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Beauty Trends Then And Now

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Throughout the years, beauty trends have served as powerful expressions of cultural identity, rebellion and self-discovery. Each era has left a permanent mark on our collective memory as a human race, influencing the very essence of how we perceive and define beauty. We find it extremely fascinating how beauty trends have changed over the course of history. Many trends and practices have fallen off the bandwagon, while some age-old notions of beauty have remained timeless. In this post, we’re taking you on a journey through the centuries, starting at the beginning with ancient beauty rituals moving into how beauty has evolved in the digital age! 

Ancient Beauty Rituals

Two traditional chineses women.

Having porcelain skin was the talk of the town in the ancient east.

In the time of the ancients, the world may have not been as connected as it is today. It’s because of this that many different ancient civilizations had their own culture of beauty that was unique to them. In the ancient society of Egypt, exotic, rich ingredients were at the forefront of beauty. Cosmetic ingredients included honey, milk and essential oils as the staples. The Egyptians believed that one’s beauty was a direct reflection of their connection to the gods. This may be why natural ingredients played such an inspiring role in ancient Egyptian beauty. 

In the East, in regions like ancient China, having porcelain skin and harmonious features were the talk of the town. There was also a direct link between nature and beauty. Where skin and hair care was done using herbal remedies and techniques like acupuncture, aimed to restore balance to the body’s wellbeing. Embracing natural beauty was also seen amongst the Aztecs and Mayans. They would use vibrant colors of natural pigments and wear ceremonial body art. These played a crucial role in their rituals and spiritual life. Across the ancient world, there seemed to be an emphasis on natural beauty.

The Iconic Roaring Twenties 

Beauty trends leading up to the 1900s were relatively conservative. Most women were encouraged to cover up most of their skin and maintain a modest appearance. Enter the roaring twenties, the economic boom happening in the US spilled over to the rest of the world. The landscape of beauty would never be the same. The 1920s were all about glamor, short hairstyles and flapper fashion. Women embraced the 20s with open arms. They found they were able to express themselves more freely through their fashion and beauty choices.  

The traditional long, elaborately-styled locks gave way to bobs, short, sleek and audaciously chic. This bold haircut was a powerful declaration of women’s newfound independence and a departure from the restrictions of more conservative styles. The flapper look was also characterized by dark makeup around the eyes and the use of mascara which created intense, alluring gazes. The 20s had shattered the notion of Victorian modesty, and women were at the forefront of this beauty revolution.

The 1920s were also a time when toxic beauty practices such as munching on arsenic complexion wafers and soaking in radium baths were abandoned in favor of less lethal products and services.

The Rise of Bold Make-Up In The 60s

1960's Woman with bold makeup.

Wearing makeup around the eye area is what defined beauty in the 60s.

Just like the roaring 20s, the 60s were a time of rebellion, self-expression and an era where many people began to break away from cultural norms. This spirit of freedom spilled over into the world of beauty, where bold makeup became a way of defining new identities that challenged the social standards. Wearing makeup around the eye area is what defined beauty in the 60s. Fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren blazed the trail with bold eye makeup and popularized the cat-eye look using mascara.

We also saw the rise of bolder colors being used across the palette in people’s makeup choices. Bright, vibrant colors like blue, green and gold became popular hues for eye shadows, and the classic red lips look of the 50s was thrown out the window as women began to wear shades of peach, coral and in some braver cases, white lips became a popular statement against The Man. Makeup trends in the 60s were dominated by bold styles and colors that were worn as a statement of non-conformity and embracing individuality.

The Punk Rock Rebellion of the 1980s

Beauty in the 1980s was defined by an apologetic expression of individuality. Turning away from the traditional, polished looks of decades before, the 80s saw the explosion of DIY styles using unconventional materials which aimed to reject mainstream conformity. Ripped jeans were a staple, and leather jackets became blank canvases for self expression. Rockstars and artists were at the forefront of these trends encouraging bold, rebellious fashion statements. 

In the world of hair trends, bold colors and unconventional haircuts like the punk-rocker mohawk or the shaved head became the norm. This was accompanied by heavy eyeliner, bold eyeshadows and dark painted lips. Accessories also began to become popular, with many people sporting studded belts, dog collars and chains also made their way into mainstream fashion for the first time. 

Timeless Beauty From The Hills of Hollywood

The Hollywood sign.

Beauty and fashion are a way of life in Hollywood.

In the hills of Hollywood it’s safe to say that beauty and fashion isn’t something to be taken lightly; it’s a way of life. Throughout its history, Hollywood has shaped beauty trends and set the standards for what’s in and what’s out. Stars from the golden era like Marilyn Monroe have created timeless looks that continue to inspire people from all walks of life. Radiant skin, and silky smooth hair have always been associated with Hollywood’s shining stars. After all, this is an industry where perfection is the epitome of beauty. Whether we like it or not, Hollywood has played a massive role in shaping our ideas of beauty. It also has a big say in what acceptable fashion trends look like. 

The Rise of Minimalism In The 2000s

Achieving perfection sounds great on paper. However towards the end of the 20th century, Hollywood’s idea of perfection seemed to be unrealistic and unattainable. As the 21st century began to unfold, new beauty trends and notions began to arise, and one that seemed to dominate was the idea of minimalistic beauty. Minimalism started off as a quiet movement operating in the shadows, but soon many people were adopting the less-is-more approach. The extravagance of the 90s was set aside, and people began embracing the elegance of keeping things simple.

In the early 2000s, celebrities like Kate Moss, Jeniffer Aniston and Rachel McAdams began showing off their natural beauty. Although they still wore makeup and had their hair done, the focus seemed to shift towards using makeup and hairstyling to bring the best out of their natural features. What this taught us was that you should focus on being authentic rather than be over-the-top. This is a trend that has continued to dominate the beauty landscape today, where in the modern era, natural beauty is being embraced more than ever. 

Modern Beauty Trends In The Digital Age

Phone with the facebook app open.

In 2024, we see beauty influencers on social media platforms taking center stage.

Post COVID-19 we saw a massive shift in thinking when it came to beauty. We also saw a change in the beauty products we choose to use. In 2024, we see beauty influencers on social media platforms taking center stage. Most of them encouraging their followers to support environmentally-friendly beauty brands and inspiring people to embrace their natural beauty. With this, there’s been a resurgence in DIY beauty. DIY beauty includes at-home facials and deep conditioning hair masks using naturally-derived ingredients.

1. Influencer Culture

Beauty influencers have become the taste makers of the 2020s, where providing educational and high-quality beauty-related content is at the heart of their business. They offer genuine reviews of products, quick tutorials that share hair hacks and how to achieve certain styles. By doing this they’ve redefined the standards of what authentic beauty should be.

The glory of the beauty industry today is that no matter your taste or style, you’re highly likely to find a beauty influencer that matches your demographic or style-niche. Whether you’re a 40-year-old mom or 17-year-old high school student, you will find an influencer you relate to. Many of these influencers are embracing natural beauty and this has made them excellent role models for people all around the world. 

2. The Shift To Natural Beauty 

Woman with her eyes closed.

The shift to natural beauty post Covid-19.

There are many factors that have caused the shift to natural beauty post COVID-19. From beauty influencers encouraging natural looks, to the search for environmentally-friendly products that use sustainable, naturally-derived ingredients. There has undoubtedly been a shift in thinking revolving around beauty since the beginning of the pandemic. Nowadays it’s a strength to embrace your imperfections, instead of trying to cover them up with elaborate hairstyles or excessive makeup. 

Natural beauty is not just about embracing your uniqueness and using cruelty-free products. It also means taking a holistic approach to beauty. More people than ever are becoming aware of the importance of eating properly, exercising and the link that this has with beauty. We are witnessing the transition from people simply trying to be carbon copies of what they see on their screens. As more people are embracing self-love and redefining the very essence of what it means to be beautiful.

3. DIY Beauty

DIY beauty is exploding in 2024. More and more people hopping onto this trend that seems like it’s here to stay. Perhaps it was due to the boredom we experienced at home during the pandemic. Or maybe it’s because we had more time on our hands. The demand for DIY beauty is becoming increasingly significant. People are crafting their own hair masks and skincare routines using a variety of essential oils and natural ingredients. Some examples of natural ingredients are herbs, fruit and other household staples like honey, milk and oatmeal. 

DIY beauty is fun, freeing and it puts consumers’ minds at ease because they know exactly what ingredients are going into their products. They are also saving money and keeping their pockets fuller in the process. Many people haven’t gone full DIY with their routines, but rather have adopted a hybrid approach, where they still use a handful of commercial products coupled with their DIY creations. We are big fans of DIY beauty and we hope to see this trend continuing to gain traction this year! 


There’s no doubt the beauty practices of the ancients have shaped and defined trends today. From the classic looks of Hollywood, to the natural beauty trends of ancient Egypt and the skincare practices of the East. We now stand on the brink of a new era and one thing is clear – beauty is a living, breathing entity, forever evolving, reflecting the pulse of society, and embracing the essence of individuality. Here’s to the ongoing journey, where each trend and revolution adds a stroke to the timeless canvas of beauty!