20th Century Beauty Icons

The Aging of Makeup
2 min readNov 20, 2020

Over the last 100 years there have been many people who have made their role in the beauty industry well known. From actresses to influencers, the makeup world has them all.

Photographed by Milton H. Greene ©2017 Joshua Greene. Taken from the book ‘The Essential Marilyn Monroe’, published by ACC Ed

Photographed by Milton H. Greene ©2017 Joshua Greene. Taken from the book ‘The Essential Marilyn Monroe’, published by ACC Editions.

Since the creation of the world of cosmetics beauty standards have had many ups and downs. Over the years, there have been many beautiful people who have made an extreme impact in the makeup industry in a way that have changed or had a large influence on others. Specifically throughout the last century since the rapid changes in makeup in every decade change, there has always been someone to make their place in the world of makeup known.

Starting with the 1920's, one major beauty icon, who is still talked about today is Coco Chanel. Also known as Gabrielle Bonheur who was a fashion designer, developer of jewelry, and makeup. Her role in the beauty world during World War I was admired because she showed women a way that they could stay in feminine styles while still being comfortable. One of her most famous quotes is “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Many people would say she changed fashion and beauty standards for women permanently.

Following with the 1930’s, Marlene Dietrich took the crown for the most popular beauty icon. She was a German actress and singer who was well known for her beauty and unique sense of fashion. Closely following in the 1940’s was Katharine Hepburn. Being one of the leading ladies in Hollywood during World War II, Katharine Hepburn was iconic to look up to. Her stunning hair and modest dresses definitely were in eye catcher for many.

The 1950’s held one of the most famous beauty icons of all time, Marilyn Monroe. The well known actress and singer made a standpoint with her dashing blond hair and vibrant red lips became apart of everyday looks for many during her prime. People would look to her for inspiration in fashion and beauty. Following with the 1960's, Audrey Hepburn took the thrown with her dark brown hair and perky sense of fashion. She really was a prime role model for the decade. Farrah Fawcette made a huge impact in the beauty world in the 1970’s. She started the well known 70’s trend of buttoned-down shirts to high-waisted denim flares; her gorgeous appearance and sensible style was admired by many.

Madonna made her way to the top in the 1980’s, the famous singer was looked at for tricks and tips for her neon lips and huge hair. Definitely inspiring many 80's fashion trends.



The Aging of Makeup

Hello Gorgeous! Makeup throughout the last 100 years (from the 1920s until now) has changed drastically! Follow if you want to learn more get new ideas!