Makeup Trends Through the Decades

You have the knack, right? You know, the knack for being able to tell the different decades of makeup? Just as one can easily tell the difference in the styles of clothing from the 70s to the 2000s, one can do the same with makeup. And what might surprise you the most is how much trends repeat and reappear again several decades (and even centuries) later.

So come on friends, let’s take a walk down makeup memory lane together.

Victorian Beauties - The 1800s

Let’s start our little journey during one of the most highly popularized centuries in history—the Victorian Era. Now during this period, the term “makeup” had not been coined, and it wouldn’t be until the 1870s. Instead, women referred to it as cosmetics.

Ladies of Leisure found that most of their daily cosmetic routine was to ensure their eyebrows were plucked, their eyelashes were trimmed, and castor oil was applied to their eyelids and lashes. Of course, freckles, redness, or any other uneven skin was to be dusted away with rice or pearl powder (yes, I said pearl powder). Ladies also applied a beeswax-like substance to their lips to produce a shine, some wax even came with crushed flowers to produce a hint of color. Women also took to rubbing red beet juice on their cheeks to help give contrast to their pale powder. And of course, to help ensure that they had the brightest of eyes at the party, they would place a drop of lemon or orange juice into each eye. Ouch!

Roaring Twenties - The 1920s

Skipping ahead a couple of decades we land in the middle of the roaring twenties—men were returning home from the first world war and economic prosperity was abundant. Parties, parades, and other spectaculars decorate this period, and makeup became more popular! The image of the flapper girl emerges with her thin, well-plucked, skinny eyebrows, bow-like red lips, creamy face powder, dark eyeliner smudged around the eyes, and rouge (blush) applied to the apples of the cheek.

Baby Boomer Decade - The 1950s

Also known as the wholesome decade—women during this period went away from the glamorous look to a more simple makeup effect. Foundation, especially pancake, was very popular. And although simple, women did keep their bright red lips. Luckily during this time, women could move away from the thin eyebrow look and go for a more natural appeal.

Disco Fever - The 1970s

Get ready to turn it up on the dance floor, because this decade was all about the glitz and glamour—and skincare. Women began focusing more on skincare and face creams to boost more of a natural look. And we also welcomed bronzer powder during this decade!

The Shoulder Pad Era - 1980s

So forget the natural look and say hello to bright, bold, and beautiful! To mirror the famous pop stars on the scene during this decade, like Madonna, many women picked up a new trend—pops of color! Colored eyeshadows in colors like blues, greens, and pinks paired with outrageous lipsticks in pinks and reds were all the rage.

The Millennium - The 2000s

It seems we see a blending of makeup trends when we enter into the 2000s. Women can be seen with beautiful 1920s looks with bow-like red lips, Egyptian wingback eyeliner like the Egyptians wore in 4000 B.C., or even spy the 80s with their bright pink lipstick. The 2000s have already proven to be a millennium all of their own, with unique trends and styles changing every day.

So ladies, what is your favorite makeup decade? Let us know in the comment section below or share it with us on our Facebook page. We love hearing from our users! 

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