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Hair and Makeup in the 1950s

May 30, 2011

Great films, iconic movie stars, and timeless fashion are just a few of the things the 1950s were known for. 1950s style exemplified class and grace, with specific emphasis to hair and makeup.

We’ve put together a couple of tips and inspiration on how to recreate and even update the fabulous hairstyles and makeup of the 1950s. The same small group of stars, namely Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and later, Marilyn Monroe dominated the glamourous worlds of fashion and beauty. They have since been widely and consistently emulated, generation after generation.

Hair in the 1950s

1950s hairstyles emphasized traditional gender roles. While women’s hair was long, curled and high maintenance, men wore their hair in short, military-like cuts, or pomaded and combed back from the face. 1950s hair was flawless and perfectly coiffed, which went perfectly with the ultra-precise makeup looks of the time. The pompadour, rolled bangs,Β and soft curls are three great hair styles of the era that translate flawlessly into today’s style in the most timeless manner.

For women in the 1950s, curly hair was in fashion. If your hair was straight, the simplest way to curl it was to wear many small hair curlers (and/or rollers) in the hair, and then let them set over the course of hours, or even a night’s sleep. Women could also go to the hairdresser and get a permanent, which would chemically set the curls in their hair. Film stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, and Marilyn Monroe all wore curly updos, while famous men like James Stewart, Cary Grant and President Dwight Eisenhower wore their hair in short, severe cuts.

A breathtaking Elizabeth Taylor in her 50's heyday

Pompadour Hairdo

The 50s hairstyles today are still wildy popular and often emulated by the likes of Dita Von Teese and Katy Perry

Here’s a spot on tutorial on ‘How to Create Rolled Bangs and The Pompadour’


Makeup in the 1950s

The 1950s were all about creating a softer, more feminine look. Back in those days, women wore softly curled hair, gorgeous lipstick in primarily red tones, defined eyebrows, and rosy cheeks. Perfection and glamor are the trademarks of the 1950s face. With color predominant on the big screen, such film stars as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Doris Day wore makeup that was flawless and brilliant.

Here’s another tutorial for makeup to complete your 1950’s makeover to perfection.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2011 6:36 pm

    We’re featuring this blog post on our Facebook page. If you’re interested, come check it out –>

  2. July 18, 2012 3:48 pm

    Love this post! I’ve always been a fan of 1950’s hairstyles, I wish they would make a comeback on a fairly large scale.


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