Beauty Trends: Changed Yet Still the Same

Beauty trends have been a roller coaster ride over the years. From voluptuous curves to corseted waists, the “in” thing has fluctuated frequently, leaving us looking back and wondering what we were thinking — even with trends that are just a decade old. You grow up and want to burn every picture from your childhood because you can’t even imagine walking out of the house dressed like that.

Whatever the trends are, we have a natural tendency to want to follow them and go along with the current standard of beauty. Here’s a look at how trends have changed over the years — and which surprising things have stayed the same.

The Renaissance

What’s Different: The ideal women back in these days were big, blonde and beautiful. Women wanted to be voluptuous and have ample curves, along with pale skin, blonde hair and delicate features. Also in was having a really high forehead — something that led women without one to start plucking their hairline all the way back to the crowns of their heads to make it look higher.

What’s The Same: Well, blonde still seems to be one of the most desired hair colors for women, and they bleached their hair in those days as well. Renaissance ladies also plucked their eyebrows and darkened them, similar to the trend of women filling theirs in today. They also used products similar to today’s eyeliner and mascara and moisturized their faces to try and obtain smoother skin.

The Victorian Era

What’s Different: Corsets. That is, unless you know someone who’s still in to breaking a few ribs and fainting to try and squeeze themselves into one of these. Basically every trend from the Victorian Era was something that could possibly kill you. Petticoats and hoop skirts were also popular because they made the back end look bigger.

What’s The Same: This era kick-started the desire for an hourglass figure. Though Victorian women definitely went to the extreme, that’s still something that’s coveted today. They also wore makeup that wasn’t supposed to actually look like they were wearing makeup, similar to today’s popular “natural” look.

The Roaring ‘20s

What’s Different: The trend was to make yourself look like a boy. The opposite of generations before, the womanly figure was hidden by flapper dresses, and women were encouraged to wrap their chests to make their breasts look smaller. Hair was almost always short, usually in a bob style, and dark eye makeup with red lips was popular.

What’s The Same: Pants. This is the era where women’s lib was big and women finally got to wear pants. Red lips, dark eyes and bobbed hair is also still trendy, but not nearly as widespread as it was in this time.

The ‘50s

What’s Different: Proving that all trends come around again, the hourglass figure was back in style, along with conservative clothing. Women were encouraged to always look “done up” whenever they left the house. Under those sweater sets and pencil skirts, ladies were wearing pantyhose, nylons slips and girdles. Nighttime luckily provided relief, with women slipping into nightgowns to sleep, though sleeping with rollers in your hair all night might take some of that comfort away.

What’s The Same: Makeup was big in the ‘50s. Not much else from this time is used except for duds worn by thrift store shoppers that are into the vintage look.

The Hippie Era

What’s Different: There were two polar-opposite looks in the ‘60s: the hippie chick and the modern “swinging ‘60s” woman. Hippie chic involved long, all-natural hair and casual, flowing clothing like bell-bottom jeans and peasant blouses. The modern woman style was mostly molded after Twiggy. Pixie cuts, rail-thin bodies, knee-high boots and mini skirts were their trends of choice.

What’s The Same: Pixie cuts have definitely seen a reemergence in the past few years. With stars like Emma Watson chopping off their locks, other women are inspired to do the same. Bold prints, bright colors and tie-dye are also popular.

The Disco Era

What’s Different: Sparkly eye shadow and Farah Fawcett hair basically defined this era.

What’s The Same: Surprisingly, a lot of things. High-waisted jeans have been all over the place lately, and the slim body type is still very much desired. Another trend that carries on from this era is looking like you were out at the beach all day. Tanning beds were introduced during this time.

The ‘80s

What’s Different: Absolutely everything was over the top. Big hair, giant shoulder pads, neon colors and so much spandex. Madonna was the top style icon of the decade, with her scrunchies, cone bras and heavy makeup. Jelly shoes were also a big deal, and people are probably still wondering why.

What’s The Same: Natural brows and Mohawks are all over the red carpet today. Bright lipstick and hair colors are also making a comeback, as well as the weird trend of men with ponytails —  or “man buns.”

The ‘90s

What’s Different: Bleached tips, “The Rachel,” crimped hair, chunky highlights — the ‘90s had a bunch of hair trends that were … interesting, to say the least. Bright blue eye shadow and super thin eyebrows complemented those lovely trends.

What’s The Same: Thought we don’t take the grunge look quite as far anymore, plaid shirts are still a thing and will hopefully never die. Crop tops are also back with a vengeance, as well as the natural makeup style.

And Beauty Trends Today . . .

Are you surprised by what’s still popular today? Who knows what crazy beauty trends will make a comeback next!

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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