Beauty Trends© Getty Images

15 Beauty Trends That Have Defined The Past 15 Years

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Jeena J Billimoria

From Egyption women wearing unguent to moisture their skin in 3,100 BC, to Romans darkening their eyelids using kohl by the 1st century AD, Women have sought ways to enhance their beauty for aeons. Today, the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry has made the scope for looking your absolute best limitless. HELLO! breaks down the most popular trends that, over the decades, changed the beautyscape forever.

Bronzed Skin

Bronzed Skin©Getty Images

What was once deemed less attractive than its milky white counterpart, a honeyed, bronzed complexion is a nod to beautiful, healthy-looking skin. And thanks to the forever bronzed beauty Jennifer Lopez who does it best, this look has barreled down the trend list head first. Think of it as a tan that also makes you glow. That’s the power of makeup for you! you glow. That’s the power of makeup for you!

Korean Beauty

Korean Beauty©Getty Images

We’ve all heard about the fantastic sorcery that is (South) Korean beauty. Pioneers in skincare and using ingredients and potions that pamper human skin in unparalleled ways, every sheet mask, face serum, sleeping pack or makeup that comes out of this country is incredibly effective in more ways than we can count! Their obsession with getting people to achieve ‘glass skin’ has made K-Beauty the most popular thing since sliced bread, which explains how this niche industry has managed to export its deeply coveted goodies to the most far- flung corners of the earth and also get people to find time to follow a 10-step beauty ritual each day.

Beauty Tattoo

Beauty Tattoo©Getty Images

Lip tinting isn’t the only tattooing option for the face! Beauty tattoos, or cosmetic tattoos, can range from individually stamped face freckles to perfectly drawn eyeliner and scar camouflage. The greatest appeal? Not having to wake up every day and paint your face... and it lasts for years at a time! The beauty of these enhancement techniques is that it all actually looks pretty natural, too, which means people looking at you will actually wonder how you look this good 24x7. We’re confident beauty tattoos won’t be a passing trend, but something of permanence (pun unintended).

Facial Peels

Facial Peels©Getty Images

What started out as a bride-to-be’s best-kept secret has now become mainstream for almost anyone who has a good dermatologist in their contact list. Championed for essentially treating wrinkles, discoloured skin and scars, these facial peels also provide flawless, airbrushed-looking skin that could rival a Hollywood celebrity on the red carpet. Facial peels are done at different depths, from light to deep, with a little downtime for recovery to be factored in, but the results have seen both men and women going back for more.

The Statement Eye

The Statement Eye©Getty Images

There’s something about eye makeup that instantly transforms your face, and with it, even your personality. Thick eyeliner generates sex appeal, a delicate cat eye lends minx-like femininity, all glitter signals playfulness, and bold colours attest to individuality. There are infinite ways to style your eyelids, which makes playing around with your makeup palette all the more fun! You can thank the likes of Liz Taylor, Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot for immortalising the present-day eye makeup look as we know it. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at how eyeshadow has become a form of wearable art on everyone — from millennials to Gen Z.

False Lashes

False Lashes©Getty Images

If there was ever a favour-begetting tool women used successfully, it was the batting of eyelashes — which had to be full and thick for maximum effect. Thanks to TL Williams in 1910, the first mascara was formulated and named after his sister Mabel (you may be more familiar with its present moniker, Maybelline). False lashes, too, add a layer of enforcement to this desired look. With just a quick appointment, you can have the said lashes glued to your own for about six to eight weeks, so you look runway ready, even when it’s 7am on a Sunday!

Lip Tinting

Lip Tinting©Getty Images

Lip tinting, lip blushing or lip tattooing is a semi-permanent cosmetic makeup treatment that fixes the irregular shape and colour of the lips, while also lightening dark lips to an extent. Getting a lip tint also gives the (tempting) appearance of the coveted ‘no-makeup makeup look’, which means always having your lips look naturally beautiful... And without needing assistance from actual lipstick. A win-win! This treatment is becoming increasingly popular, and from what we can see, for good reason.

The Red Lip

The Red Lip©Getty Images

From its first appearance in ancient Egypt till date, red lipstick serves as the ultimate (and oldest) makeup product every woman worth her salt has tried on at least once. It’s grabbed its share of attention over the centuries — illegal in 1770s England, a symbol of resistance for suffragettes in the early 1900s, a tool for seduction in the 40s, a sign of active rebellion in the 80s, and from the 90s onwards, a sign of beauty, empowerment, independence, sass and strength, further cemented by making runway appearances. Whether tomato, brick or blood red, this is probably the only colour that anyone could pull off – and also raise eyebrows while still being refined.

Bold Brows

Bold Brows©Getty Images

Women often communicate with the arching of a brow, and, of course, it makes or breaks your overall look. So it’s unsurprising that there’s an entire market dedicated to enhancing them. Brow lamination, thread lifting, microblading, eyebrow tinting, micro feathering and brow extensions, to name just a few off this ever- growing list, have successfully replaced the humble eyebrow threading. Thick, bold brows have been steadily trending, and with so many options, the brow game has never been stronger.

Face Illuminators

Face Illuminators©Getty Images

Who doesn’t love a fresh, glowing face — especially since the industry has made it available in pretty little packaging? There’s no other makeup product like highlighter that gives iridescent beauty — perhaps why most makeup artists swear by it (Thank you, Charlotte Tilbury!). Using highlighters, whether in liquid, brick, stick or strobing cream form, help in spots of your face that catch light, thereby enhancing your natural features. What’s not to love?

Face Contouring

Face Contouring©Getty Images

Never has a woman not wished for high, gazelle like cheekbones. Thanks to the beauty industry sustaining the market with contour sticks and sculpting products, the option to add dimension to the face and achieve a strong chiselled jawline, sharp nose or sculpted cheekbones can be yours to show off in a matter of minutes. The magic of contouring was around long before it became popular on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In fact, face-sculpting dates all the way back to the 1500s. So does it really come as a surprise that this elevate makeup technique would be anything less than popular?

Vampire Facials

Vampire Facials©Getty Images

Popularised by Kim Kardashian, this facial is most notorious for giving its recipient a smooth, ethereal glow. While the means to this end may make some readers squeamish, it doesn’t stop clinics across the world from filling up their appointment slots. For the uninitiated, a vampire facial, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, involves 5 to 10ml of your own blood being drawn out and placed in a centrifuge in vials to isolate the platelets from your red blood cells. The dermat then injects the blood back into your face to stimulate collagen production that’ll ultimately make you look five years younger, with plumper, tighter skin. This treatment doesn’t come cheap, but then again, having your youth back is priceless.

Lip Fillers

Lip Fillers©Getty Images

Taking it up a notch from lip tinting, lip fillers are arguably one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world of plastic. Thanks to the likes of the Jenner-Kardashians, they caught on faster than an Australian bushfire and changed the way people pout forever. From a subtle switch to all-out bee-stung lips, the origins of this treatment date back to the 1900s, when doctors attempted injecting liquid paraffin into lips. This was followed by liquid silicone and bovine collagen, before new technology gave us the perfect formula used today. Talk about having a big mouth being a compliment for once!

Face Embellishments

Face Embellishments©Getty Images

Those in favour of a clean, no-makeup look can skip this one, but for all else, face embellishments are the hottest trending current craze. Whether inspired by street fashion, influenced by the characters in Euphoria, or taking a cue for this year’s Met Gala, this is a whole ‘mood’ that’s definitely Instagramable. For bejewelled eyelids, cheekbones or lips, all you need are shimmery or colourful embellishments (pearls, sequins, rhinestones, diamonds — nothing’s off limits!), some skin-friendly glue, tweezers and some patience.

Hair Botox

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In 1903, famed German pharmacist Hans Schwarzkopf gave the world its first dry shampoo, with its liquid counterpart coming along in 1927 and paving the way for modern haircare as we know it. Invented to tackle split ends, thin hair, lack of volume and dull and damaged hair, hair botox is a long-lasting treatment that’s a blessing for tresses. Probably why this in-salon trend is here to stay. Since most people’s moods are steered by whether they’re having a good hair day or not, hair botox is one of those beauty essentials few can manage without.

This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s August 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!