Cosmetics as we know them today first emerged in the 1910s when major brands like L’Oréal and Maybelline opened their doors. It was a time when few women wore makeup, and beautifying products were largely reserved for actresses.
Keywords: Minimal, Edwardian
Think: Bitten Lip
Beauty Must-Have: Glossy Stain in Rouge Laque from YSL
While a natural face was the goal of the day, women of this era did begin to embrace rouge, which could be used on cheeks and lips for a ‘bitten’ effect.
Think: The Great Gatsby
Beauty Must-Have: Studio Secrets™ Professional Color Smokes Eyeshadow pallet from L’Oréal Paris
Flapper beauty was marked by kohl eyeshadows, which were generously applied during this decade, otherwise known as the roaring 20s.
Keywords: Refined, Glamourous
Beauty must-have: Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Streak from Urban Decay
In the 30s, Hollywood began to influence the everyday woman’s style, and before long, pencil-thin brows became the norm, along with cream eyeshadows and raspberry lips.
Keywords: Simple, Natural
Beauty Must-Have: Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick from YSL
Think: Femme Fatale
Stylish women have always known the power of bright red lipstick, but this decade saw this beauty must-have dominate. Red lips and a fresh face were 40s essentials.
Keywords: Feminine, Elegant
Beauty must-have: Telescopic™ Precision Liquid Eyeliner from L’Oréal Paris
Makeup trends during the 1950s were largely influenced by film and television, with sultry liquid eyeliner and blood red lips emerging as the dominant trends.
Keywords: Modernist, Youthful
Beauty must-have: Wicked Lashes from NYX Professional Makeup
For the first time, a decade was driven by youth culture. The 60s saw everything from mod to hippie style in the form of hair, makeup and fashion. But across the board, bold lashes were popular.
Keywords: Disco, Glam
Think: Studio 54
Beauty must-have: Le Crayon Miracle from Lancôme
The disco era saw women with sun-kissed skin embracing frosted eyeshadows, which by now were available in every shade imaginable. Our favourite trend? White eyeliner on the upper lid, just above the lash line.
Keywords: Electric, Playful
Beauty must-have: Pin-Up Pout Lipstick in Bubble Gum Pink from NYX Professional Makeup
Possibly the most colourful decade, the 80s were all about boldly applied blush in every colour, neon eyeshadows and fuchsia pink lips – these are the defining makeup trends of the era.
Keywords: Grunge, Dark
Beauty must-have: Smokeout Eyeshadow compact from Urban Decay
In the 90s, grunge was born. Driven by the angst-filled music, makeup went dark for a while. Burgundy or black lips accompanied heavy black eyeshadow for a moody look.
There you have it. The next time you find yourself standing at the beauty counter, wondering how to raise your makeup game, think back to the bold vixens of the past and you’ll have plenty of inspiration from which to draw!