7 Decades of Cosmetics & Makeup


Rosie Dennis

Now isn’t it weird to think that before the 20th Century not many people wore makeup, the natural look was seen to be more beautiful! But here we are in the 21st Century where makeup stores pop up everywhere and we are all so tempted to buy a new product, whether it be a new palette or a new foundation. Now, the common looks/trends that many of us aspire to recreate via tutorials, well they have varied throughout the decades. It wasn’t all about contouring and highlighting.

1940s – Now these were the years where women had to result in makeup substitutes due to the rationing in World War 2. Mascara was made from burnt cork, deodorant was made from bi-carbonate of soda, beetroot juice was used as lipstick and eyeliner was used to recreate stocking linings. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

1950s – Many skin improving cosmetics were brought out which meant that more people decided to wear makeup because it didn’t have as bad affect on your skin. Wearing your makeup while you sleep is a big no but if on the odd occasion we forget to take it off, we do not need to stress as we can rely on skin creams to treat our face.

1960s – Now the 60s set trends based around eye makeup as they were the focus. For example, the big cat eye lash look was widely known and pale lips which drew more attention to the eyes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my eye makeup too drastic as it draws away the attention from everything else and this shows how overtime, trends have changed.

1970s – As well as Star Wars and ABBA, the 70s was full of exciting new things such as, shimmery eyeshadow, rosy cheeks and lip gloss. The trends here have been carried forward to this present day where parts of the 70s looks are still featured in many people’s makeup routine.

1980s – This decade was where all the partying took place with neon clothing and neon eyeshadow, and trends went a little off track. Women caked themselves in blusher and it supposedly looked good, but I don’t think I will be taking their word on that one.

1990s – Now many of women’s eyebrows seem to be non-existent during this time as they were plucked so thin, but that was the trend back then. Another trend was glitter and sparkle which was supported by rhinestones, this is still commonly used to this present day, especially at concerts/festivals.

2000s – Darker eyeshadows made a break through during this era and so did spray tans so many ladies were seen more orange than normal. Even to this day, girls still have spray tans or use fake tan to rid the traditional English colour skin tone and make themselves look as though they are sun-kissed.

2010s – Tie-dye eyeshadows became very popular which is what is mainly used by woman now as more colours can be used and visually seen around their eyes. Also, long lashes were part of the trend too, either lots of mascara was worn or eyelash extensions/fake eyelashes were put on. This is another trend that has not faded to this present day as I always ensure my eyelashes can always be seen as it brightens up my face and the rest of my makeup.