70s Make Up and Fashion

The development of fashion over the past several decades have typically evolved along eras or periods that can be characterized by their own distinctive fashion and makeup tastes, styles and techniques, which set them apart from the preceding period. The 70s era, animated as it was by profound concepts of freedom and liberalism, began the trend of self-assertion in women, particularly in determining comfortable and convenient fashion.

Women’s closets sported miniskirts, midi-skirts, maxi dresses as well as hot pants and bellbottoms and they donned them, as they desired. For evening wear they often sported maxi dresses, halter neck cat suits or a halter-top on evening trousers. In the early seventies, evening occasions also featured empire line dresses, which were rather popular in either miniskirt style or the traditional midi length.

The 70s was a turbulent era that saw the ebb and swing of societal consciousness from raging protests over the horrors of the Vietnam War to outrage over the Watergate Scandal to the stirrings of a nascent concern for the environment and the curbing of global pollution. These concerns greatly influenced fashion designers, who conceived cutting edge, as well as softer and more comforting styles. The incipient anything goes attitude inspired styles, which ranged from clunky and awkward to supple and feminine.

As people turned to light athletic activities and running, running shoes became indispensable to men and women’s wardrobes. Radical fashion changes drove men to borrow women’s clothing, begin wearing make up and adorn their nails with clear polish. TV and music celebrities took to sporting comfortable boas and blouses, as well as exotic slinky shirts.

70s hairstyles ranged from the typical long, smooth and straight to the Afro to the more complicated and time-consuming Farrah Fawcett look. While the popular Afro required only an air drier and a pick or separating comb to fluff it, the Farrah Fawcett look took long hours to prepare with an array of equipment, including curling iron, straightening iron, hairspray and mousse. And the “new look” proscribed engagement in any sports or outdoors activity, which easily damaged it.

Disco fever swept the world and its fashion influence still endures. However, what endured is not the fashion of John Travolta of Saturday Night Fever fame. Skintight pants (often in synthetic or polyester fabric), slinky shirts and awkward platform shoes did not survive the disco craze.

Soft, fresh and natural looking was the make up of choice for women who often resorted to using fake tans and bronzers to get that suntanned look. Foundation was hardly used, and when occasion required it, there was no application of powder, allowing the skin to shimmer a little. Mascara practically disappeared and natural colors with a bit of nacreous luster were preferred for lipstick as well as blush, nail polish and eye shadow. These were the mainstays of the fashionable 70s woman.

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