An Overview of Modern Makeup: Timeline and Trends


modern makeup

Modern makeup is vast and infinite to the context of its exposure and diversity. In exposure, it’s unlimited in terms of styles, creativities, and norms. As for its diversity, modern makeup exceeds the time, region, and occasion. 

Simply put, everything and anything you can approach as a beautifying activity nowadays, falls under modern makeup.  In this blog, we’re going to take on modern makeup briefly, to sum up, its timeline, evolution, and trends. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Is Modern Makeup?

Modern makeup apparently starts in the 1980s as technological and social advancement took a sharp turn in this period. Personal computers, digital photography, the music industry, and corporate openness had paved the way for women’s existential and feminine transition, hence, the modern makeup era shows up. 

Women’s ‘bold and beautiful’ persona was so appealing that even the great depression of the ’80s couldn’t hold it back. Thus the makeup industry experienced another upturn involving creativity, change, and excessive experiments in makeup styles.

The young generation of the ‘80s opted and took this opportunity happily as they invented their street styles of hairdo (short, sprayed, etc.), denim jeans, colored hairstyles, and so on.

Women’s face makeup turned a bit bolder in the ‘80s yet natural due to joining shoulder to shoulder with the men workforce in the offices and factories. The arched eyebrow almost vanished, and girls kept them mostly natural or occasionally plucked.

1990s Makeup Was An Age of Feminine Power and Darker Shades

1990s Makeup was An Age of Feminine Power and Darker Shades

The ‘90s was a time when women pondered more on their feminine power rather than outlandish makeup and styles. Women during this time applied makeup, but they were more natural than being gaudy.

In the 1990s, boys led on the rock band floors, and due to their unbeaten craze, women stepped into their shoes in styles: wearing baggy jeans, scruffy hair, t-shirts, and so on. Such transition in women’s fashion impacted their makeup as well.

During the ’90s, women turned the pages of bright red, pink, and purple hues for good and adapted to darker shades of brown, maroon, and grey. Women found their bare eyes more attractive, complying with the concurrent natural yet edgy face makeup.

Dark nude or dark maroon lips became iconic in the 1990s. Bolder lip shades like eggplant or plum appeared more among the schoolgirls.

2000s Makeup Mostly Represented Hollywood Sensations

A vast range of makeup styles came along as the millennium had turned. The entertainment world thrived on, and women’s old makeup was gone for a long. And if you’re an ’80s-’90s kid, you better recount many of those 2000s makeup and trends.

The Hollywood and music industries in the 2000s compelled the regular and working women to adapt to the trendy glittery and purple eyeshadows, smoky eyes, gaudy eyeliners, glossy lips, etc. 

Britney Spears, Rihanna, Jessica Sympson, Beyonce, and the list goes on– all these celebs overwhelmed the teens and young women with their mysterious yet vibrant vibes over that decade.

Brushed-up brows, shiny and frosty lips, white eyeshadows, and the thick foundation became impartible in the makeup of the 2000s. And who can forget the famous ‘emo’ makeup! The dark black eyeliner, thick foundation, and neutral lips conquered the young minds like crazy.

2010s Makeup Hailed Hollywood Craze through Social Media Influence

The craze for projecting themselves as celluloid actresses or pop stars didn’t lower for women by the 2010s. Rather it took to a new level by celebrating their makeup trends in the digital social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. 

The makeup trends and styles that accentuated the 2010’s makeup were big brows, cut-crease eyeshadow, 100 layers, real skin makeup, etc. And mostly, digital social media spread the 2010s makeup hype globally. 

The digital social media platforms influenced the makeup universe significantly during the 2010s, and in fact, a few of the platforms had spawned an intricate makeup world within. Instagram was one of them.

Starting from the theatre makeup to the Hollywood celebs and the girl next door, the makeup found itself with numerous color wheels. 

A few of the thriving makeup styles of the 2010s that had flooded the Insta stories and posts were:

  • Threading and laminated brows 
  • Dewy fresh skin 
  • 100 layers of nail polish and foundation
  • Contouring and highlighting 
  • Multicolored hairstyles
  • Fuller lips

2020s Makeup Began with A Global Pandemic and Homebound Virals 

modern makeup
2020’s Makeup Began with A Global Pandemic and Homebound Virals

The vintage era saw the great wars and depression, while 2020 has already gone through a setback globally, the Covid19. Indeed, we’re still trying to get over the pandemic every single day through the half of the year 2021.

Surprisingly, even this pandemic didn’t lower the beautifying spirit of the women since they were able to do their makeup and stylizing at home. And luckily, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram upped their game by showing off their ‘artworks’ to millions of viewers around the world.

So, women treasured the lockdown at home, precisely from the second quarter through to the end of the year 2020, and came up with trendy makeup styles. 

Some notable makeup styles women discovered during 2020 were:

  • Fluttery mascara 
  • Multi-shaded eyeshadow
  • Neon makeup 
  • Winged eyeliner 
  • Pink lip 
  • Watercolor makeup
  • Pastel eyeliner, etc.

17 Modern Makeup Trends Thriving Instagrtam in the 2020s

The pandemic lockdown of 2020 and 2021 hardly let the spirit of the makeup junkies down. Rather their restless enthusiasm compelled them to break the shell in each aspect of makeup. 

As a result, a number of new makeup gimmicks spawned and thrived the social media as trend-setters. 

Below you’ll find 17 trendy modern makeup ideas among various categories that you can’t miss out trying:

# Eye Makeup Trends of 2020

  • Eye Makeup of Multiple Shades

Let’s start our trendy makeup list with multi-shaded eye makeup. You can go with any of your favorite 2-3 hues and shades on your eyelids. Just make sure, you put on the eyeshadow primer before the actual eye makeup to set the eyeshadow firmly. 

  • Wild Print or Animal Print Eyeshadow

Here, things go literally wild a bit. You can paint your favorite animal print on the eyelids like a cheetah, deer, tiger, etc., or flourish some leafy and floral strokes to project nature through your eyes. 

  • Glittery and Glossy Eye Makeup

Making a pair of glossy eyes is easy and quick. Maybe that’s why the glittery and glossy eye makeup has been so appealing throughout 2020. All you need is to dot your upper eyelids with a glossy eyeshadow and smudge it well with your fingertips to cover the area. 

Carefully sprinkle some glitters of your desired color, and you’re ready to impress!

# Face Makeup Trends of 2020

  • More Moist Skin Makeup

Perhaps, a moist face is more believable as beautiful to the eyes. Hence, a less powdery and more dewy makeup became very popular last year. Opt for the foundation and primer that make your skin look more flattering and creamy. 

  • Negative Space or Partial Eyes Cut Crease

A bold cut crease with a portion of each eye left untouched– that’s what a negative space makeup is. 

But don’t just stay put with the cut crease, while you can try different shapes, colors, and designs. 

  • Glass Skin Makeup

Glass skin gives you the stunning look that glistens all the way you go about. Mainly inspired by the Korean girls who naturally possess such glossy-glassy skin, it bustled the makeup universe in 2020. 

To achieve a glass skin makeup look, you must follow the steps given below:

  • Step 1: Take care of your skin by cleansing and exfoliating before makeup. 
  • Step 2: Afterward, apply a mixture of moisturizer, highlighter cream, and herbal (a serum may work too) evenly to gain the glassy touch. 
  • Step 3: Then masterfully apply eyeliner and lipstick that go best with your glass skin face.  

# Lip Makeup Trends of 2020

  • Soft Stained Lips 

The wax-free and long-lasting lip stainer became popular during 2020 as it promised a smudge-free lip art. The lighter lip colors turned out to be a trendy thing as girls shifted from the bold-red looks to a softer lip glow. 

  • Glossy Stained Lips 

Just a glossier version, it’s the stained lips that complimented the soft stained lips makeup in 2020. Glossy lip stains are available on Amazon, Sephora, yslbeauty, etc. 

  • Bold Pink Lip 

Perhaps the boredom of lockdown stacked the craze in young girls for smearing out the gloom, making them opt for the bold pink lips in 2020. The bold pink lip actually gave the women a sense of confidence to stay put at homebound, while maintaining their daily tasks properly.

# Blush Trends of 2020

  • Pink Blush Makeup

Maybe the rosy blush was too ‘oldie’ in 2020, which made the pink blush replace it and extend its coverage a bit more. Precisely, you have to apply the pink blush on your cheekbones, your temples, and below your eyebrow bones to get a pink blush look.

  • Blown-Out Blush

The blown-out blush is similar to the pink blush makeup and it also topped the list of trendy makeup in 2020.

Apply and blend the pink and coral or a pink and purple combination on your cheek apples, cheekbones, temples, and lids. Smear away until you believe you’ve blown out your blush perfectly.

  • Over-the-Top Blush

In over-the-top blush, you apply the pink blush in the same manner as you did in the above two trends, but here, the blush on the eyebrow bones dominates the blush on cheeks. 

You may try out other shades of blush as you desire to top the look of over-the-top blush in your day. 

# 5 Trendy Makeup Ideas of 2021

  • Uplifting Hues and Shades
  • Expressive Eyes
  • Orange Lip 
  • Fresh Skin
  • Smoldering Eyeliner 

Wrapping Up

If you want to recount the 90’s through the 2020 makeup styles and trends, this blog might help you with some insight. You can research more on this topic on the authentic makeup archives if you require so.

Our aim was to give the makeup enthusiasts a sense of the modern makeup that evolved dynamically and is still going through wild and passionate experiments.

So, take the driving seat of your color wheel and work out the best makeup styles for you from the above content, or else, you can always make some fusion of your own.

Mohammad Anique

Mohammad Anique is the editor at WomenMinds who writes informative and helpful blogs on various topics, including beauty, skincare, parenting, etc. He's a bookworm, an animal lover, and an aspiring writer.

Recent Posts