While we're always looking for the next trend here at Byrdie, there's nothing we love more than gathering inspiration from the beauty-world archives. Between the flushed cheeks of the '30s and the gothic-grunge vibes of the '90s, many of the makeup looks that defined decades are still giving us tons of inspiration today. So, let's quickly go back in a virtual time machine and revisit all the makeup looks of yesteryear that are still totally prevalent now (or simply slowly making their way back in style—looking at you, straight brows from the '30s).
From the '30s: Eyeliner-less Smoky Eye
Before dramatic winged eyeliner, women in the '30s opted for simple eyeshadow looks. No matter the decade, a simple smoky eye paired with nothing but a few sweeps of mascara will always look chic.
From the '30s: Heavy Blush
The flushed, healthy look was huge in the '30s. And while modern-day makeup-wearers traditionally opt for a more subtle finish, it's more on-trend than ever to go slightly heavy-handed with your blush brush.
From the '30s: Blush Contouring
Contrary to popular belief, contouring wasn't invented by the Kardashians. In fact, women have been using the hack for years—and in the '30s, they'd use blush to accentuate their features and facial structure. Here, the blush-contouring look technique gets a modern, monochrome update.
From the '30s: Overdrawn Lips
Before injectables even entered the public lexicon, Old Hollywood starlets would draw outside of their lip lines to give the illusion of fuller pouts for years. And because they were innovative queens, we see the trend everywhere (and it's way easier than it sounds).
From the '40s: Berry Lipstick
Deep berry lipsticks were all the rage back in the '40s. (Purple shades have a knack for making skin look glowier.) Now, we see plum and grape hues everywhere—and it still feels fresh.
From the '40s: Orange-Red Lipstick
Orange lips are flattering on every skin tone, which makeup lovers discovered early on in the 1940s. Pair 'em today with toned-down eye makeup and dewy skin.
From the '40s: Matte Skin
Have you ever seen shiny-looking skin on an Old Hollywood portrait? Of course not. That's because pressed powder was ultra-popular back then, giving starlets the illusion of perfectly matte skin. And while we love a dramatic highlighter moment, sometimes matte skin (that's hydrated and radiant rather than dry and flaky) takes the cake.
From the '40s: White Liner
Turns out, the white-eyeliner hack is one of the oldest tricks in the book—aka, women have been using the hue to make their eyes look brighter and bigger for decades now. Here, the magical trick is updated for 2020 with a dramatic eye makeup look.
From the '60s: Long False Lashes
Speaking of Twiggy, we can thank her for the long, spidery lashes that began in the 1960s in large part to the supermodel's massive makeup influence. And today, we go to great lengths to get the look.
From the '60s: Winged Liner
One could argue that winged eyeliner was the ultimate makeup statement in the 1960s. That still rings true today—and the beauty of it is that there are tons of different variations to the cat-eye now, no matter what look you're going for.
From the '80s: Au Naturale Brows
Untouched brows began taking off in the '80s after previous decades that celebrated ultra-thin, over-plucked ones. Of course, there's nothing we love more now than gorgeous natural arches (subtle filling and shaping, optional).
From the '90s: Blue Eyeshadow
If you grew up in the '90s, you definitely remember the blue-eyeshadow trend (which many of us experimented with, to often-questionable results). Although our azure-eyelids may have raised some eyebrows at 13-years-old, they're straight-up striking when done correctly now.