How to Get the 1920s Screen Siren Make Up Look

From Boardwalk Empire to Downton Abbey to the remake of the Great Gatsby, the interest in Roaring 20s fashions has never been hotter.  The 1920s was a liberating time for women,  resulting in less restrictive clothing that downplayed a woman’s curves.   And just like today, young women emulated celebrities, resulting in the popularity of  make up looks worn by their favorite silver screen stars.  This very feminine, dramatic look contrasted nicely with the looser, less curve revealing silhouettes.

To recreate the 1920s make up look you need  dark, smoky, kohl-rimmed eyes,  high thin eyebrows and heavily rouged cheeks,  along with the iconic ‘cupid’s bow’ lip inspired by the  actress,  Clara Bow. Women would accentuate the curve of their upper lip – so it resembled a bow – and fill in their bottom lip to meet the top, almost like a permanent ‘kissy’ face.  The vogue lip colors were plums and deep reds. There were even metal lip tracers to ensure women got that perfect ‘bow’ shape.

Below is a photo of the beautiful Clara Bow. Notice those adorable “cupid’s bow”  lips?

Clara Bow

Clara Bow

This is a cute and entertaining video from the  Glamourdaze  YouTube channel of actress Colleen Moore and her flapper makeup routine in 1923.

I love cupid’s bow lips but I’m not sure I could pull off those eyebrows – what about you? Would you wear this look out on the town?







By | 2015-12-14T13:50:16-04:00 May 6th, 2013|Beauty|2 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa
    Theresa May 9, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Jessica, Boardwalk Empire is definitely one of my favorite shows as well, and completely agree with you on how nice it is to see all the different looks from that era. So many people only think “flapper” when they think of the clothing from the 1920s. And I think for you and me the 40s/50s silhouette is most flattering, as I have the curvy thing going on too! But there are many gals who can pull off this 20s style and look fab. I always say there is a decade of fashion that is right for everyone! If you do a post of 20s outfits, please don’t forget us. We’ve got some nice things that are reminiscent of the period. Appreciate your insightful comments, btw:)

  2. Avatar
    Jessica Cangiano May 8, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Even though I rarely sport looks from the era (most of which do not jive with my short, curvy figure one iota), I adore the fashions of the twenties, and my love of them was certainly rekindled last year when my husband I got into (and then promptly watched every episode up until that point) Boardwalk Empire. I think it was the fact that that show highlights a broad range of 20s fashions (not just, say, flapper ensembles) that really endured the costuming there to me. So smitten with this decade am I as a result, that I’m even hoping to do my first ever 1920s vintage outfit blog post some time later this year.

    ♥ Jessica

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