10 Breathtaking Eye MakeUp Looks From The Vogue Archive – And How To Recreate Them At Home

At a time when mask-wearing is de rigueur, it’s no surprise that, where makeup is concerned, our attention has turned to enhancing the eyes. The distracting, spirit-lifting power of exploring new looks should not be underestimated, and from lashes to lids, and even temples, options abound.

Val Garland, makeup artist and Vogue contributing beauty editor, agrees. “Now the eye area has become our focus, it’s all about liner, lashes and brows,” she says, before singling out the graphic look of the 1960s. “Get your flick on, but switch the black and brown for navy or rich forest-green. Perfect your brows and flutter your lashes with mega volume – the strong nature of this makeup is what makes it so appealing.”

The Vogue archive holds a wealth of inspiration for looks to emulate, so here, for your delectation, is an illustrated retrospective highlighting creative expression through makeup. Look to those graphic ’60s looks, the abandon of the 1970s, the freewheeling freedom of the 1980s or the makeup magic of the modern day. This is your ultimate moodboard – and it’s a place where imagination knows no limits.

Singular Stroke

Carl “Eric” Erickson, 1935

One of the earlier illustrative examples of eye makeup in Vogue, this now iconic image serves as a reminder to never forget the drama of a single sweep of colour.

Angelic Eyes

Barry Lategan, 1974

Legendary makeup artist Barbara Daly created this heavenly look, applying frosted blue “halos” around the eyes to ethereal effect.

Get the look: try Mac Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Tilt, £16 – and remember, the more exaggerated the application, the better. 

Moonage Daydream

David Bailey, 1966

Model Celia Hammond looks out of this world thanks to makeup artist Pablo Manzoni. When an image is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic, the results are timeless.

Get the look: use YSL Beauty Sequin Crush Eyeshadow in Empowered Silver, £27, to create silver moons on the eyelids, then frame with full-on lashes for a 1960s throwback. 

Colour Play

Tyen, 1990

Photographer and makeup design director Tyen is a master of colour. This 31-year-old kaleidoscopic approach still fires up the imagination.

Get the look: use Nars Cool Crush Eyeshadow Palette, £56, as the starting point for this incredible multifaceted look. 

Rainbow Babe

Steve Lovi, 1969

Marsha Hunt looks on the bright side, courtesy of makeup artist Sammy Lopez.

Get the look: try multicoloured arcs of eyeliner using different shades from Dior Diorshow On Stage Liner collection, £27.50 each, for a modern-day interpretation. 

Life Imitating Art

John Swannell, 1980

Follow Barbara Daly’s illustrative approach with swooshes and sweeps of differing tones around the eyes.

Get the look: go for the most vivid colour combinations that you dare. Consider the painterly shades in Lancôme’s La Rose Eyeshadow Palette, £45, for inspiration. 

Striking Eyes 

David Bailey, 1966

This iconic cover image of Donyale Luna – the first Black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue – called for the powerful statement of dramatic eyeliner.

Get the look: trace Estée Lauder Little Black Liner, £24, along the lash line, and be sure to elongate the shape for that super-sleek effect.

The Pat Effect

Steven Meisel, 2017

Influenced by the makeup of the 1970s, Pat McGrath, Vogue’s beauty editor-at-large, created this shimmering aquatic moment on model Adwoa Aboah for Edward Enninful’s inaugural edition as editor-in-chief.

Get the look: sweep and blend the cooler tones from Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I: Subliminal Palette, £120, to surround the eyes.

Peepers Show

Helmut Newton, 1966

Grace Coddington, now a British Vogue contributing fashion editor, stars as the muse for this portrait, which sees maxi lashes and exaggerated winged liner take centre stage (with hair by Christopher at Vidal Sassoon).

Get the look: layer up an excess of Gucci Mascara L’Obscur, £40, on both top and bottom lashes, tracing in extra lashes on the lower line for added drama.

Beady Eyes

Norman Parkinson, 1965

Why not look to sequins and pearls to accessorise the lower lash line, like model Marika Green? Appliqué accents instantly prettify any makeup.

VOGUE article

The Watercolour Makeup Trend Will Transform Your Winter Look

Looking at the makeup on the models walking the autumn/winter runways, you could have been forgiven for thinking that you were seeing a show from the wrong season. Pops of blue, flashes of orange and pink, dustings of yellow, green and lilac… the painterly palettes chosen by makeup artists backstage at shows such as Dries Van Noten, Gucci, Maison Margiela and Missoni were decidedly springlike. And so, too, was their application, which was as important as the spectrum of colour itself. Sheer watercolour washes gave the look a very accessible appeal.

Missoni autumn/winter 2020. 

“Transparency automatically makes colour more beautifying on the face,” explains Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry for MAC Cosmetics. “It takes away the fear of looking garish or retro, and it’s those fresh, plump washes of colour that allow you to be more playful.” Be it a halo around the eye, a new or unusual experimentation in lip colour, or a gentle tonal clash on both eyes and lips, using products in this way gives an end result that is much softer – and this is, according to Barber, the easiest and most flattering in-road to exploring technicolour choices. “Veils of colour that bring out the features rather than enclose them are the unsung heroes of makeup,” he says.

So what to make of this more romantic approach? “It’s a good time to break the seasonal rules and not resort to the classic earthiness of autumnal beauty,” says Barber. “Instead celebrate the colours of optimism and freshness. Can we say spring/summer is the new autumn/winter?” It’s a resounding yes.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint in Big Blue

£18.50; available at LookFantastic

Glossier Lidstar in Lily

£15; available at Glossier

MAC Cosmetics Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in Crossfade

£19; available at LookFantastic

Byredo Colour Stick in Ultramagnetic

£26; available at Selfridges

Chanel Rouge Coco Flash Lipstick in Freeze

£32; available at Selfridges

Dolce & Gabbana Solar Glow Universal Illuminating Drops

£38; available at Harrods

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blush in Ecstasy

£30; available at Feel Unique

Lancôme Hypnôse Eyeshadow Palette in Bleu Hypnôtique

£42.50; available at LookFantastic

Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette in Rose Gold

£36; available at Selfridges

MAC Cosmetics Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eyeshadow in Ripened

£17.50; available at LookFantastic

VOGUE article