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Bollywood’s Retro Icon: Zeenat Aman's Beauty Evolution Through The Years

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We love Zeenat Aman. That’s it. That’s the blog.
Bollywood’s Retro Icon: Zeenat Aman's Beauty Evolution Through The Years

While some people age like fine wine even the finest of wines need to take notes from Bollywood’s OG trendsetter Zeenat Aman. An icon of the 70s, the veteran actor has been stealing our hearts with her stunning makeup looks for ages. Her iconic boho-chic aesthetic seen in the song Dum Maro Dum i> from the 1971 film Hare Rama Hare Krishna inspired generations and is referred to date in pop culture. From her bold eye looks, like in Chhailla Babu (1977), to her signature bug-eye sunglasses that she wears to this day, Zeenat Aman always brings her A game.

Zeenat Aman’s foray into social media last year blessed us with even more insights into her life on and off screen and even the Gen-Z have hailed the veteran actor for her impeccable style. Whether she is sharing tidbits about her time on Bollywood sets or showing off the Charlotte Tilbury red vs pink lipsticks (more on that later), I’ve not been able to stop myself from double-clicking every time she posts. So, let’s delve into some of her most spellbinding and trendy makeup looks and how you can recreate them for your own show-stopper ensembles.

1. Simpler Times

Zeenat Aman modelling for a textile brand at the age of 16 gives us a glimpse into simpler times and how you can enhance your natural beauty for an elegant look. We recommend using the Dear Dahlia blush duo that is infused with dahlia flower extracts that promote healthy skin for the from-within glow. You can also dip a fine brush in eyeshadow or eyeliner to apply a dainty bindi that matches the colour of your outfit for a truly graceful look.

Nykaa Recommends:

Dear Dahlia Blooming Edition Paradise Dual Palette Blusher - Duo Blossom Palace
Dear Dahlia Blooming Edition Paradise Dual Palette Blusher - Duo Blossom Palace
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2. Wings FTW

Love a sharp wing? Take inspiration from the iconic bohemian look from the song Dum Maro Dum (1971) and opt for a no-makeup look with just the exception of a winged eyeliner. If you’re looking for a holy-grail eyeliner, try the Janhvi Kapoor-approved Nykaa Sketch Eyeliner pen that has a slanted tip for easy application and is smudge-proof and waterproof. If you’re still working on your eyeliner application skills, try using a guide for best results.

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Nykaa Get Winged! Sketch Eyeliner Pen - Black Swan 01
Nykaa Get Winged! Sketch Eyeliner Pen - Black Swan 01
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3. Smokey Eye

Zeenat Aman’s character Roma in Don (1978) was one of the first portrayals of a ‘strong, independent woman’ I saw in cinema. From the smokey makeup to the bob haircut, everything about that character gave ‘bold b’ and it’s still a trendy look. Recreate the same smokey eye makeup with the shadow palette from PAC Luxe that has all the shades you would need, along with shimmer for the glam factor. Add a touch of lip and cheek tint for a soft and rosy touch to complement the bold eye makeup.

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PAC Luxe Shadowbox X9 - Smoked Out Sass Smokey
PAC Luxe Shadowbox X9 - Smoked Out Sass Smokey
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4. Euphoria, Who?

As a 90s kid who grew up watching cable TV, Chhailla Babu (1977) was one of those movies playing on repeat but you never truly understood. While I'm no film critic, I can’t deny that watching Zeenat Aman in bold looks like this one (and the next) inspired me to experiment with my mom’s makeup. If you’ve been into graphic liner eye makeup – especially after Euphoria (2019) popularised the style – know that Zeenat Aman did it first! Experiment and add a fun touch of personality to your looks with this water-activated eyeliner palette from Makeup Revolution which is deeply pigmented and has a rich colour payoff. Use a fineor angled brush for best results.

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Makeup Revolution Graphic Eyeliner Palettes - Bright Babe
Makeup Revolution Graphic Eyeliner Palettes - Bright Babe
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5. Queen Zee

Like I said before, as a child, this flamboyant look captured my attention like no other and led to a winged eyeliner obsession that I never quite recovered from. From kajal and kohl-rimmed eyes to cat eye makeup and dramatic wings, I still like to flaunt these eyeliner looks. This obsession combined with yet another – Taylor Swift – helped me discover the PAT McGRATH LABS extreme black eyeliner. Taylor wears it for hours on stage and it stays right in place. In my experience, the eyeliner actually survives Mumbai’s humidity, without making me look like a panda at the end of the day.

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PAT McGRATH LABS Legendary Wear Velvet Kohl Eyeliner - Xtreme Black
PAT McGRATH LABS Legendary Wear Velvet Kohl Eyeliner - Xtreme Black
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6. Frosted Eyelids

The blue eyeshadow that had a chokehold on everyone in the 80s and 90s is making a comeback in 2024 and Zeenat Aman shows us the way to make it look subtle and chic. Opt for a cool-toned blue like the shade Good Jeans from M.A.C and apply it to your upper lash and lower lash line. Then go in with a black kajal and mascara to highlight the shape of your eyes and let the blue pop in the background.

Nykaa Recommends:

M.A.C Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eye Shadow - Good Jeans
M.A.C Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eye Shadow - Good Jeans
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7. 80s Bounce

There’s nothing more 80s-coded than a big, bouncy hairdo. With this style gaining popularity again, take inspiration from Zeenat Aman and opt for fluffy hairstyles for your weekend look. The Ikonic Professional Perfect Blowout Combo is your perfect companion to get this look as the brush reduces frizz and smooths out flyaways, while the hair dryer provides perfect control for a salon-like blowout. Remember to use a lightweight hair spray for heat protection, shine, and hold.

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Ikonic Professional Perfect Blowout Combo
Ikonic Professional Perfect Blowout Combo
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8. Boss-woman

Reminiscent of Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada (2006), wearing a bold red lip is the ultimate boss-woman move you need to make as it elevates your workwear ensemble. We recommend the Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipsticks that are available in 30 shades – with our favourite being Cranberry for all skin tones. If you’re still not convinced, here’s how you can pick the perfect red lipstick for Indian skin tones. For the arching brows, try applying a styling gel that will help retain the shape.

Nykaa Recommends:

 Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick - Cranberry
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick - Cranberry
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9. Pink Glam

This monotone makeup look created with shades of pink is the ultimate glam look that exudes grace. Recreate it with the Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick that is transfer-proof, provides 16-hour wear, and looks good on most skin tones. Add to the old-Bollywood feel of the look with Zeenat Aman’s signature bug-eye sunglasses to match the pink shades. We even found you a similar pink saree and layered pearl necklace.

Nykaa Recommends:

Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick - 125 Inspirer
Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick - 125 Inspirer
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10. Red vs Pink

Bollywood icon meets Hollywood beauty! Zeenat Aman recently left us speechless with her endorsement for the new Hollywood Beauty Icon Lipsticks from Charlotte Tilbury. She rocked the shades Hollywood Vixenand 90s Pinknd you can get them exclusively available on Nykaa. If you ask me, I am Team Red, as it is the perfect shade for when you want to feel confident.

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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Icon Lipstick Matte Revolution
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Icon Lipstick Matte Revolution
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Whether you wanted to recreate Zeenat Aman’s makeup looks or were simply looking for inspiration, we hope this curation helped you find the right products to live your Bollywood ‘main character’ dreams. Let’s pray that Zeenat Aman keeps blessing our feeds with her legendary looks!

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