Makeup Trends from the 1930s to 1990s


The evolution of makeup is fascinating. Beauty trends grow and evolve but are always inspiring to look back upon to gain inspiration. Below, we take a walk down memory lane, and highlight some of our favorite trends!



Over 90 years ago, women rocked pencil thin eyebrows. Not soap brows, pencil brows. The makeup routine of the ‘30s is incredibly different from the glowing, dewy goddess of our era. Either way, it was an iconic time, and set the tone for plenty of beauty trends ahead!




The elegant age of the 1940s called for bold red lips, light foundation and rosy cheeks to demonstrate glamour. Society increasingly started to use makeup more and more as a form of expression. The photo captured of actress Gene Tiereny says it all!



Fast forward another 10 years, and we enter the legendary 1950s! Society became a bit more theatrical and playful with makeup looks during this decade. Think Audrey Hepburn and Pearl Bailey. Vintage looks featuring strong eyebrows and bold lip colors became trendy, and we love to look back at photos for inspiration.



The baby boom at the end of world war two allowed the energetic youth to dominate the 1960s. This energy brought fearless makeup trends. Twiggy, a famous figure of this decade, showcased stunning long lashes. And ofcourse, we became familiar with the dramatic dark lower lashes, creating the illusion of big, bright eyes.



When we think about the ‘70s, we think about Woodstock, the fight for peace and the hippie aesthetic. The mood of the ‘70s fueled the popularity of the ‘au natural’ look. Neutral shades and modest mascara dominated the streets. The groovier, the better in this decade, as demonstrated by famous actress Teresa Graves.



The 1980s is iconic for loud and bright colours. Every once in a while, we see ‘80s makeup trends pop back up, with vibrant blue and pink eyeshadows. If you are going after an ‘80s look, get out your most colorful, rainbow palette and don’t be shy! Whether you think of Diana Ross or Madonna, the ‘80s was a truly legendary time for beauty.

Fun Fact: Mac Cosmetics was born in 1984



The ‘90s strayed away from the direction of the ‘80s. Less outrageous, more minimalistic. Whether you went for the grunge dark eyeliner, or the thin eyebrows… you were probably influenced by the trends of famous celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss or Courtney Love. Notice how pencil thin eyebrows came back into style? The key to staying trendy is to look at the past!



Outlining beauty fads of various decades is no easy task. We can go back in time and find endless iconic makeup moments. As a makeup artist, memory lane is a place to pull inspiration from. Hopefully, these throwbacks helped spark some creativity for your next favorite makeup trend!