1920s Makeup Guide – Best 1920s Makeup Equipment

In the 1920s, makeup had just been introduced these times and it was a new concept for women. They were still figuring out how to use makeup products and which products to use, and which not. Everyone was thrilled with this new concept of makeup introduced in society, and every woman wanted to try it out. The 1920s were the times when many things changed. Be it fashion trends or the use of makeup. An international beauty culture was introduced which made people focus on novelty. 

These were also the times when women started entering the professional world, and hence the need to use makeup became even more popular and real. The thought behind this was that the beauty industry motivated these women to apply makeup so that they could look their absolute best while applying for employment, especially when in competition with men.


Women in the 1920s believed in a subtle and natural makeup look. They believed in having separate makeup looks for both, the daytime and the night. If you want to get an authentic 1920s makeup look, then you have to make sure to use the right procedure for the same. We know the question that just popped up in your mind- “where do I learn this procedure?” And the answer is, right here! 

Yes, this page will help you learn the authentic techniques of creating a 1920s makeup look. We have also included the products required to create this look so that you get all your answers on this page itself. By the end of this article, you will have an authentic procedure of creating a 1920s style makeup look, and the required products for the same. Let’s get started!

Let us get you through this makeup guide in a step-by-step process, so that you can understand the procedure better and get a complete authentic 1920s makeup look. 

Best 1920s Makeup Guide

Step 1- Loose Face Powder

The first step to get an authentic 1920s makeup look is to apply loose face powder. Remember that this loose face powder must be in your skin shade. You can also go for a powder that is one shade lighter, just like how the women preferred back in the ‘20s. You must be wondering why you have to start with loose face powder when there are so many cream-based compacts available in the market today. 

The answer is that anything apart from a loose face powder would be too thick for a ‘20s themed makeup look. Since the ideal ‘20s makeup look is focused on looking natural, a loose face powder provides a light and desired base for this makeup look to start with. These face powders usually come in a jar and need to be applied to the skin with the help of a puff. Puffs are something we have all seen our mothers and grandmothers use since our childhood.


One of the finest techniques to apply this face powder is to take a small amount of it on the powder puff and apply it on the face, covering small sections at a time. Remember to move the puff in a downward fashion, according to the natural contours of one’s face. One should always remember that this face powder is not supposed to layer your whole face and create an unnatural sheet over your face. Instead, the face powder’s job is to simply fill into the textures of your skin and even out the skin coloring or any irregularities, thus leaving you with a flawless base for further makeup.

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

One of the best loose face powders available in the market today is this translucent powder by Airspun. Apart from being a trusted brand, this product is also one of the bestsellers in this range. This loose powder is responsible for diminishing the appearance of any fine lines, or acne scars, or any other blemishes on the face, leaving you with a flawless face. 

It is used to smoothen the dullness of the skin and gives you long-lasting coverage. This face powder can be used as a foundation coverage or a setting powder. It helps in concealing uneven skin and can be used to set in the contour or highlight. For a 1920s makeup look, this powder works as the perfect base to start your makeup routine with. It looks natural and is extremely lightweight, thus helping you get an authentic ‘20s makeup look.


Step 2- Liquid Rouge

The next step in this ‘20s natural makeup look is rouge or blush. The authentic ‘20s makeup look focused on light powder and heavy rouge. Women usually applied rouge in a reddish shade and did not prefer orange or pink. Another important point is that they never used glitter rouge, but always a matte one, to give a more natural look. Instead of powder-based rouge, they preferred using a liquid one. 

Liquid rouge is not very commonly found in brick and mortar stores (of course, you will get it on Amazon!) The ideal way to apply this liquid rouge is to wet a cotton ball and apply this red matte rouge to it. Then, start dabbing it in the middle of your cheek and keep blending it until it gives a natural blush look. The reason for using a wet cotton ball rather than a brush is to prevent any hard rouge lines. Since the cotton ball used is wet, the edges are soft, thus preventing the formation of distinct rouge lines. This also helps in giving a more natural look. 


The ‘20s women believed that a youthful touch is added to their face when they apply rouge on their cheeks. The rouge should only be blended up till the tip of the nose. The correct way to apply rouge is to make a thin crescent on each cheek, and then keep blending it until it gives a tinge look. If you want to add more rouge, do it in small sections. Another habit of the ‘20s women was to apply a bit of rouge to their ears if they looked pale. They also applied rouge to their knees, so that they do not look dull! 

SHANY Paraben Free HD Liquid Blush 

This parabens-free liquid rouge is by the brand Shany Cosmetics. It can be used either as a blush or as a highlighter. It provides sheer coverage and gives a radiant glow to your face. It has a matte finish, which gives natural hydration to your skin and makes it super soft. It beautifully sculpts and warms the cheekbone area of your face. This liquid rouge is made with natural ingredients, which gives a silky texture to your skin.

 It is available in several shades, but we prefer the shade “Bombshell” to be the best choice for a ‘20s makeup look. This liquid-to-powder formulation gives a long-lasting effect and does not make your skin look flaky at the end of the day. Customers have claimed that it stays on for more than 12 hours. They love that it looks so natural and that it is so affordable!


Step 3- Lip Makeup


The only color used on the lips for a typical ‘20s makeup look is red. And just like the rouge, the lips should also not be glittery, but matte. Finding the right lipstick shade has always been a task for every woman. For a ‘20s makeup look, you may have to try on a few shades before you get the perfect one. Just remember, even a small amount of glitter is not acceptable on the lips for an authentic ‘20s look.


 This narrows down your search for the correct shade to just matte lipsticks. And since only the color red is acceptable, your task of finding the right shade of lipstick is made easier. You just have to look for a red matte lipstick now! Although, if you want to go for a ‘20s daytime makeup look, then you can add a tinge of yellow or orange to the matte red lipstick to give an authentic look. But if you are trying out an evening ‘20s makeup look, then matte red is your only option. 


This is one of the best-selling matte lipsticks by NYX Professional Makeup, a brand that is known by all. It comes in several shades, but since we are trying a ‘20s makeup look, the perfect shade for you would be “Alabama” or “Pure Red”. Even though this lipstick has a matte finish, the item form is creamy, which gives a silky effect. Therefore, it is a matte lipstick with a smooth and silky feel.

 It does not make your lips look flaky or dry if you have it on for hours. It is extremely easy to apply as it glides right through your lips, with its creamy fineness. It goes on smooth and sets as matte. It lasts for hours at a go, and does not smudge even a bit! 


Lip Pencil

Apart from just a lipstick, the ‘20s makeup look also needs a lip pencil or a lip liner. Using a lip pencil is extremely helpful in providing you with a flawless finish. All you have to do is draw an outline according to your lip shape and then start blending this line onto your lips. If you have naturally thin lips, you can also overdraw the lip outline to make your lips look plump. 


While applying the lip pencil, never forget to smudge it in towards your lip. Otherwise, you will be left with a distinct and unnatural lip outline. In the case of fuller lips, all you need to do is outline just the inside edge of your lips. Just always make sure that the lip outline does not look too harsh, otherwise, it will give a very unnatural look. After applying the lip liner, just fill in your lips with the red matte lipstick and tada!


Our favorite lip pencil is also from NYX Professional Makeup, which would tell you how much we love this brand! It is one of the bestsellers and is a long-lasting and durable cosmetic. The required shade for a ‘20s makeup look would be “Hot Red”. This lip pencil has a glossy finish, but once you smudge it in with your lipstick, you will have a matte look just like you need for a ‘20s makeup look

This liner is buttery soft and glides easily on your lips, instantly giving you a plump look. It lasts all day and gives your lips a soft hydrating feel throughout the day. It is a great lip booster that you can pair with your favorite lipstick, which is easy to blend and extremely long-lasting!


Step 4- Eye Makeup

Heavy eye makeup was considered to be too much for a daytime makeup look in the ’20s. But if you are trying out a night time ‘20s makeup look, then eye makeup is a must! In the ‘20s women used several eye makeup products. They used it subtly and nothing was ever made to look unnatural. 


Movie stars did use heavy eye shadows back then since cinema was still black and white in those times, and your eye makeup would only be visible if you had it done heavily. The main elements used for the ‘20s eye makeup are eyebrow brush and pencil, eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow.

Eyebrow Brush and Pencil

Arched eyebrows used to be the trend back then, but women did not encourage plucking their eyebrows. To get the perfect arched eyebrow look, all they used to do was brush their eyebrows accordingly, instead of plucking them. Brow brushes were common back then and using them skillfully was a task. 


The right technique to get an arched eyebrow with the use of a brow brush is to brush the eyebrow upwards from the bottom and then brush the hairs downwards from above so that an arched look is created automatically. If done properly, there is no requirement for plucking of eyebrows. To keep the eyebrow in the desired arched pattern, women used petroleum jelly on them. A little dab of this jelly helps in keeping the eyebrow hair in place. 

This jelly also adds a hint of shine which was perfect for an evening ‘20s makeup look. Women with thin eyebrows who desired to have fuller ones often used an eyebrow pencil to get the look they wanted. They did not overdo it and focused on keeping it natural. Only thin eyebrows needed to be filled in with a brow pencil, otherwise, it wasn’t needed. The color was always kept natural.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Micro Brow Pencil and Brush

This is an eyebrow pencil and a brush, both merged into one product to make your job easier. A trusted brand and a trusted product that can be used to shape one’s eyebrows and fill in the brow efficiently, without making it look fake. It gives a natural finish and no one will ever guess that you have used a brow pencil! It has a super skinny tip, which makes it easy to draw extremely thin lines. 

The application is smooth. It is also very portable and can be carried anywhere in your purse, without taking up much space. Brush your eyebrows with one end of this product, and fill them up naturally with the other end!



Eyeliners were used in a very sober and subtle manner, and it was never winged or over-done. Women usually picked a shade that matched the shade of their natural hair color. A thin line must be drawn along with the upper eyelid of the person. This line was usually made very close to the eyelashes, and did not cover much or any part of the eyelid. 


The line is continued further from the edge of the just for a tad bit. No wings, just a line. This extended part of the eyeliner is usually advised to be smudged towards the eyelashes. This gives a fuller look to the lashes in a natural way.


This eyeliner pen is one of the best eyeliners available in the market today. It is a bestseller and is the go-to brand for most makeup enthusiasts worldwide. It is easy to apply since it does not need to be sharpened. It has an intense pigment along with a creamy formula, which makes it very durable. It is smudge-proof and glides easily and smoothly over your eyelid, without having to put in much force or effort.

 It is available in many natural shades. For a 1920s makeup look, you must select a shade matching your natural hair color. Customers from all over the world have claimed it is as smooth as silk. It is easy to apply and also makes your job done quickly! It has a matte finish and is waterproof. It is a semi-hard and semi-soft pencil which is very comfortable to wear.



Mascara was not introduced until the late ‘20s. Before it became common, women used to smudge in the eyeliner towards their lashes to make them look fuller and heavier. But then mascara came to the rescue! And women instantly loved it. Just like all other makeup products, even the mascara was never overdone, apart from when used by movie stars, for obvious reasons. 


Women just used a small amount of mascara on their eyelashes to give them a heavier night makeup look. Back then, the mascara did not look like how it does today. It used to come in a cake kind of form. This was then applied to the eyelashes with the help of a wet brush. This brush was similar to the eyebrow brush mentioned above. But since mascara had just been introduced, not everyone had the chance to use it or afford it. 

Those who didn’t have mascara used other ways to get the job done. They simply took any brown cream or liquid makeup on their fingers and batted this onto their lashes. This gave a more natural look than what was given by mascara. It made the middle part of the lashes look full and the inner parts clearer.

Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara

Neutrogena is another trusted brand in the world of cosmetics and skincare, and so is this mascara. It comes in three shades; carbon black, black, and brown, and one must select the shade according to the shade of their natural hair shade. This mascara is not just any other mascara in the market. It claims to be healthier mascara. It strengthens the lashes and helps them grow to their fullest potential, leaving you with naturally long lashes. 

It has natural ingredients like vitamin E, olive oil, and rice protein, which nourishes the lashes and also makes the mascara smudge-free. The brush has soft bristles, which gently comb your lashes from the root to the tip, and applies the rich mascara efficiently. It is safe for sensitive eyes since it is ophthalmologist-tested and approved. It is a healthier mascara with a rich and fine color!



Eye shadow was only and only used for a night time ‘20s makeup look, and not otherwise. Even when used, only a small amount of it was used, without covering the whole eyelid. It was usually applied right above the upper lash line, and not more above than that. The lower lid was never touched with any eyeshadow. 


Overall, any kind of harshness of the eye shadow was not admired and so, women made sure to apply just the minimum amount to brighten their eyes. Apart from movie stars, all other women applied subtle colors as eye shadows. To eliminate a dark-colored eyeshadow from looking overpowering, women preferred to apply a layer of loose powder on their eyelids before starting with the eyeshadow.

The right colors for eyeshadow were usually decided according to a person’s color of the eyes. The most common colors used were green, blue, brown, gray and a slight tinge of red, depending on a person’s eye color.

Black Radiance Eye Appeal Eyeshadow Palette

The reason behind us choosing this particular eyeshadow palette from Black Radiance for this makeup guide is that it has all the colors used for a ‘20s look. Getting all the potential colors in a single palette makes your job much easier. This palette has a total of 12 shades with matte, shimmering, pearl, or metallic finish. These colors will be able to give you a minimalistic look, just like a ‘20s woman would prefer.

 It is a high-quality product, which is easy to apply and stays on for a long time. The colors are pretty pigmented and give a chic look. Overall, it is an affordable eyeshadow palette that is also very durable and can be used not just for a ‘20s makeup look but for other looks as well. 


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