Where did our version of beauty come from? Do we wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and magically come up with today’s look? If you do, more power to you. But you’re likely inspired by one beauty icon or another.
The beauty industry has been shaken up and flipped, and altered by women throughout history. From winged eyeliner to pin-straight hair, women are the ones who create trends, inspire them, and leave us in awe. And this is nothing new.
These beauty icons revamped and continue to change the way we think of beauty and self-expression. It is incredible the power these women have over not only an industry but society as a whole.
In the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe was the beauty icon of all icons. She set the stage for all women who came after her. Even all these years later, she is still breathtaking. Her blonde bombshell looks and sexy style were not all that made her such an icon. In fact, in 1951, a columnist said she looked cheap and vulgar for wearing a low-cut dress and claimed she would have looked better in a potato sack. Her response to that beauty shaming was to do a photoshoot actually wearing a potato sack. Who else has this much gumption, class, and just pure appeal? The way the beauty world has grown and exploded since Marilyn’s day is astonishing. And it is hard to believe it would have happened without her strength and beauty.
We can not forget the famous Twiggy. Beauty would not have been the same in the 1960s if it weren’t for Lesley Lawson, AKA, Twiggy. Her stunning and unique look goes down in history as genuinely game-changing. She would draw attention to her doe eyes with tons of lower lash mascara. She even drew extra layers of lashes beneath her own to emphasize that intensity. She also kept the rest of her makeup simple for the most part. The lashes were the showstopper, and that classic look is still a fun and flirty style women aspire to today.
Pam Grier as Foxy Brown was the stand-out star of the ’70s. Her afro and eyeliner flick defined bold and sexy at that time. When the ’70s come up in conversation, there is a reason this is the look your mind goes to. And that reason is Miss Grier. The strength of this look and her character was inspirational and defined an era in beauty.
Brooke Shields may now be focusing more on the beauty of interior design, but in the ’80s, her thick brows and big voluminous waves were stunning. She had the all-American look guys loved, and women admired. Her appearance had the perfect balance of natural and polished for those times. This look isn’t just celebrated through the decades but is still something women want nowadays.
Naomi Campbell was the definition of beauty in the 1990s. Her look took the runway by storm, from her matte and poreless skin to her deep yet glossy lips. Her chic and glamorous makeup and hair reached beauty communities in all the corners of the world. When you talked about models in the ’90s, you immediately thought of Naomi and dreamed you would wake up one morning as flawless as she always looked.
Jennifer Lopez or JLo was and still is a goddess. She just doesn’t seem to age. But beyond that, in the early 2000s, her beauty take-over began. Her bronzed and glowing skin set the stage for more than a decade of winning the red carpet. With a peachy glossy lip and a sunkissed glow that seems impossible to recreate at home, JLo’s signature look took off and hasn’t held back since.
Not everyone likes to admit it, but regardless of your opinions on the family, the Kardashians have taken over the beauty industry in the last few years. From Kim’s chiseled contour and smokey eyes to Kylie’s browny rose lips, this family’s position in the beauty community has made waves. It is undeniable. So whether you’re a fan or not, this family has become a clan of beauty icons.
And what have all these amazingly beautiful women and their power in the beauty community led to? What the beauty world is today. At the time, these may have felt like little trends, but they have all contributed to the diverse and growing beauty industry. Without the impact of these women and other inspirational beauty icons like Princess Diana, Julia Roberts, Audrey Hepburn, beauty wouldn’t be what it is today. We may not have the growth in shade ranges, the vast makeup choices at all price points, and the world of supportive men and women who have a passion for beauty.
The beauty world is becoming so accepting. Of course, we still have a ways to go, but it is a place you can go to experiment — Try out a new look, be someone new for a day, or enhance your natural beauty. These beauty icons from the past, present, and all the ones to come do more than sell-out lip liners and bronzers. They define beauty in a new way and allow us to see it from a new perspective.