Retro Make-Up: 70s Disco Is Back
Retro Make-Up: 70s Disco Is Back

Retro Make-Up: 70s Disco Is Back

4 minutes read

In case you missed it: retro, ’70s inspired make-up is making its way to runways and beauty feeds again. Make-up trends tend to be cyclical in nature – what goes around comes around again, sooner or later. And as 2022 is the year to celebrate make-up and have fun with it again (read: the make-up trends taking over 2022), it makes sense to revive the bold make-up from the disco era of the late ’70s.

The look is unapologetic and overstated, featuring eyeshadow applied in a winged shape, thin brows and blush placed high on the cheekbones – obviously paired with a Farrah-flick or other voluminous-style ‘do’s.

Shimmering pigments in shades of green, blue and purple were used to create the dramatic eye. To recreate a subtler version of the look, use a single shade of cream eyeshadow instead (cream formulas were very popular during this era).

To add a modern twist to the look, throw some crystals into the mix – crystal eye make-up is a big trend for 2022. Take inspiration from the beauty look at Paul Costelloe for London Fashion Week AW22 (designed by make-up artist Yin Lee).

backstage beauty at Paul Costelloe AW2022
Instagram: @paulcostelloeofficial

What influenced 1970s make-up?

Although we love the disco eye, it isn’t the only popular look during the ’70s. Early in the decade, a natural aesthetic was favoured: fresh skin, nude lipsticks and minimal make-up. This could be where the ‘no make-up’ make-up look originated. A famous ad at the time for a complexion product called itself “the make-up that is and isn’t” — alluding to a natural, almost invisible look.

The first half of the 1970s also drew inspiration from the smokey eyes and doll-faced make-up of the 1920s. In addition, the nostalgic trend was inspired by films set in the 20s like The Great Gatsby (1974) and The Great Waldo Pepper (1975).

The shimmery disco eye grew popular in the latter half of the 1970s, inspired by various celebrities, rockstars and Studio 54 and, of course, the iconic Saturday Night Fever released in ’77.

This hedonistic headspace is back. Think of it as a release from the past pandemic years and everyone just wanting to have a bit more fun. So here’s how to sophisto-disco make-up now – for everyone of all ages.

Mark Fast AW21 beauty
Instagram: @mark_fast

Retro ’70s make-up: how to recreate the disco eye

Step one: base

  • To create a luminous base, apply a pearlescent primer like the SOS Primer in 01 Rose.
  • Next, buff a thin layer of liquid foundation all over, blending it into the neck area.
  • Dot and blend concealer under the eyes and on any other areas you prefer to conceal.
  • Dust a light layer of powder all over to set the make-up.

Step two: eyes

  • Apply a thin layer of concealer across the eyelids to prime them, and then set it with a translucent powder.
  • Choose a shimmery eyeshadow palette that features shades of blue, silver or bronze. We like to use the Ombre 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Midnight Gradation.
    Clarins Ombre 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Midnight Gradation
  • Apply the shimmery powder across the eyelids and extend it to create a winged shape. Next, use a smaller brush to sweep some colour along the lower lash line. Then, with a clean blending brush, diffuse any harsh edges.
  • For an authentic ’70s-inspired look, an intense brow bone highlight is crucial. To do this, apply a frosted ivory or pearl eyeshadow under the arch of the brow.
  • Curl the lashes and apply mascara on both top and bottom eyelashes.
  • You could also stick on a few crystals or other embellishments along the lash line to make the look more modern and fun.
  • False eyelashes were also popular during the ’70s. Stick a half set of falsies on the outer corners of the eyes to emphasise the feline shape.
  • Keep the brows natural, filling only where required – if you have any gaps or particularly sparse areas in your brows.

Step three: cheeks & lips

  • In the late 70s, blush was applied on the high points of the cheeks, blended up towards the temple, in an L shape. Choose a plum shade like the Joli Blush in 04 Cheeky Purple, and apply it with an angled Blush Brush.
  • Glossy pink or nude lips were popular accompaniments to the disco eye. We also love pairing it with a simply berry-tinted gloss like the Natural Lip Perfector in Plum Shimmer.Trying to master the natural, ‘no make-up’ make-up look? Read: Everyday Natural Make-up: How to Get It Right.

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