Much like fashion, beauty is ever-evolving. Over the past few decades, makeup trends underwent major changes, some good and some bad. From the 1960s iconic Twiggy eyeliner to the messy chunky highlights of the 90s, each decade had its share of good and bad makeup and hair trends.
It is interesting to note that makeup wasn’t as widely available as it is today. Mascara wasn’t even on the scene until 1915 when Maybelline invented a dry cake version that you had to use with water. Fast forward to today, and you have access to hundreds of makeup products. You can easily pick something that fits your budget and suits your style.
In this guide, we are going to provide a brief overview of the hottest makeup and fashion trends of every decade, from the 1960s to the 2010s. We will also list some iconic celebrities from every decade who influenced the masses.
Let’s start with the 1960s.
1960s Makeup and Beauty Trends
The feminist movement re-emerged in the 1960s. Although a large percentage of feminists rejected using any kind of makeup, others adopted it as a form of expression. During the later years of the decade, the hipper counterculture emerged and promoted natural products and natural looks.
In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor’s makeup in the iconic movie Cleopatra offered a mix of the ‘current’ and ‘historic’ fashion trends that transformed the entire makeup style of the decade.
In the early years of the decade, the use of soft blush, a flicked upper eyeliner, and matte eyeshades was all the rage. Celebrities and consumers preferred blues, green, and gray eye shadows, while popular lip shades included soft reds, corals, and pinks.
However, dramatic eye shadows became more common during the later years of the decade. With soft blush tones and pastel/pale lip shades, thick mascara and false lashes were also common. In simple words, the 60s was all about creating a ‘baby doll face’ look through big lashes and pretty pink lips. Moreover, women contoured the eyes to create a rounded and hooded effect.
1960s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
- Estelle Bennett
Bennett was popular for her signature black cat-eye. The singer emphasized her lower lid, and her go-to lip shades were coral and orange.
- Elizabeth Taylor
If you look back at the 1960s’ most memorable fashion photos, you will find plenty of Elizabeth Taylor. Her makeup trends created headlines, and women all over the world emulated her style and looks.
- Aretha Franklin
Franklin was famous for her unique winged-out liner and a bright orange shade of lipstick.
- Sophia Loren
Who can forget those classy smoky eyes and red lips? Loren’s defined eyebrows and makeup looks were the highlights of the decade.
If there’s someone who changed the makeup and fashion industry forever, it was Twiggy. With her iconic graphic liner drawn along the crease of her eye and the thickly mascaraed lashes, the English supermodel launched a groundbreaking makeup trend.
- Diana Ross
With her flawless skin, opaquely pink-nude lipstick, and fluttering lashes, Diana Ross stole the heart of every woman (and man) during the decade.
1970s Makeup and Beauty Trends
During this decade, women began turning to natural and contemporary products. For example, Revlon introduced ‘Charlie,’ a new fragrance for the modern woman. Like most beauty accessories, eye shadows and eyeliners disappeared from the faces of women in this decade.
But that wasn’t all the 70s were about. The decade also launched man glamorous makeup trends.
The happening nightlife and the trending disco scene gave birth to amazing costumes and glittery makeup products. The hottest makeup trends of the 1970s were about embracing your individuality and celebrating your freedom. It was also during this decade that several makeup brands launched a series of beauty products for African American women.
The popular vogue magazine featured Beverly Johnson in 1974. That was the first time any African American model appeared on the title of a mainstream fashion magazine. In 1974, the popular Vogue magazine featured a famous African American model. That was the first time any mainstream magazine put a woman of color on the cover.
The use of Bronzer for creating a healthy and warm glow was common. Women liked wearing their hair long and loose. Women painted their eyelids with shimmer shadows and highlighted the upper and lower lashes with mascara. Natural and brushed eyebrows were also popular during the 70s.
Throughout this decade, women used pearl or opalescent powders to add a healthy glow to the cheeks. At the same time, liquid formulas were also easily available. What’s more, nude pearl lipsticks or shiny clear glosses coated the lips for a natural appearance.
1970s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
- Anjelica Huston
Huston’s inky lashes, tawny lids, and cranberry lips were one of the best makeup looks from the 70s.
- Bianca Jagger
Who could forget Mick’s first wife and her natural glam? Every fan tried copying her curled lashes, arched eyebrows, and glossy lips.
- Donna Summer
Voluminous hair, smoky eyes, and contoured cheeks – this was the staple look of Summer for a night of fun and disco vibes.
The legendary singer is famous for her jet-black hair. But back then, women loved her shimmery lilac eye shadow that created a subtle and dreamy look.
- Farrah Fawcett
Before there were Charlie’s Angels or Rachel and Monica from Friends, there was Farrah Fawcett. Her beautiful feathered waves quickly became a craze for women of all ages.
1980s Makeup and Beauty Trends
The bright and bold colors of the 1980s created a glamorous look. Jewel-toned eyeshades, heavy blush, and big hair do’s were popular beauty trends.
The neon eyelids and dark lip liners were in every woman’s makeup kit. Using bold eye shadows was common, and applying layers of blush was not an alien concept. There’s no denying the fact that the 1980s encouraged women to express their creativity through makeup. Pop icons like Madonna and Cher also introduced flashy clothes and larger-than-life makeup looks.
Women preferred using pale or heavy foundation to set the base for strong blush colors. With a heavy application of bright blush colors on the cheek and smudgy eye shadow, you could look as sexy as Madonna. Using a contrasting and bright lip liner and lipstick was also a norm.
Flashy clothes and larger-than-life makeup looks and lip colors -the decade celebrated colors in full swing.
1980s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
Madonna defined most of the 80s trends. Using lighter-hued face powder with dark cheeks and deep red lipsticks, the pop music icon launched many defining trends of the decade.
- Grace Jones
We remember her for bold eye shadows, including purple, yellow, blue, and green shades.
- Princess Diana
The Princess of Hearts was fond of using bright blush colors for adding a rosy tint to her cheeks.
- Jane Fonda
We can’t talk about the beauty trends of this decade without mentioning Fonda. Apart from being a fitness fanatic, Jane Fonda inspired thousands of women with her highlighted cheekbones and a bright orange lip shade.
- Brooke Shields
Shields typically used pastel and natural colors. Her pink lipstick and mascara added more charm to her look.
1990s Makeup and Beauty Trends
Glittery smoky eyes, over-plucked brows, half-up-half-down hair do’s, over-lined glossy lips, and neutral tones were the hottest makeup trends. The decade also encouraged women to apply shimmery body makeup to look sexy.
Crimped hair was a thing back in the 90s. While popular celebrities like Tia Carrere gave her rival stars some serious competition. Other stars such as Jennifer Anniston, Britney Spears, and Princess Diana also influenced women’s haircut choices.
Bitten-red lips, spider lashes, pastel lids, and brown lipstick created the signature makeup look of the 90s.
For an in-depth review of the 1990’s makeup trends, we have you covered.
1990s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
- Britney Spears
Prominent lipstick and heavy lipstick with occasional body glitter; that’s how Britney Spears flaunted her unique style. Many fashion gurus consider the singer as the face of the decade.
- Angelina Jolie
Jolie owned blue eye shadow like no other celebrity in the 90s. Her warm lip shades and highlighted cheeks were the highlights of the decade.
- Drew Barrymore
Nobody could resist the charm of this beautiful actress. She looked flawlessly beautiful with her brick-brown lipstick and over-plucked eyebrows.
- Tyra Banks
The first African-American model to appear on the cover of the coveted GQ magazine, Banks was an inspiration for thousands of women of color.
- Reese Witherspoon
The Legally Blonde’s actress rocked every look with her pink eye makeup and pale foundation.
- Christina Aguilera
The singer and fashion diva from the 90s enjoyed massive popularity. Her fans were crazy about her style and emulated her glossy lips and rhinestone eye shadow makeup trends.
- Jennifer Lopez
The 90s dream woman, Jennifer Lopez, was the beauty behind numerous makeup trends of the decade. Her nude lips, shimmery and soft eye shadows, and healthy glowing skin looked gorgeous.
- Jennifer Anniston
We can’t imagine the 90s without Friends, the TV series that changed the history of entertainment television forever. Anniston played the role of fashion-savvy Rachel Green. Every woman from the later years of the decade wanted to copy her brown-toned makeup and have her silky smooth hair.
2000s Makeup and Beauty Trends
The new millennium brought several makeup trends from the nineties. Some of these include heavy eyeliner, glossy lips, pastel eye shadows, and straight poker hair. In addition, the decade launched the career of many stars and pop artists like Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Kim Kardashian.
Women of this decade experimented with different hair colors, textures, and makeup looks. Whether it was the layered bangs of Aaliyah or the crimped hair of Spears, there was something for everyone in this decade.
The top makeup trends of the decade included heavy purple eyes shadows, pink blush, skinny brows, and colorful eyeliners. Celebrities also loved accessories with chunky jewelry and heels to grace the red carpet in style. Shiny and glossy lips were also quite common back in the noughties.
Emo makeup was also in vogue. Celebrities like Avril Lavigne flaunted the style. This look featured a thick black eyeliner, matte foundation, and neutral lips. The major difference between the Goth and Emo styles was the use of lipstick. While black or deep red lip shades characterize the Goth style, pink and nude lipsticks help create an Emo look.
2000s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
- Sarah Jessica Parker
Parker gained incredible popularity for her makeup style and fashion sense in the groundbreaking TV Series, Sex and the City. Her smokey-eye makeup and nude lip shades were on the priority list of every makeup artist and fashion diva.
The singer set many revolutionary trends in the world of fashion and makeup. Throughout this decade, her edgy makeup and beautiful makeup style impressed thousands of her fans.
Queen Bee rocked matching outfits during the noughties. But her signature look featured glowy skin, bronzed cheeks, and glossy lips.
- Miley Cyrus
Although Cyrus is a controversial celebrity, the famous singer was once an innocent little Disney star. From her Hannah Montana days to her current looks, Miley Cyrus has come a long way. We love the star for her shimmery lips and glittery body makeup.
- Kate Moss
The epitome of grace and natural beauty, Kate Moss dominated the 90s with her chic style. While she mostly sported the no-makeup look in the 90s, she flaunted her liquid eyeliner during the early years of this decade.
2010s Makeup and Beauty Trends
The 2010’s decade of beauty influencers and social media celebrities. Consumers had easy access to tutorials, makeup demos, product reviews, and everything else. The glitz and glam of Hollywood stars and the contouring techniques from Kim Kardashian shaped the decade’s makeup trends.
Since fashion and beauty trends were no longer limited to red carpets or movies, internet users could easily explore the latest makeup trends. Thanks to hundreds of YouTube channels by beauty influencers and makeup stylists, anyone could learn how to use the latest makeup products for creating the best look. In simple words, technology bridged the gap between makeup icons and common consumers.
Some of the hottest makeup trends of the decade include heavy contouring, pouty lips, and nude makeup. The Kardashian sisters impressed us with their creative talent. So it’s not surprising to see that they have millions of followers on social media. Some other trends included rainbow hair colors, bold brows, strobing, and healthy glowy skin.
Korean skincare products captured a huge share of the market. However, their popularity faded over time. Matte lippies were popular in the noughties but attained massive popularity in this decade. Women preferred applying liquid lipsticks to pose on Instagram, flaunting the perfect pout.
Nail art was also quite popular in this decade. Customized nail art and nail-art machines for home use made it easy for everyone to follow this trend. Even today, many women like experimenting with different nail art forms.
2010s Top Makeup and Fashion Icons
- Eva Longoria Parker
The American actress and producer is also a L’Oreal lady who set the bar for all of us in this decade. She frequently sported golden and creamy eye shadows with glossy lips.
- Megan Fox
The vampy actress loved posing with her bee-stung pout, dramatic lashes, and no-nonsense brows.
- Kelly Brook
Don’t just focus on her covetable curves. Kelly’s beautiful features and luscious locks made her irresistibly charming.
- The Kardashian Sisters
Revisiting the mid-2010s, we reflect on the Kardashian sisters’ impact on the fashion and makeup industry. There’s no doubt that the Kardashians revolutionized the makeup industry with their contouring trends and other makeup hacks.
As we reflect on the beauty and fashion trends of the previous decades, we observe how trends shifted from glittery and baked styles to natural looks. The current decade is all about embracing your individuality. Many celebrities are now adopting the no-makeup look, including Alicia Keys, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Shailene Woodley.
Our guide serves as a comprehensive guide to revisit the hottest trends from the 1960s to 2010s. Each decade had its own unique makeup trends. Follow our guide if you want to re-create any of these styles from your favorite decade.