From Cher's to Bianca Jagger's, These Are the Most Iconic '70s Makeup Looks

The '70s were defined by a lot of things, but through some nostalgic hindsight, you could say it was really two things—disco and decadence. It was an era that ushered forth cultural phenoms like Halston and Studio 54. It was an era that launched bell-bottoms and big hair into the collective consciousness. It was also an era of iconic makeup. 

"Similar to women today, women in the '70s wore makeup that made them feel independent, empowered, and confident," says Melissa Baker, director of education for Merle Norman Cosmetics. "Specifically though, in the '70s, brows were thin, lips were glossy, and lashes were long. A woman could use one of those elements, such as glossy lips, as her signature (Ali MacGraw) or all of them at once (Cher) depending on how she wanted to express herself."

MacGraw and Cher were certainly two of the biggest '70s beauty icons, but there were so many others, such as Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Jaclyn Smith, and more. Keep scrolling to see the 10 most iconic '70s makeup looks and the products you need to replicate them. 


Bianca Jagger
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bianca Jagger, who I'm certain has never looked anything less than effortlessly cool, is pictured here in 1971 with a fresh complexion and a kohl-rimmed upper lash line. It's proof that '70s makeup can be simple and timeless, too. Replicate her look with a long-wearing, smudgeable black eyeliner and a coat or two of lengthening mascara.


Farrah Fawcett
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there's any feature Farrah Fawcett is most famous for, it's her hair, but I'd like to submit her perpetually bronzed skin for consideration, too. Whether it was a terra-cotta blush or a traditional bronzer she used, she was always sporting a sun-kissed makeup look. 


Donna Summer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Summer was an icon for many reasons, but for the sake of the subject, I'll just concentrate on her memorable makeup looks. This one, in particular, which she wore in 1976, features a sublime smoky eye. (Seriously, just look at how well that eye shadow is blended). 


Jerry Hall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If I had to name one person who first got me interested in the '70s fashion-and-beauty aesthetic, it would be Jerry Hall. Whether photographed dancing at Studio 54 or pictured alongside Mick Jagger, she always looked on-trend yet somehow timeless. I think her penchant for bright lipstick had something to do with it. 


Diana Ross
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ross's influence isn't limited to the '70s. Though, this super-lashy look is certainly worth calling out. I won't even try to replicate this with mascara alone. (My super-straight lashes would never.) Instead, I'll head straight for false lashes. 


Ali MacGraw
(Image credit: Getty Images)

MacGraw did no-makeup makeup before the term even existed. The key to her look was her bright, glowing skin, which I'll be replicating through the use of a few select skincare products and a luminous foundation.


Jane Birkin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jane Birkin will always be synonymous with effortless French beauty. Here, pictured in 1973, she wears a glossy lip that was a signature of the decade. This look is made even better by the addition of a French-girl fringe. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Baker counts MacGraw and Cher as two of the most memorable '70s makeup icons. Here, Cher is pictured at the 1974 Grammys with a wash of iridescent blue-purple eye shadow. To me, it looks eerily similar to a metallic shade of eye shadow found in the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Palette ($60), which is called Nebula. 


Jaclyn Smith
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Smith's ultra-thin eyebrows were standard in the '70s. To replicate the look, Baker recommends reaching for "a modern makeup tool like the Merle Norman Automatic Fine Brow Pencil" to get "fine, precise application in a retractable package with no messy pencil shavings left behind." Apply it in short, upward strokes for that thin-and-long look.


Lauren Hutton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lauren Hutton, pictured here in 1974, makes me want to wear a monochromatic peach makeup look. Everything from her eye shadow to her blush and glossy lips is perfectly color-coordinated. That means I can save time and money by using one product instead of multiple.

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next, These Are the 19 Best Chanel Makeup Products of All Time

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.