Vintage Makeup Palette Applied to Three Eras

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This winter has brought many days of overcast and fog. When I have looked out the window on these dreary days, I can’t help but be captured by the cool tones of the clouds and mist that set off a blue light across the city landscape. In contrast, the light emitted from buildings and neighborhoods compliment the blue tones with warm, gold lights. To pay tribute to the ambiance of the winter season, I decided to work with a makeup palette of blue and gold to recreate three different historic periods.

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The first era that came to mind is the Edwardian Era, or rather, the decade that followed the turn of the twentieth century. I’ve always felt that the style of this era is remarkably sophisticated. Women’s attire of this period was more modern than ever. The day-to-day style still consisted of full length dresses, but were styled in the form of three-piece suits, embellished with highly detailed collars and of course, puffed sleeves. The popular hairstyles of the era were typically up-dos, but loosely put together and tied back. Tied together, the look was a casual yet refined style.

Period films and television have always sparked my passion in makeup application and for the Edwardian Era, who better to inspire this look than Rose DeWitt Bukater of Titanic? A film that turns 20 this year – how time flies! This character was the inspiration for this look and today I thought I would share some of the products I’ve used to recreate this period’s style.

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Makeup History

The makeup of this period combined the use of only a few products:

  • Powder for the face
  • Rouge for the cheeks, lips and eyes
  • Charcoal pencil/paste for mascara and eyeliner.

The palette I selected was challenging in that shades of blue were probably not considered “lady like” for the time and gold shades would only appear decades later.

Warm Complexion

For this look, I mostly worked on building a defined but natural complexion. I’ve learned that in order for foundation or any type of makeup to appear on camera, one would need to use more than every day amounts. Using a combination of concealer, liquid foundation and a cream bronzer, I was able to build a warm and rosy complexion.

Before applying any of the above items, I found the use of color correctors essential for creating a blemish free complexion. I used the Smashbox Color Correcting Sticks in Look Less Tired – Light, which was applied in the areas under the eyes and the Get Less Red in blemish areas before applying concealer.

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Though this was not authentic to the era, which would have had none of these products, I found they were essential for re-creating Rose’s look.

Lastly, I heavily applied a powder foundation, using The Body Shop’s All-In-One Face Base in the shade 02. This powder has a matte finish that was fitting for this time period. Where ever possible I try to only use mattes when re-creating a vintage look.

Overall the gold and brown tones of the bronzer and the neutral tones of the foundation created a warm complexion that was light enough to look natural on camera but heavy enough to resemble the makeup products of the era.

Charcoal Eye Liner

The trend of this period was to apply both rouge and eyeliner to the eyelid. Instead of using charcoal or grey toned eyeliner, I went with blue eyeliner. I tried to apply only the faintest of lines for the liner as anything too heavy in this period would have been considered a faux pas. To compliment the eyeliner, I used a navy blue eye shadow that was applied in the outer corners on both the top and bottom eyelids so that the look would appear more blended on camera.

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For eye shadow, I went with warm tones to compliment the complexion as well as contrast the blue liner. For the entire eyelid I used a shadow from Sephora’s Vintage Filter collection in the shade Secret Boudoir. For the crease of the eye, I used warm browns and taupes to help bring definition to the eye on camera. I finished the look by applying black mascara to the upper and lower eyelids.

The applied eye makeup ended up being quite heavy which complimented the heavy foundation. Again, when captured on camera, this look appeared more natural and fitting with the period’s makeup trends.

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Monotone Blush & Lipstick

The rouge was definitely the most critical element for this look as I needed to find a blush that complimented both the navy blue and gold tones, but also bring more of the gold into the look. I ended up using two blushes, one matte based and one shimmer based. The first one, which was applied across the entire cheek was a City Color blush in the shade Fresh Melon. The second blush, which has shimmers of gold was The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome in the shade 02. This product was applied lightly in the apples of the cheeks and across the cheek bone and then well blended.

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For the lip color, I went for a natural lip as the rest of the look ended up looking quite bold. The lipstick shade used was a light berry color and matched the blush tones. I used the shade Hooligan from Buxom Cosmetics.

The palette I selected for this look was not typical to the era. The common makeup shades of the Edwardian Era were red, pink, peach, berry, etc. The gold and blue palette added a modern twist to the look but when applied correctly, still followed the formula of this era’s style.

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What’s incredible about this palette is that it is very dynamic. I invite you to check back next week where I will go back further in time to the Renaissance Era and see how this very same palette can achieve the look of Marie Antoinette.

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