How to Get the Twiggy Look

In February, 1966, Britain’s Daily Express described Twiggy as “the cockney kid to launch a thousand shapes”. Find out how you can get the look that came out of London and spread across the globe during the swinging sixties.

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About the Twiggy Look

Why the Twiggy Look?

A Twiggy inspired look is ideal if you want to be chic without detracting from your youthfulness. Although it goes back 50 years, you’ll find that it’s practically timeless and can be adapted to current fashions without ever seeming inappropriate or out of place.

Or perhaps you've been invited to a sixties theme party. Then who better to turn to for inspiration than Twiggy? With her easy to create look, she was the most copied fashion icon of her time.

Except for false lashes, you probably already have the makeup you’ll need, and original sixties style mini-dresses can be bought for next to nothing at thrift stores. Or maybe your mother or grandmother still has one in her closet.

The Look of the Sixties

Fashion in the sixties was all about the younger generation for whom clothes had to be affordable and comfortable. There wasn’t even a place for high-heels. Hair was short and easy to manage and, apart from the eyes, makeup was minimal and understated.

But as Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki stated, these were “… postwar babies who had been deprived of nourishing protein in childhood and grew up into beautiful skinny people: a designer’s dream. It didn’t take much for them to look outstanding”. The youth of the day, she said, were “… fresh little foals with long legs, bright faces and round dolly eyes”; a description Twiggy epitomized.

The Face of '66

Twiggy says she owed her huge popularity to her ‘twiggies’—the painted-on lashes that helped make her eyes look big and round—but it was with her hair that she first gained national exposure in her native Great Britain.

In preparation for a photo shoot in 1966, her hair was cut short by the celebrity hairdresser Leonard Lewis at his Mayfair salon. One of the resulting photos was prominently displayed near the salon’s entrance, where it was soon spotted by a client of Lewis, Deirdre McSharry, who was a fashion journalist for the Daily Express. A few weeks later the paper was hailing Twiggy “the face of ’66”, and she never looked back!

Britain's Daily Express described Twiggy as "the cockney kid to launch a thousand shapes".
Britain's Daily Express described Twiggy as "the cockney kid to launch a thousand shapes". | Source

How to Get the Twiggy Look

You have to be young to pull off the Twiggy look. There should be no lines or dark circles beneath your eyes, and you should have a relatively good complexion.

To get the eyes right, it’s important that your lids are completely visible from corner to corner without having to raise your brows. It won’t work as well if you’ve got hooded eyes.

Twiggy's Makeup

Foundation and Concealer

When Twiggy rose to fame, she was just a teenager and had a perfect complexion, so she didn’t need a lot of foundation.

Choose a light, liquid product that matches your skin tone exactly and apply with your fingers. If you’re tired and have dark circles, erase them with concealer; if you don’t, your eye makeup will emphasize them.

Fix your foundation with a minimum of translucent powder, blending well.

Blush

Twiggy wore only a touch of blush.

Using a large brush and powder blush, dab just a hint of color on the apples of your cheeks. It should correspond with your lipstick.

Lips

Twiggy’s lips varied depending on outfit. It was mostly just a trace of color, if any, applied with the finger. But sometimes, when she wore bright, psychadelic designs, it was a more defined, vibrant application of orange or pink with a satin finish.

If your outfit calls for a brighter lip color, use lip liner and a brush. If not, omit lip liner and apply a nude lipstick straight from the tube, or a more vivid color with your finger to make it hardly noticeable.

Twiggy's eyes were larger than life.
Twiggy's eyes were larger than life. | Source

How to Get the Twiggy Eyes

The rest of Twiggy's face appeared relatively natural, but her eyes were larger than life.

In addition to the following instructions, you can see how she applied her eye makeup in the title image above.

The Lid Crease

To begin, draw a line along the crease of your eyelids using dark brown kohl, then blend upwardly and outwardly with a soft eye shadow brush.

Eyeliner

Apply black eyeliner to the upper lash line. If you make it thicker directly above the iris, the eye will appear rounder, which is what you want for the Twiggy look. Use liquid eyeliner for a defined finish.

Upper Lashes

Twiggy created her super-spidery effect by wearing two or three sets of false lashes on top of one another. The double layer criss-cross type made of human hair work best.

To put them on, apply fixative (to the lashes), wait twenty to thirty seconds, then attach to your lids starting at the outer corner while gently pressing down with tweezers. Curl the lashes and apply mascara if desired.

The 'Twiggies'

The black strokes along Twiggy’s lower lash line were dubbed ‘twiggies’ and were one of her trademarks. She got the idea after noticing a doll’s painted-on eyelashes.

To begin, etch on your ‘twiggies’ very lightly. Twiggy always did nine to eleven of them with the shortest toward the inner eye corner and the longest toward the outer. There’s no need to make them perfectly even and accurate, but if you make a mistake, wipe it gently away with a Q-tip. When you’re satisfied with length and spacing, darken your ‘twiggies’ with quick, downward strokes using either kohl or liquid eyeliner in black.

Finish off with a coat of black, lash-building mascara on your natural lower lashes.

Your eyes should now seem huge and round just like Twiggy’s. To exaggerate the look, apply white eyeliner to the lower waterline, and white eye shadow to your upper lids and the arch of your brow. A pastel eye shadow also works well on the lids.

How to Get Twiggy's Hair

Hair Color

The ideal hair color ranges from medium blonde to light brown.

Hairstyle

To look typically Twiggy, you hair should be parted and swept to one side at the front and bobbed at the back with extra volume at the crown. Tuck the sides behind your ears and, if liked, curl a tendril to form pixie sideburns.

Or Wear a Scarf

If your hair isn’t of the ideal color and/or cut, wear a headscarf drawn tightly over your head and knotted elegantly to the side as Twiggy did when she modeled the Biba look.

Take a Look at Some Original Twiggy Footage

For a better idea of Twiggy’s style, or to grab more inspiration, take a look at the original media footage of Twiggy at the height of her modelling career in the following video.

© 2014 Jayne Lancer

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