I LOVE DISCO. I have fond memories of dancing to records by Donna Summer and the Bee Gees in our living room. And who doesn’t love that disco look? All the gold and sequins, the rainbow makeup palettes, and the sexy hair. On a few occasions, I’ve gone to disco-themed events, and you know what? Disco makeup is HARD. Seamlessly blending such incongruous colors takes a lot of patience and meticulousness. However, I love the challenge, and I love the end result.
Anytime I’m doing an elaborate makeup look, I start by gathering inspiration on Pinterest. Upon deciding on a final look, I comb through my makeup supplies to see if I need to make any new purchases. Quintessential disco eyeshadow colors are blues, purples, pinks in frosty shades. Cheekbones are emphasized in an angular fashion. Lips are definitely shiny.
To start, as I do with any complicated makeup application, I moisturized my face. I was preparing for a disco party; obviously, there would be dancing and, hence, sweating, so I opted for a primer underneath my foundation. Concealer under my eyes and eyeshadow primer on my lids complete the blank canvas to start painting all the colors.
For my eyes, I used a golden-metallic violet, matte purple, silver, metallic turquoise, and navy eyeshadows. First, I applied all three metallic shades in color blocks, carefully creating that winged effect on the outer lid. To make the metallics extra metallic looking, I applied the shadows wet by dipping my brush in water first. Next, I used the darker, matte purple and navy from the lashline up to the crease. Once the shades where where I wanted them, I flipped my vanity mirror to the magnified side to blend, blend, and then blend some more. To outline my eyes, I used a black MAC gel liner, then finished my eyes with brow gel and mascara.
Cheeks are an important part of the disco look. I used matte bronzer to create the illusion of hollows in my naturally round cheeks. For the apples of my cheeks, I used a pink cream blush. Then for extra emphasis, I applied a shimmery pink highlighter just above my cheekbones. That’s what makes the light bounce off the top of my cheeks in all the photos. I set all the color with a loose finishing powder. Finally, for lips, I first applied a matte, cherry red lipstick, then topped it all off with a red lip gloss.
After finishing with makeup, I looked at myself and thought, “wow, this looks really loud.” But once I put on the platinum blonde wig, it didn’t look that crazy after all. It kinda pulls the whole look together, don’t you think? And truthfully, I love this look! I mean, I’m not going to show up to work looking like this, but I do think it’s one of my great makeup achievements. You’ve gotta give it up to the women of the late ’70s and ’80s who did this look on a regular basis. It takes stamina.
Once I was home (btw, all the photos above were taken post-disco party), it felt great to take off the wig and all the makeup. I followed my usual nighttime skin regimen, with a little extra oomph and eye makeup remover to wash off all the colors. And for that extra clean feeling, I did a light scrub before applying serum, moisturizer, and eye cream. Before I went to bed, I looked like this:
… proving that there is nothing natural looking about disco. But that’s what makes it so fun and fabulous!
Images: all author’s own