Photo: Kevin Laminto

The Evolution Of Makeup Trends

Half nostalgia, half inspo: the 2000s had some looks.


You probably already heard the news: Urban Decay discontinued their original Naked palette after eight years of bronze smokey looks, and the internet was sad about it. But it got us thinking about the other products and looks that have graced our makeup bags (and faces) over the years, because in a world of flawless highlights and nude matte lips, it can be easy to forget. So, in honor of the Naked palette, here’s our round up of some iconic makeup trends from the late 90s to now.

Lip Gloss

Everyone’s makeup gateway drug: non-threatening to parents, easy to reapply every 20 seconds in class. Key 90s features included roll-on application and a fun fruit-flavor, but this trend graduated and grew up into Lancôme Juicy Tubes, the 2000s lip gloss of choice.

Pale Frosted Eyeshadow

The lighter and more pastel-colored the better, and finished with way too much mascara. Also best when topped with...

Pencil Brows

Not sure who decided that eyebrows weren’t cool in the 2000s, but they were clearly very persuasive: two thin lines was The Look. Give “2000s brows” a Google if you’re feeling nostalgic.

The Smokey Eye

Whether you were going for the Avril Lavigne or the Xtina, this was nottt an easy at-home look, but in 2010 Urban Decay came along and changed the game with the Naked palette.


Cara Delevingne was everywhere in 2012 and brows came back in a big way. So did brow products, because thanks to everyone getting rid of them in high school, most of us needed a helping hand.


Nothing more needs to be said about this because we’ve all either still got flawless cheekbones, or trauma from attempting it.


After years of tutorials teaching us how to sculpt our cheeks, noses and foreheads with 15 shades of liquid foundation, Glossier came along and saved us all with their less-is-more aesthetic. Which brings us right back to....

Lip Gloss

Who’d have thought it’d become a makeup bag staple again? It’s like it’s never been away.

Considering that Rihanna’s brows on the cover of British Vogue happened, this list can just be looped for eternity. There’s a million other face trends we could’ve featured (lip liner, bronzer, when everyone got obsessed with Touche Éclat...) but some things are best left in the past. Xtina’s 2000s style isn’t one of them, though, so we’re gonna go listen to Dirrty now.


Next up: Top 3 bronzers and highlighters for holiday glowing skin sans beach.