From screen to everyday: how to rock Old Nollywood makeup glam

old nollywood makeup

Makeup trends come and go as swiftly as the changing scenes in a classic Nollywood movie. And the latest obsession on our radar? The Old Nollywood makeup. You may remember it from those late ’90s, 2000s, and early 2010s films that captivated audiences with their drama, romance, and iconic makeup.

The Old Nollywood makeup trend, popularised by beauty icons like Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Stephanie Okereke, Eucharia Anunobi, and others who are still shining stars in the industry today, has made a resounding comeback. 

Set to the beats of a Nigerian R&B hit from the early 2010s, in a whirlwind of sassy movements using dark hues, black lip liners and the pinkest blushes, and you transform from basic to glam – the old Nollywood glam. 

Amidst the nostalgia and humour have fueled this trend on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. I can’t shake the feeling that we can blend this into our everyday makeup routines. 

This makeup trend celebrates the empowerment of embracing makeup looks rooted in cultural history and inspired by the enduring beauty of our Nollywood icons. 

While other retro styles offer a glimpse into the past, Old Nollywood makeup doesn’t merely reflect an era; it embodies the spirit of an entire cinematic movement. Its blend of drama, gum popping, eyelash batting, artistry, and cultural influence sets it apart.

The Old Nollywood makeup flawlessly fuses tradition with modernity and vibrant shades with classic elegance, making it irresistibly appealing.

Ready to Embrace It? Consider this your guide on incorporating its distinctive elements into your everyday makeup routine. 

Dark Lip Liners: Those bold and dramatic black, dark brown, or burgundy lip liners that once adorned the lips of Nollywood icons are your new go-to. Pair them with a subtle lip gloss or nourishing lip balm for a modern twist. Remember, balance is key; let the liner define without overpowering.

Thin Brows: Thinner brows, reminiscent of the era, can beautifully frame your eyes. Opt for a well-defined arch, keeping it natural yet captivating. Use a brow pencil or powder for precise application and subtle enhancement.

Shimmer Eyeshadow: The Old Nollywood glam was all about shimmer and sparkle, and that trend is still very much in. Embrace shimmer eyeshadows with confidence, but remember, moderation is key. Apply it to the inner corners of your eyes or as a subtle highlight on your lids to catch the light.

Pigmented Eyeshadow: Bold and pigmented eyeshadows that were once smudged on the eyelids with abandon can now be applied with precision. Explore a palette of vibrant colours for a playful yet chic look, using brushes to create a gradient effect.

Pink Blush: The rosy cheeks of the past can be achieved with a soft pink blush. Smile and apply it to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh, youthful glow.

Bold Lipstick Shades: Don’t shy away from bold lipstick shades; they are a hallmark of Old Nollywood beauty. A bold lip, whether a deep red, daring plum, or electric coral, can make a modern statement.

Facial Spots: Embrace your unique beauty by allowing natural facial spots to shine through. Light-coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer can help achieve a flawless yet natural look.

White Powder: While white powder may not be an everyday essential, it can still be used sparingly for special occasions to set your makeup and create a soft, matte finish.

Dark Eyeliner: The classic dark eyeliner can define your eyes beautifully. Apply it to the top and bottom lash lines for an alluring gaze, and don’t forget to smudge it slightly for a sultry effect.


  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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