Makeup Trends Have Evolved: A Glance into Glamour


A Maybelline Cosmetics advertisement from 1967 for “The most exciting thing you’ll ever wear” campaign. Photo Courtesy of flickr.

It’s seen everywhere: bold eyebrows, luscious lips and highlighted cheekbones. However, these trends were not always so popular!

Makeup has been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Whether it was to accentuate or hide certain features, the creation of makeup has led to an explosion of diverse trends throughout history. The modern day makeup trends in America get a lot of inspiration from social media. Huge makeup influencers and artists, such as James Charles or Nikkie de Jager, provide tutorials on how to apply makeup and reviews for various cosmetic products in 2018.

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An example modern day eye makeup. Labeled for reuse from

The makeup industry took off in the 1920s. This was the time when products like compressed eye shadow pallets and mascara were introduced. These cosmetics came along with the popularized “flapper” look many women wanted to achieve. A red lip with an outlined cupids bow showed the world that young women could enjoy themselves, pushing the limits of conventional standards of behavior. Wearing makeup back then could have been seen as empowerment, hope and recovery for the women in America affected during the periods of World War I. Womanly expression and glorification of beauty in the face was a mighty step for the makeup market.

Fast forward 20 years and the 1940s trends took a turn to the more natural side of makeup application. Following the old saying that “less is more” was all about the classic and sophisticated concept of enhancing natural beauty. Women at this time were encouraged to wear makeup, but heavy makeup during this time was considered unappealing.

An example of what the 1950s and 1960s “pin up” girl makeup and hairstyle was. Labeled for reuse.

The iconic 1950s trends continued into the 1960s. It was common to see women wearing a hefty amount of powder and a bright eye; the look that many women wanted to achieve was the 1950s “pinup” look. Color coordinating was popular and it was encouraged to match an eye shadow color with a dress or an accessory. Some examples of women who achieved the “pinup” look were Marilyn Monroe, Zoë Mozert and Betty Grable.

Taking a look into 1970’s trends, a new world of cream shadows and lip gloss was discovered. This transition allowed women during that time period to appreciate a bronzed, athletic and natural appearance. False lashes were popularized along with the application of mascara to the lower lashes in order bring out peachy pops of color on the eyelids.

“I think the 1950s makeup had a more natural essence to it,” said sophomore Tabitha Voils. “I personally like that kind of style more than the modern style.”

Nothing says colorful like the 1980s. Bright blush and eye shadow were extremely trendy and matched the look of big hair and the vibrant fashion. Unlike the other decades, the 80s introduced and glorified the bushy and bold eyebrow look. Neon eye shadow and bright colored mascara were also commonly worn. Cyndi Lauper in the popular 80s music video of the song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” can be used as a perfect example for the cosmetic trends back then. The makeup in the 1980s is symbolic of the changes that were taking place in America and the newly found freedom of expression.

The unforgettably thin, pencil shaped eyebrows and frosted sparkly lip gloss can be credited to the 1990s. The 90’s grunge look was also very popular. Celebrities who rocked these 90’s makeup styles could be Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani or Brandy Norwood.

Over the past 100 years, America has seen makeup evolve into what it is today. The cosmetic industry is truly thriving in 2018, with more and more acceptance towards men wearing makeup, or even the advancement in things like special effects makeup for movies or commercials. The media has not failed to shed light on freedom of expression through the use of makeup. Individuals have the opportunity understand their own unique style and appearance, regardless of trends and now can be seen as a celebration of diversity and acceptance.

Information gathered credited to:

Pulp Artists

Glamour Daze