Beauty Icons That Changed The Game

Where has our understanding of beauty come from? Do we just wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and magically come up with today’s look? If you do, more power to you. But personally, I'm 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 amazing the power these women have over not only an industry, but society as a whole. Let’s go back 50 years, and see some of the most iconic beauty looks that have been inspiring, and how we got to where we are today.

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Photo via Twitter

In the 50s, 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 looks and sexy style was 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 this photoshoot. 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.

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Photo via Tumblr

We could not forget the famous Twiggy. Beauty would not have been the same in the 60’s if it weren’t for Lesley Lawson AKA Twiggy. Her stunning and unique look goes down in history as truly 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 their 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.

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Photo via Movies Over The Rainbow

Pam Grier as Foxy Brown was the stand out star of the 70’s. Her afro and eyeliner flick defined bold and sexy at that time. There is a reason why the 70’s come up in conversation, this is the look your mind goes to. And that reason is Miss Grier. The strength of the character paired with the way she dressed was not only inspirational, but defined an era in beauty.  

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Photo via Harper's Bazaar

Brooke Shields may now be focusing more on interior design, but in the 80s her thick brows and big voluminous waves were strikingly beautiful. She had the all-American look guys loved and women admired. Her appearance had the perfect balance of natural and polished. In fact, this look isn’t just celebrated through the decades, but is still something women want nowadays.

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Photo via Harper's Bazaar

Naomi Campbell was the definition of beauty in the 90’s. From her matte and poreless skin to her deep yet glossy lips, her look took the runway by storm. Her chic and glamorous makeup and hair reached beauty communities in all corners of the world. When you talked about models in the 90’s, you immediately thought of Naomi, and dreamed you would wake up one morning as flawless as she always looked.

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Photo via Harper's Bazaar 

Jennifer Lopez or JLo was and still is a goddess. She just doesn’t seem to age. But beyond that, in the early 2000’s 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.

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Photo via AS

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. Not to mention these ladies have long promoted self-esteem, and slapped back at those who shame them for their bodies, their personalities, or anything else. So whether you’re a fan or not, this family has become a clan of beauty icons.

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 seemed 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, Tyra Banks, Iman, Audrey Hepburn, Rihanna, and so many more, we wouldn't have the growth in shade ranges, vast makeup choices at all price points, and a world of supportive men and women who have a true passion for beauty. They have defined beauty in a new way and allow us to see it from a new perspective.