Beauty trends may come and go but one thing is certain: no matter the decade, these beauty icons have a look that transcends time—and is still relevant today. We asked the experts: What was it about them that made their looks so iconic?
Throughout her career, people often remarked upon Audrey’s huge, expressive eyes, which were emphasized by her petite figure. Her famed makeup artist, Wally Westmore, was famously known to separate her lashes with a pin.
1954: Bold Brows
Without a doubt, Audrey’s most talked-about feature was her brows. “Her secret was simplicity,” says Liliana Pennington, Youngblood makeup artist. “She knew how to take her best feature and enhance it.”
1961: Minimal Makeup
According to Jan Marini, founder and CEO of Jan Marini Skin Research, it was all about contrast. “Her skin always popped against her heavy brows, dark hair and vibrant mouth. She wore minimal makeup, which highlighted her flawless-appearing skin.”
1967: Flawless Skin
“Audrey was truly one of the most iconic beauties of all time with her creamy, dewy complexion,” says celebrity aesthetician Dangene. “Her skin was flawless—no freckles, scars, red veins or brown spots, and she appeared to have small pores. She also wore very little makeup. Wearing too much can make skin look older and dry.”
1988: Color Constant
Regardless of her age, Audrey always sported a soft brown hair color that balanced her skin tone and eye color perfectly. “She also always wore a high ponytail or bun, which created an instant lifting effect,” sayscelebrity stylist Marie Ferro.
Originally developed by Philip Kingsley for Audrey more than 40 years ago to help her stressed-out strands on-set, Elasticizer ($48) is a pre-shampoo treatment, designed to strengthen and condition hair.
1968: Defined Cheekbones
“Raquel is the original queen of sultry, sexy eyes, high cheekbones and a nude, glossy lip,” says celebrity makeup artist Desirae Cherman. “She has always known how to play up her features and make them work together.”
1970: Long, Sexy Locks
“Raquel’s look in the ’70s equates to sexy, volumized hair that everyone wants— even today,” says Kattia Solano, owner of Butterfly Studio Salon in New York.
2013: Mega Volume
“With shorter hair that is cut in voluminous layers around her face, Raquel’s look today is more flattering for her age, as opposed to longer, straighter hair,” says Ferro. Raquel also has a line of wigs, which she is known to wear regularly, that are great for women whose hair has thinned with age.
1991: Subtle Highlights
“Naomi epitomizes how to age gracefully and unnoticeably,” says Cherman. “She knows her eyes, lips, cheeks and skin all speak for themselves. She barely highlights each area while never making them scream for attention, so you never notice any changes.”
2003: Natural Contours
“Naomi is a timeless beauty,” says Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist. “She is all about the nude look and embracing contouring for great skin. She balances her features with makeup from nude palettes—colors that are in her skin naturally.”
2014: Radiant Complexion
Susan Ciminelli, founder of her eponymous skin-care line and Naomi’s go-to aesthetician, says that Naomi has beautiful skin that has never had any issues. “She takes good care of herself and lives well, which shows on her skin—it hasn’t aged much at all.”
Naomi has been a long-time fan of Susan Ciminelli products, and favors the Algae Deep Cleanse ($65), a natural exfoliant that revitalizes skin with algae.
1990: Statement Brows
“Cindy made imperfections sexy, if not desirable, thanks to her beauty mark,” says Bryan Barron, research and content director for Beautypedia.com. “And, let’s not forget those full, thick eyebrows at a time when many models were overtweezing.”
2003: Classic Beauty
“Cindy’s look has remained at the top of the charts for decades because it speaks to every woman out there. Classic, natural and clean can sustain throughout any trend and any time period,” says Cherman.
2014: Color Cure
According to Ferro, Cindy’s darkened shade from roots to mid-lengths adds rich color, while lighter pieces on the ends brighten her overall look.
Cindy turns to By Terry Touch-Expert Advanced ($46), a lightweight, radiance enhancing concealer, to mask any darkness under her eyes.
1989: Megawatt Smile
“One of Julia’s most unique and beautiful features is her mouth,” says Barron. “Not only because of her full lips, but also her megawatt smile. She has a seemingly effortless way of being glamorous yet approachable.”
2004: Changing Hues
“Well-known for her many different hair colors, Julia’s frequent color changes help give women everywhere the confidence to change up their own hair hue,” says Solano. “Red is my favorite on her.”
2014: Subtle Color
Rarely going for bold or overly dramatic makeup looks, Julia maintains a more youthful edge by opting for soft, subtle color palettes that play up her natural features.
Serge Normant Dry Oil Spray ($24), a favorite of Julia’s, imparts mega shine and allover softness to frizzy strands.
1970: Timeless Tresses
Farrah’s layers of soft blond hair caught the attention of many admirers. “Even today, we have women who will ask for her hairstyle,” says Solano. “Her style continues to be modernized throughout the years—she’s a true beauty icon.”
1978: Natural Glow
With Farrah, it was all about that classic ‘70’s feathered hair. “When she came into my salon, her hair was damaged and breaking off from overprocessing with harsh bleaches. The first thing we did was get her hair back into a healthy condition. There is nothing more youthful to the face than shiny hair,” says Ferro.
1994: Blond Beauty
According to Ferro, as Farrah aged, she traded her ashywhite highlights in for a sun-kissed hue that added warmth to her skin tone. And, instead of blowing her hair out, she embraced her natural curls.
1950s: Natural Beauty
“I think what made Elizabeth so breathtaking was a combination of almost ethereal genes and a bawdy attitude,” says Barron. “She used her natural beauty to not only get her own way, but also to give other women the confidence to assert themselves.”
1967: Style Statement
“Elizabeth kept her hair dark, which made her gorgeous violet-blue eyes stand out!” says Solano. “Light eyes and dark hair are a great combination to make a style statement.”
1986: Lifted Look
By lightening her hair with some highlights to add dimension, Elizabeth was able to soften her skin tone. Her haircut—soft, lifted layers above the eyes—gives a lift to her face, and textured ends take the weight out of her face for a more youthful look.
Bold Red Lip
This limited-edition, vintage-inspired version of Revlon’s best-selling lipstick Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice ($26)— coveted by many celebs including Elizabeth Taylor—celebrates its iconic status.
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