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Top 7 Makeup Innovations Through the Decade

by Rachel Esco September 14, 2017

Top 7 Makeup Innovations Through the Decade

If you’re a Marilyn Monroe fan, or better yet, a 90’s girl, you may fondly recall old-school makeup. Otherwise known as the era of the “cake face”, it was all about matte, powdery textures. We didn’t have the sexilicious sheens that are popular today like luminizers and glowy shimmer-- and we most certainly didn’t have the selfie. We had tacky glitter, sticky lip gloss, dull foundation and a whole lot of other regrettable moments like butterfly clips and bubblegum. But today, the makeup disciples of the 2000’s demand better quality than ever before. Here are the top 7 makeup innovations of the decade!


Could you ever imagine smearing foundation over your bare face? Ew, right? Well, for many years, women would either use their moisturizer as a primer, or worse, nothing at all... (okay, just breathe). Think of it as the neo-caveman age of makeup-- ya, primitive, we know.

Yet, suddenly we were blessed by the makeup gods when Smashbox sent primer down from the heavens. Never again did we anciently apply our foundation to a bare canvas. We could appear poreless and perfect, giving us the ideal surface for makeup. And it didn’t take long for all the other makeup brands to follow suit. Amen to that!


You may be surprised to learn that the glowy, healthy look was not always a “thing”. Matte was in and everyone thought “the more the better”. Yet, over time, looking naturally beautiful and bright became the ideal, thanks to MAC and Hourglass. “Let there be light!”, they said. And with this new standard, highlighting powders boosted our complexions with radiance.

Plus, we eventually realized it could be used to pop out our features like magic, trailblazing a radical makeup movement that allowed people to treat makeup as an illusion art! It was an awe-inspiring WOW moment indeed, one we shall never forget-- groundbreaking!

Then in more recent years, liquid strobing replaced the Kardashian-esque contours of the early 2010’s. It was goodbye to brownish lines and hello to that gorgeous lit-from-within sheen.


Picture a world without makeup brushes. A messy hell on earth, we know! Yet, before the 2000’s, makeup brushes were either barely used or non-existent. Needless to say, dolling up everyday was like adult face-painting. No wonder we broke out so much! Yet, with the rise of modern brushes of all shapes and sizes, women could blend and buff their makeup more flawlessly than ever before.


With the surge of Instagram, the need to look follow-worthy became a must. That’s when veteran hollywood makeup artist, Rea Ann Silva invented the iconic Beauty Blender. Letting us seamlessly smooth our foundation and concealer, the possibility of a perfect face day was finally achievable. In turn, you can be certain that any girl posting a “makeupless” selfie, followed by a #wokeuplikethis, was definitely using the Beauty Blender-- wink, wink.


Shocking as it now seems, brows weren’t always a big part of our makeup religion. On the contrary, it was all about thin, super-plucked brows (as heart-sinking as that may be). Basically, the trend was to tweeze and butcher your brows to the point of being so thin, that you could hardly see them. That was considered cool--weird, right?

Then to the dismay of thin-browed women everywhere, big bushy brows became the hottest fashion, leaving these ladies hopelessly trying to fix their hairless ways with brow crayons. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do the trick. Eventually, Anastasia Beverly Hills felt enough was enough and like a true makeup superhero, bestowed us with brow gel. It was a moist, hair-mimicking texture that finally gave us the bombshell brows we deserve. Thank you!


As makeup became more complex, so did the need to be skillful. These days, everyone needs to embrace their inner makeup artist, simply because the trends and techniques require talent. But for those less-gifted few, the burden of leaving your house with layers of mismatched, patchy makeup is quite common. Thankfully, when JOI came out with their Spotlite HD Ultra Bright LED Makeup Mirror, we could finally see our makeup stages in true daylight form, even when indoors. No more makeup mistake humiliation -- just pure pride!


Better than a stain, liquid lipstick answered our prayers for long-lasting lusciousness. Yum!  It contains the pigment of a lipstick, and the sensuality of a gloss, but offers that long-lasting shellac-like coating, and absolutely zero stick! This means no more pulling your hairs out of the goo. So, for all those pout-prancing babes everywhere, and most certainly the kissy-faced snapchat addicts, you now have a newfound appreciation for the liquid lipstick!


Rachel Esco
Rachel Esco

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