The Roaring 20s saw women’s liberation in dress and makeup. Before the 20s, women wore cosmetics, but nice women used discretion. The rouge pots and powder puffs were kept hidden. But when stars like Theda Bara and Clara Bow came on the scene in the 1920s make-up became a must have. Paper-white skin, blood red lips and extremely made-up eyes was the look of the day.
Back then, makeup was pretty raw. Early mascara was nothing more than a waxy cake that was melted and applied with a stick. Eyeliner was kohl, made from who knows what; soot, lead, grease, anything. The powder was usually rice powder.
Luckily, we have access to better supplies these days. So a 20s flapper-esque face is completely attainable. Wear it with a flapper dress to a costume party or just try it out for fun.
Start with a clean palette.
Wash and moisterize your face, then apply a layer of creamy foundation and powder. This blank slate can also include plucking your eyebrows thin and high, like a flapper. A fad at the time was to pluck the entire eyebrow and then draw it back with liner above the natural placement. I don’t recommend this, but trim eyebrows are a part of the look. You can fill in with a eyebrow pencil for a thin, long and dark eyebrow.
Apply rouge, i.e.blush, to the apples of the cheeks.
This isn’t a sculpted look, no, the blush basically just brightens your cheeks, like an embarrassed blush.
Draw a line of eyeliner all around the eye and smudge.
It’s a dramatic, vampirish look. You can even pull the line out farther than the outside corner of your eye to make a cat-eye, or Asian look.
Curl your eyelashes and then go thick and heavy with mascara.
False eyelashes can be applied to the outside corners for more drama. Most of the attention in a flapper face is in the eyes. A swipe of dark shadow in the crease and a light shade on the lid makes the eyes look even larger.
Blood red lipstick applied just to the center of the lips with a thumb print makes the sweet cupids bow look. A bright pink lip is another possibility for a roaring 20’s face.
Don’t worry about touching up your makeup at a party.
Flappers didn’t hide their makeup, portable jewel-encrusted containers were ideal accessories. Go ahead and powder your face, check your lipstick and control the darkly smudged eyes.
Finish the look with a bobbed haircut (or a wig).
This blunt cut was short, cut halfway between cheekbone and chin. Bangs could be swept to the side, slicked down into spit curls, or cut short and straight across. The entire look could also be slicked down and back or curled with finger waves.
Two other hairstyles of the time were an Eton crop and a Shingle. The Eton crop was a very short cut with single curl plastered above the ear. The Shingle was much like the bob, yet the back was cut in a V-shape.