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