Hair and Makeup How-to: The Great Gatsy Look

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby as told through the eyes of style.

With the premiere of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan on May 10th, we took a look back in time at the hair and makeup styles of the era. Thanks to the beauty and style gurus at Mane Attraction Salon in Phoenix for the hair and makeup inspiration!

by Kendall Ong and Joanna Avillar
Mane Attraction Salon, Phoenix

Hair Styles & Accessories

If the “flapper” embodied the spirit of the Roaring 20s, the short bob hairstyle made popular by Louise Brooks personified the freedom and carefree attitude that women of that era embraced. However, not everyone is ready to go short and if you’re one of those people, finger waves, pin curls and hair ornamentation are great ways to recreate the look and feel from The Great Gatsby.

Finger Waves 

  • Start with damp, towel-dried hair.
  • Apply a generous amount of a firm hold, non-flaking gel and spread evenly throughout your hair (try Bumble and bumble Bb Gel,$26).
  • Starting at the top of the head, comb the hair back, off your face and into a C shape. Place your finger on the thickest part of the C as you comb it forward.
  • Use a wave clamp or duck bill clip to hold the first wave in place.
  • Comb the bottom of the C shape off your face and clamp or clip that wave in place.
  • Continue this pattern until you reach the ends.
  • After the hair is dry, use a flat boar bristle brush to loosen the look.


More finger wave styles.

Pin Curls

  • Take a small section of hair at your hairline and wrap it around your finger
  • Pin hair in place.
  • After the hair is dry, use a flat boar bristle brush to loosen the look.


More pin curl styles.

Hair ornamentation was a very popular trend during the Roaring 20s. Clips and barrettes are a simple and easy way to get that effect.

Great Gatsby Daisy

Cloche hats and headbands were another significant trend. Style your hair a little fuller than usual and wear the headband higher on the head. (If it is too low, it takes on a 60s feel.). Hats are best worn low to create a sexy, sensual and slightly mysterious look.

Angelina Jole in Cloche hat

Skin & Makeup

A new attitude toward sexuality was emerging in the 20s. The widespread use and public acceptance of cosmetics became a social declaration, as well as a fashion statement. As with any trend, to keep your look contemporary it is important to be inspired by the look and not copy it. To modernize your makeup, try these steps.

The skin of the era was clear and porcelain, so it’s best to leave the bronzer in the drawer. Eyes and lips should be the main focus. To give them the sultry, dewy-eyed look, use a crème based shadow that is applied with your fingers. Shimmery browns, grays, and blacks give that smoky, speakeasy look. Strong brows are an important feature in creating the feel; simply fill them in with a pencil. To maintain the integrity of the look, keep the brow more horizontal versus down at the corners. Individual false lashes will add intrigue.

Pouty lips were also popular. Deep crimson reds were all the rage and still are to this day (try Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ in Forbidden Burgundy, $34).

Line and fill the lip with a matching liner for lasting power. If a red lipstick feels a bit too bold, you can always opt for a lip stain to create a tinted finish.

Great Gatsby Beauty

For more about Mane Attraction salon services, call 602.956.2996 or visit

For The Great Gatsby movie trailers and photos, visit

Movie poster images courtesy of Internet Movie Poster Awards.

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