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Iconic Makeup Trends Throughout the Decades

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Each decade can be defined by iconic hairstyles, fashion and beauty. Whether it be eyebrow thickness, lip shape or cheek color, women have participated in many different trends. From smokey eyes to microbladed brows, here’s the evolution of makeup through the decades.

1920’s

Makeup from the Roaring 20’s is very specific. Most women wore a “vampy look,” which includes dark, smokey eyes, pale skin, ultra-thin eyebrows and a deep red lip in a “bee stung” shape.

1930’s

While 1930’s makeup isn’t much different than the 20’s, trends did start to shift. Women started wearing a little rouge on their cheeks, shiny shadows on their eyes, and their lips transformed into a fuller, more natural shape.

1940’s

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HOLLYWOOD is now streaming @netflix 🥰

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The 40’s finally saw natural eyebrows and more face makeup become popular. Women started to groom their brows, put rouge all over their cheeks and used bright red lipstick to enhance their full lip shape.

1950’s

In the 1950’s, winged eyeliner was all the rage. With women wearing little to no eyeshadow, the trend quickly became the focal point of most makeup looks. Stars like Rita Moreno, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn all rocked the trend (which is still incredibly popular today!)

1960’s

Thanks to stars like Twiggy, colorful eyeshadows and dark, emphasized lashes (sometimes fake) became insanely popular in the 60’s. Women also started wearing nude lipsticks, saying goodbye to bright lips, and hello to bright eyes.

1970’s

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Diana Ross 🌸

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Women in the 70’s reverted back to more natural glam. They kept their brows groomed but still thick, and they turned to lip gloss and bronzer to enhance their natural features. Women also began to use highlighters in this decade to add some shimmer to their cheekbones.

1980’s

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@madonna 💚 #Madonna #Madge #QueenOfPop #Icon #90s #80s

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The 80’s were all about big brows, bright eyeshadows and bold blush. Makeup looks that came from stars like Madonna, Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper are so iconic, we still admire them today.

1990’s

Ahhh, the 90’s—the return of the pencil-thin eyebrow. (We’re so glad this trend is one of the past, tbh). The nostalgic time also gave us body glitter, dark lip liner with brown lipstick shades and translucent eyeshadows.

2000’s

Many makeup trends from the 90’s carried into the early 2000’s, like thin brows and shimmery shadows. But the decade also gave us overdone fake tans, colorful eyeliner and iconic frosty lip gloss.

2010’s & Beyond

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Early morning selfie ✨

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From 2010 to now, we’ve seen makeup trends take an extraordinary turn. Women now get microbladed eyebrows, lip injections, lash extensions and more to try to attain “Instagram makeup.” Women now contour and highlight their entire faces and have gained seriously impressive application skills.

What makeup trends do you think the next decade will bring? Let us know in the comments!

Emily Lentz
Emily Lentz
Emily Lentz is a Features Editor based in Los Angeles, CA.