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The Great Gatsby: Makeup Ideas for a Modern 1920s Glam Tutorial

Updated on May 17, 2013

With The Great Gatsby set to hit theaters soon, the Roaring 20s beauty and fashion trends are re-emerging and taking center stage.

Flapper-styled clothing, extravagant jewelry and tiffany-designed headbands are just a few noteworthy traits from the era.

But what about makeup?


The Gatsby Makeup Look

The ladies of the 20s fancied a really matte look with deep hued lips. There was also tons and tons of lashes and really rosy cheeks.

1920s makeup favored “berry” dark hues against really light hues. In fact, watch a film from this period and you'll notice lots of ghostly-white faces paired with wine-stained lips.

So how can you pay homage to such an important era of fashion, style and beauty but keep it modern. How can we incorporate some of our 21st century trends?

A Modern Twist On The 20s – Matte Matters

Here are a few ways to add a modern spin on 1920s glamour.

Use a matte foundation such as NARS Sheer Matte or Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet+. Be sure to finish with a translucent powder to really play up a powder-like finish. I recommend ELF Studio High Definition Powder. At $6, it's a steal and great for every day use.

Avoid too much shimmer. The beauties of the 20s only fancied the shimmer of jewels. To modernize the look, dab a bit of gold or silver shimmery shadow to your inner eye ducts. This will brighten your eyes and make you appear more awake.


A Modern Twist On The 20s – Layered Shades

Apply a medium to dark colored plum, navy or grey shadow to lids.

Try using a product like Maybelline's Color Tattoo eye shadow. They come in a variety of shades and make an awesome base for dark shadows.

Use a layering technique to really make colors “pop.” To layer, use a cream based shadow first then follow up with a matching eye shadow.

This layering of colors adds depth. And the results are more intensified colors.

For a modern spin, add a transition color between your lid color and brow bone. Remember, the perfect transition color will be 2 to 3 shades darker than your natural skin tone.

A Modern Twist On The 20s – Lash Out

Don't hold back on the mascara or the falsies. This is no shock because today we still adore bold, out-of-control lashes.

A Modern Twist On The 20s – Be Catty

However, the ladies then didn't wear a lot of liner. But for a modern edge, I'd suggest heavy upper-lining or even a cat-eye – no liner on the bottom lash line.

Doesn't matter the era, I just can't see how anyone can go wrong with a cat eye, ever.


A Modern Twist On The 20s – Blushing Berry Much

Blush was a must during the Gatsby period. Keeping with the current theme, blushes were also deep in color. Go with a deep cherry, red or even burgundy blush.

Bronzers weren't invented in the 20s. So stay away from shimmery brown and gold tones.NARS Taj Mahal and MAC Blunt blushes/bronzers would be no-nos during this era.

A Modern Twist On The 20s – Roaring Lips

Finish the look with a red or cherry hued lipstick. MAC RubyWoo or even the latest RiRi Woo by Rhianna would do well here.

Just remember to clean up feathered edges with makeup removal wipes. You can also get a “crisp” finish by using concealer to outline your lips.

If you choose to use concealer, make sure you set it with a powder to prevent creasing.

A Modern Twist On The 20s – Beauty Marked

Don't forget your beauty mark! Using a cream liner or a liquid pen liner like Milani Eye Tech Extreme, slowly circle in a beauty mark. I highly recommend liquid liner pens for this because it makes precision easier.

Lightly dust your beauty mark with translucent powder to set. This will give it the most natural looking finish. It will also keep it from budging and smearing which is also ideal.

Flappers Dress Not Included

And that's all to it. By adding a few modern-day techniques, we can enjoy the beauty and mystique of 1920s glamour.

Now it's time to find a fringed, flappers dress and one of those long electric cigarettes.


About Me

Hi, I'm Nicole! A beauty and fashion blogger at See the latest tutorials, tips and editorial by following me on Google+ and Twitter, @girlratesworld. Dedicated to bringing you the the latest in beauty, fashion and celebrity trends.

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