working your way to the outer corners of the shadow,” says Vincent.
If you want to go all in on glitter (and who doesn’t?), a gel or glitter shadow will coat the lid like a disco ball. We love how thick this paste-like formula goes on (and doesn’t shed).
For more of a metallic Ziggy Stardust look, swipe on this buildable shimmery liquid shadow on top of your powder eyeshadow for an opaque finish.
Bold on Bold
If a statement lip is Marilyn Monroe and a statement eye is Sophia Loren, a statement lip and a statement eye together is ’70s Diana Ross. Today, bold-on-bold is an even more heightened version of Diana’s look — try an orange-red lip and a smoked-out cat-eye in a color of your choice. “It’s just makeup. It should be fun,” says Studden. If this all feels like a lot, Carrillo recommends sticking to berry tones. “Using plums and cranberries is just as dramatic as a blue eyeshadow and orange lip,” he says.
Studden recommends this blendable liner in a wearable color like Smoky Quartz if you’re just dipping your toes into the bold-on-bold trend, or opt for “a fun, bright tone like Sequin Green or Sour Apple.”
Find a complementary lipstick color in a slick satin finish. (Studden loves this rich formula from Yves Saint Laurent.) We like “Le Orange” to match a smoky black or gunmetal shadow.
Cut Crease Liner
Early ’70s Twiggy made us rethink the shape of our eyeliner and in 2023, her legacy is still seen in our youngest, freshest superstars (Olivia Rodrigo is the patron saint of Gen Z, after all). It also boasts a little function with its stylish form: “One of the amazing things about a cut crease liner is it really can reshape an eye,” says Carrillo. “If you have a monolid or a hooded lid, it can help to bring back depth.”
Carrillo recommends using the curve of an eyelash curler to trace your cut crease. “Kevyn Aucoin’s eyelash curler is amazing while you’re at it,” he says. Because if you’re buying one for a cut crease, you may as well buy one that’s great for curling lashes too.
Urban Decay’s playful range of colors — from matte cobalt blue to metallic orange — make it the perfect pencil for building a playful look.