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Rococo Makeup Adapted for Modern Times, Using Modern Products

Updated on September 24, 2015
Isn't it nice?
Isn't it nice?

Rococo makeup reflected the spirit of the 18th century: luminous, fun-loving, youthful. The bright and joyful faces of its paintings are very elegant and noble, and can inspire us. However, real 18th century makeup would simply look clownish today, so we should instead adapt it to our modern times.

A "wearable" adaptation for our times.
A "wearable" adaptation for our times.

A pale face

In the 18th century, a very pale face was in vogue, as it indicated that you was a noble and leisure person, who did not have to work under the sun. Women (and men, too) would paint their faces with heavy toxic powders, often in the form of masks by mixing them with fats and egg whites, to look brighter. Such a white face would look ridiculous today, so, instead, we should use sunscreen to avoid tanning, a foundation and a powder one shade lighter than our natural, and lots of powder illuminator. A large forehead was preferred, so don't abuse the bronzer and prefer golden shades than brown ones.


Rouge was a multipurpose red powder used as blush and lip stain. So, a reddish shade would be appropriate for both. Unlike lipstick, rouge did not fully cover the lips, altough it was used liberally, so, a lip gloss would do the job better, as well as promoting a more youthful and playful look.

The eyes

Eye makeup was simply not used in the 18th century. So, a very light brown eyeliner just on the lashline, nude, gold-ish, pink or white illuminator eyeshadow, clear mascara or light mascara in the exact color of your eyelashes and no eyebrow pencil at all should be used. You can also innovate and use light illuminator eyeshadows of any color.

Complementing the look

A light shade of hair was always used. Today, platinum blonde would be both natural and coinciding with the era. Big and elaborate hairstyles were also in vogue. Complement it with "noble", luxury shiny and silky textiles. That will give you the "nobility" aspect of Rococo portraits, without getting out of our own era.


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