What period of time in history had the best makeup style?

I like today’s makeup, mostly because I appreciate that there’s a lot more individuality across fashion and beauty. There are still trends and looks that a lot of people may gravitate toward, but I still feel like the makeup I see really runs the spectrum from barely-there to full face of makeup (and this is more based on what I see in person, not just within the online beauty community).

— Christine
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26 Comments

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Today has nothing on the 90s. People are so cookie cutter today and originality went out w the 90s. As much choice and options there are, people lack creativity and they all do the same dang thing. Liquid liners, color in lower lashline, false lashes, cut creases etc. I think bc there were actual makeup artists and things weren’t all spelled out for you, you had to be more creative to try and recreate things the experts were doing. There’s just more creativity w having to figure things out for yourself imo. Sorry about it:)

Where do you live that you see “Liquid liners, color in lower lashline, false lashes, cut creases etc.” on everyone? I rarely see any of those things in person, and I certainly never do any of them myself. I’m confused – people are still pretty individualistic in their makeup choices as far as I can tell, as long as you get off instagram.

I was going to say this same thing. Youtubers certainly appear to be pretty repetitive and clone-like (don’t spend any time on Instagram so I can’t say there); I live in the Pacific Northwest and the folks who actually wear makeup are kind of all over the place in style and degree: We’ve got everything from 50 shades of goth, through die-hard 50’s divas and Rockabilly, to just-sprang-up-out-of-a-cornfield with Bonne Belle gloss applied at birth.

Now I’m trying to think whether I’ve actually seen a cut crease in real life, and I don’t believe I have. Possibly on some goth types, but I never walk up to people an analyze their faces, so I can’t say for sure.

I live in the Washington DC area and while I do see the people you describe from time to time they are certainly not the norm. What I see more of are people selecting different aspects of what you describe and putting together their own looks, and I don’t see how that’s so different from learning how to do makeup from your mother or your friends and then making it your own.

Oops, pressed “post” too quickly!

What I love about the flapper makeup was not only the dark smoky eyes, but also the red cupid’s bow lips. My lips are naturally shaped that way. When I was a teenager, I hated having a pronounced cupid’s bow, but then I learned about 1920s makeup style and realized that I was pretty lucky!

I think the 1950’s was the era when makeup really developed ‘style’ and sophistication- it was no longer associated with harlotry & became part of every woman’s daily routine.
(That being said today’s makeup is wayyyyy more fun!)

The 60’s by far. I love the bold eyeliner, the Twiggies, the pastel shadows. I love the 60’s mod girl aesthetic. Large doe eyes, soft washes of color, I live for that look. 80’s comes in second place for the opposite reasons (i.e. bold colors, bold looks).

I would also choose today because I feel I’ve found my look and also product variety and quality have never been better. But I have a love and sentimental attachment for the makeup of the “Swinging Sixties” – Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Pattie Boyd, the first launches from Mary Quant cosmetics, Baby Fever lipgloss from Kenneth, Yardley’s products aimed at a younger age group. It was all so new and SO aimed at MY age group (or the one I was just about to enter)

Mary Quant…oh, such great memories of those colorful products with the black and white daisy packaging! That was one of the first brands of makeup I got into back in the early 70s. 😀

HA!!!! Early 70’s – try late 60’s. I loved that daisy symbol (I had a face contouring set that had the white packaging with a silver daisy). I had around, kid’s face, and used the contouring powder so that it looked like 2 brown triangles on my chubby cheeks and the highlighter -well, it probably could have been seen from 40 feet away!

Late 2000’s/early 2010’s…I loved the smokey eyes of this era and I like that neutral looks became really mainstream (coincides with the release of the Naked palette, possibly).

I also like the 90’s aesthetic (that dark red/brown lipliner omg), though it’s not something I can personally pull off lol.

The 80’s for an era that I actually not only got to live through, but was also privileged to be a part of when it came to the very avant-garde, colorful, off the wall makeup artistry! Before that time period, it wasn’t a “thing” or even semi acceptable to walk out in daytime with 5 different colors on ones eyelids (white-gold duochrome, fuchsia, royal purple, cobalt blue and black was my favorite combo), black cat-eye wings, thick brows, draped hot pink or fuchsia blush and an equally bright lipstick! That’s just one example, BTW!

Another era that speaks to my love of a type of makeup style would have to be the late 40’s into the 50’s film noir looks. Very classic, timeless, and those of us who veer towards a more (or less) goth aesthetic still appreciate the beauty of it.

My first thought was 40’s, when there was a glamour to fashion and style. Also my grandmother was in her social heyday then, and I associate her with that glamour.
But really — I’d say too it’s now. There are more choices, more room to experiment and develop one’s particular look, less pressure to conform.

*1940s — sophisticated; matte face and red (or coral) lips; perfect brows; the pin-up eye. You could wear this makeup look everywhere.

*1980s — People weren’t afraid of color, and it was so creative and fun! Guys wore it, too.

*Present — Their is a bigger variety of products and makeup looks than ever before, and they often borrow from and update the looks of the past. Everything from a “no makeup” makeup look to the most out-there fantasy looks live side-by-side, and I love it.

I really loved the makeup from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s. I am not sure if it was the trends of that era or whether it marked a time in my life where I had the money to buy more makeup, the time to apply it and was living on my own so I could express myself independent of what my parents might think or want. I first started using luxury brands where the shades were more sophisticated then drug store makeup.
I do feel like I have to give a nod to current makeup and probably for some of the same reasons as the previous response. I have the money, time, independence and artistic bent to find this era of makeup exciting. I think products are generally better made and certainly many have much better ingredients than makeup I used back in the day. I still tend to prefer high end makeup although I acknowledge that drugstore makeup has improved in quality. I just feel that most of the time the shades in higher end products have more depth and are more sophisticated shades than those in drugstore brands.

I think today because there are so many products available, at every price point, for a person to create their own individual look, based on what suits them.
The only thing about the 90’s I loved was the introduction of brown/bronzy lipstick for me.

The early 1970s — things looked much more natural, and while wearing makeup was a thing and still cool, people did not trowel on heavy foundation, wear dead-looking matte lips, or have cookie cutter harsh Sharpie eyebrows. While the tweezed eyebrow most certainly could be (and was!) overdone, the thinner eyebrows meant the emphasis was on your EYES, not your brows. Light foundation, a touch of blush, no disco ball highlighting nor dark contouring, simple eyeshadow — I really miss that look.

Strictly focusing on the style (and not the poisoning), makeup during ancient Egyptian eras. Call me a Cleopatra & Nefertiti fan! The way they focused on the eyes and that men also wore makeup would have rocked for me. I’m so not a lip person and I so enjoy large, raccoon with color eyes. May the Lord help me not to look kooky as I age! LOL!

Tough one for me. The cheating answer is to say this era just because there isn’t really one particular style, and I appreciate that you can go a lot of directions (depending on your circumstances — geography, social situation, job, etc.). If I had to pick an era that had a recognizable style, I’d say the 90’s as a I’m a real fan of the messy halo eye.

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