MAKEUP THROUGH THE DECADES What we know as iconic beauty trends today have had their origins in a decade before our time. While makeup trends have evolved over time, we list the high points of each decade for you here as well as what’s likely to be up next! 

we’re going back in time on beauty trends through the eras—what’s transformed, what’s continued, and what’s to come (There’s a lot to say there!). Scroll down to go back to some of the most famous makeup looks from the 1920s forward, and what to expect in the times to come. 

The 1920s: smoky, cloudy Eyes, Red Lips & Finger Waves

The thriving 20s came with all the theatrics: heavy mascara, dusky eyeshadows, and ruby red lips. With the free-spirited flapper taking centre stage, glam was all the craze!  

The 1930s: Razor-Thin Eyebrows, Light Eyeshadow & Short Hair

Remember, in the late 90s and early 2000s when everyone was over-plucking their eyebrows? Be grateful to the 1930s for that. Encouraged by the women who appeared in silent movies, skinny eyebrows were the tendencies of the decade—often paired with muted shades of eyeshadow, dark pink lipsticks, kohl eyeliner, and blush. 

The 1940s: Neutral Eyeshadow, Red Lips & Victory Rolls 

By the 1940s, World War II was on in full force, and many women were starting to join the workforce. Because of this, the makeup look of the time took on a more real-world, quick, and longer-lasting appearance. Also, due to limited wartime rations anything “excess” was looked upon as inappropriate. Thus, natural neutral makeup—light browns and beige eyeshadow, bushier eyebrows, light mascara, red lips, and a lot of face powder for a matte look. 

The 1950s: Cat eye Eyeliner, Vivid Lips & Glamour

As World War II ended, women had a lot more freedom of expression with their makeup. The days of severe, natural looks were gone —It was time to bring on the fun! Post-war glamour was flighting up all Hollywood movie screens, and owing to the iconic Marilyn Monroe, winged eyeliners, bright lipsticks, and creamy foundations became one of the biggest trends of the decade. 

The 1960s: Courageous Lashes, Pale Lips & White Eyeshadow

If you’ve only read red lips so far, it all ended in the 1960s. In this period, the eyes were the centre of attention. Think bold, false lashes on the upper and lower lids, a ton of mascara, and stark white eyeshadow! In order to make the eyes stand out, lipsticks were typically pale pinks and peaches. Well-defined eyebrows finished  the look with an arch and a pointed tail.

The 1970s: Playful makeup & colourful clothes 

The 1970s were the decade of the retro, with people dressing up in funky colours and silly shapes to create a youthful presence. Their ensembles were contrasted by a fresh face and natural hair,lending their demeanour an air of a look  that was  effortless. Long hair, afros, and waves were a very popular trend at the time. Where the makeup looks were all about the “rebel” in you. With Smokey eyes, more bronzed out and sharpening the features were quite a game changer back then. 

The 1980s: Neon Eyes & Bright Blush 

As the 80s came, there was a splash of colour. Not only were neon lips a fad—neon eyes and blush were, too. People turned experimentative  and were playing around  with blue, pink or purple eyeshadows applied onto their brow bone (sometimes all three at once!). To complete the look, several  rock stars would boast a  thick eyeliner and grow out their brows to show off  a bushy appearance. It was a fun era for people to play with “funk” makeup and big, wild hair!

Light Mascara, Understated Eyeshadow & Burgundy Lips

The 1990s: Light Mascara, Understated Eyeshadow & Burgundy Lips

The 1990s introduced us to fresh faces, as well as light mascara, neutral eyeshadows, refined blushes, and foundation. Lipsticks came in bare shades with a lip liner in pink and brown tints—but it wasn’t unusual to see daring, grunge lips in burgundy, either. 

The 2000s: Snow-white Eyeshadow, Frozen Lips & razor- thin eyebrows 

The 2000s began with an eyebrow fixation—an emphasis on thin at the onset, then culminating  with a finer, bowed look. One of the  trends extremely popular  at the time was the  “frosted or icy” look, finished with  shimmery silver eyeshadow and frozen pink lip gloss. As the decade came to an end, smoky eyes were a global  obsession!

The 2010s: Manicured Eyebrows, Shaping & Moody Lips

The 2010s heralded the growth of trendsetters, as well as  a significant decade for makeup—false lashes, flawless brows, and stained cheeks. The biggest trend of them all? Contouring and Profiling. 

The 2020s: Sustainability, Minimal  Makeup &  Glassy Shiny Skin

The 2020s: Sustainability, Minimal  Makeup &  Glassy Shiny Skin

It’s too soon to say what the 2020s might  bring, but as of recently the emphasis  has been a focus on justifiable means  and opting for ethical brands. There’s been a focus on Skinimalism and there’s also been seeing a lot of glowing skincare routines, with a widespread shift to  serum-centric products and highlighters. Oh, and not to forget, face masks! Manyare choosing  to forego  makeup as more and more people are working from home these days.