With the recent release of Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, the Roaring 20s are back in, making their splash in a big way.
Home decor, fashion, makeup, accessories and even decorum (in some cases) are reflecting a time in American history where the parties were grand, the homes were extravagant, and the women were glamorous.
Luhrmann did an excellent job of painting a picture and inviting us in to see America enter a prosperous era. Morality was relaxed in the optimism brought on by the end of WWI and the booming of the Stock Market, and this was accurately portrayed by the somewhat eccentric cast.
One of the most exciting things to see in Luhrmann’s interpretation of Gatsby is undoubtedly the clothes – on both the women and the men. Costume designer Catherine Martin (Luhrmann’s wife) and the team of hair and makeup artists must have been thrilled with a project that looked like the ultimate game of dress-up. The suits were beautifully cut, and the dresses seemed to jump out at you from the cover of a magazine.
The well-to-do spared no expense when it came to jewelry, and Tiffany & Co. did a dazzling job of bringing the jazz era to life with their pieces in the film. The costumes came out of the House of Prada, and remained true to the period while throwing in nuances of modernity.
Along with their glittering low-waisted dresses, flappers in the 20s expressed themselves with makeup too. They turned to cosmetics to play up their femininity and to empower them as they entered the workplace. Powder, blush, eye shadow and lipstick came onto the scene, and with that, beauty culture was born.
Flapper beauty starts with a flawless, matte complexion. Women of the era chose to use powder makeup because it created a smooth, porcelain canvas with no shine. Skin wasn’t the focal point of beauty, the main attraction was to be the eyes and lips. To get an authentic look, start by applying concealer where needed. Then apply a powder that matches or is one shade lighter than your skin tone.
To finish your flapper skin, apply a pale pink blush to the apples of your cheeks. After the invention of the compact, ladies fell for peaches and pinks. These subtle hues gave them a hint of color while still letting the eyes and lips take center stage.
To get the sultry yet soft eye look that Daisy Buchanan wore throughout the film, apply a charcoal grey eye shadow from the lash line to the brow, blending it horizontally from one corner of your eye to the other (think windshield wiper motion). This will create a round, feminine shape. Finish the eyes by using black liner and forming a subtle cateye, and top with heavy black mascara.
Complete your Great Gatsby makeup with the iconic 1920s cupid’s bow lip. Start by tracing your mouth with a deep liner, creating dramatic arcs to emphasize the curves in your upper lip. Fill in the area you’ve outlined with your favorite lipstick. Flappers flocked to deep reds, wines and plums, which provided a stark contrast to their fair complexions.
So sport your new look, kick your heels up and Charleston on over to see Gatsby; I promise you won’t be disappointed when it comes to beauty in any sense of the word.