Beauty through the Decades

A model life! Margaret opens her wonderful scrapbook, filled with imagery of her 40-year career as a model.
She shares the different looks & beauty products used through the decades on the job

– as told to The Silver Women

Margaret at home in Sydney, Australia.
Margaret at home in Sydney, Australia.

I worked as a model for over 40 years.
The first time I wore makeup was on my first modeling job. I was 17 years old. Makeup didn’t interest me as a young girl. In my personal life, I have always worn very little- maybe this is due to having to apply it for work. In the late 1950’s when I started modeling, part of the job was to do your hair and makeup. I would arrive at the studio with my hair set in rollers with my makeup kit. We were also expected to accessorize the looks- so I would always have shoes, belts and jewelry etc in tow. I remember having to change my hair for each different look. We would easily do over 10 looks for each booking. Let’s just say that I got very good at setting and back combing my hair. 
 The 1950s- 1960s  The foundation I used was Max Factor Panstick which was in a tube that you twisted up. It was used all over the face then finished with loose powder that you buffed off. My eyebrows were plucked and penciled in. For the eyes, it was all about liquid eyeliner. I used Maybelline mascara (all the models used it) and eyeshadows were usually a cream.(I used a lot of browns and greens.)
In the 1960s we started applying a lot of fake lashes, sometimes on the bottom as well. And to take all the makeup off? Ponds cold cream!

“We didn’t have make-up artists and hairdressers when I started modeling. I would arrive for my jobs with my hair in rollers.”



“I was always changing my hair color.

It was fun! I’ve spent a lot of time in hair salons over the years.”

The 1970’s-1980s Hooray! By the 1970’s, makeup artists and hairdressers started to come on set. I loved it! It was so lovely having someone to take care of it. The difference in the makeup for these decades? The eye makeup had a more smudged look with lots of eyeshadow blended over the lids.The hair was full and looser. The 1980s definitely had some big hair. The brands I remember being popular at the time were Helena Rubinstein, Max Factor and Revlon.
As I have mentioned, I am not someone that wears a lot of makeup in my personal life. Today,
I have my natural silver hair. I love a bright lipstick which is pretty much all I wear. I don’t use any special creams.I truly have a minimal beauty regime. 
-Margaret xo


Margaret MC 60 70
marg 70s


Many thanks to Margaret for letting us peek into her fabulous scrapbook!

All Images – Courtesy Margaret Mc Gurgan