Here's how popular beauty trends have changed over the decades

What was popular in the 50s, 00s and everything in between?

(Image credit: WWD/REX/Shutterstock)

What was popular in the 50s, 00s and everything in between?

As the decade gradually draws to a close, we hardly need to tell you that the biggest beauty trends of the 2010s have been contouring, highlighter and bold brows (to name just a few).

And of course, more recently, royal-to-be Meghan Markle has had a surprising effect on sales of red lipstick after naming her go-to shade.

But though the Kardashian-Jenner influence is undeniable, they haven't always been our biggest beauty muses. Each decade gone by had its own go-to beauty icon, from original pin-up Marilyn Monroe to the original 80s supers.

With this in mind, the experts at MYA Cosmetic Surgery Ltd have broken down the biggest body and beauty trends over the last 70 years.

Read on for a whirlwind tour of the last seven decades in beauty...

The 50s

Elegant hair updos are making a comeback on the fashion week catwalks, but their history is firmly rooted in 1950s fashion. Few beauty muses are more iconic than Marilyn Monroe, whose hourglass figure was the most desired female shape of the decade. She's probably also a big reason why the best red lipstick is such a timeless classic beauty look.

The 60s

When it comes to beauty, there are two muses in particular that epitomise 1960s fashion for us – Brigitte Bardot, queen of the pale nude lip, and Twiggy with her arty liner and fat lashes. Graphic liner has made a big comeback in recent seasons, with the likes of Marc Jacobs opting for bold, black eye make-up.

The 70s

1970s fashion and beauty was all about feathery layers and bronzed, healthy looking make-up, all matched with power florals, fringing and flares. Eye make-up was fairly minimal and brows were perfectly groomed, with the biggest beauty muses including Cher, Farrah Fawcett and Jane Birkin.

The 80s

Thanks to Jane Fonda and co, the ideal body shape of 1980s fashion was super toned and athletic. Make-up, however, was the polar opposite from the decade before, with bold, bright colours and heavy make-up were the norm, and applied on a pale base rather than the bronzed-up look of the 70s.

The 90s

1990s fashion was characterised by the 'heroin chic' look; super slim models owned the catwalk, while the go-to beauty look was grungy and androgynous. Popular lipstick shades were all earthy nudes and browns, usually accompanied by a smokey eye – still a classic today.

The 00s

If there's one naughties beauty trend we'd probably all admit to regretting, it's overplucking our brows (frankly, we're still trying to grow them back more than 15 year later). The 2000s were a whirlwind of flavoured lip gloss, brightly coloured liner and crimped hair. Let's leave it a few year before reviving those trends, shall we...

This decade

We're pretty familiar with the beauty trends of the moment, having spent hours on YouTube learning how to contour and scrolling through endless selfies on Instagram. The best eyebrow shapes are more important than ever – these days you'll be hard pushed to find us without brow grooming products in our make-up kits.

Consider your beauty history lesson, complete.

What's your favourite decade for beauty trends? Let us know by tweeting @marieclaireuk

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