Isn’t it strange to kiss another decade goodbye? Out of the teens and into the twenties. If only I could say that about myself, but unfortunately time is running away from me faster than I can keep up with.
Ok, so I’m not quite over the hill yet but I am securely in the prime of my thirties which if you ask any 18 year old these days, may as well be old enough to have seen the ‘20s the first time around.
The thing with getting a little older is panic starts to set in – Have I achieved everything I was supposed to by 30? Do I have a ring on my finger yet? Am I saving as much money as I should be? The questions that we all ask ourselves as the days pass us by are enough to fill us with dread, so what do we do about it? We do everything we can to keep ourselves looking and feeling young and full of youth. We try to hold back the years by reaching for creams and lotions and detox teas and potions, all in a bid to retain the glory of our earlier adult years.
But with the turn of the new decade, I’ve had a thought, an epiphany if you will – what if I stop trying to look and feel younger, and start to do everything I can to embrace where I am now? Instead of trying to hold back the unwanted changes, maybe it’s time to take a look at myself and use the tools at my disposal to make this next decade one filled with class and style befitting of a woman in her thirties.
All of this made me think about the women of earlier eras and how they stylised themselves to look fabulous regardless of their age. You only have to look at the starlets of decades gone by, pre and post war, to see how the women embraced their bodies without the need for extreme surgical procedures and how makeup excited them.
Maybe it’s time to stop worrying about the future and start looking to the past for inspiration to make the 2020s just as roaring as the 1920s.
The 1920s were known to be a roaring decade filled with fashion and glamour for women, the Hollywood starlets were taking to the big screen and attending high profile parties while rubbing shoulders with the even more rich and twice as famous.
Women’s fashion took a major turn the better, finally ridding themselves of corsets and tight-fitting dresses and the idea was to wear free-fitted clothes, like dresses with dropped hems and looser waistbands, and it all spoke volumes about the eras before that they were trying to liberate themselves from.
The 1920’s saw the birth of the flapper, a woman who was not afraid to show her wild and passionate side. Flappers of the 1920s drank, partied and wore makeup. The novelty of new techniques and fashions was not leaving anytime soon, and the war wives were looking to make themselves stand out instead of hiding in the shadows.
Makeup was big in the Hollywood scene and as it translated on screen, similar styles were lusted after by the women at home. Lipstick became widely popular and the brightest red hues were invented with glossy sheens that really accentuated the mouth and cupids bow. Eyebrow pencils were common amongst actresses to create a curvy brow that oozed seduction and mascara was becoming widely available for women to let their eyes really shine. It really was an exciting time for makeup and glamour that continued in its own way through the decades that followed.
The Evolution of Makeup
So ok, makeup in its purest form has existed long before the 1920s came around, but that decade was a real trend-setter and the start of things to come. What we have seen since then is a growing fascination with accentuating our features.
This comes in the form of surgical and non-surgical procedures, fillers, botox, fat deposits, you name it, it ca>n probably be done. But the question now is should it? I’m a firm believer in ‘each to their own’ and whatever helps you feel confident and proud so this isn’t an argument for why you shouldn’t go for it, but more of a wandering thought about what else is out there that means in this day and age at the beginning of the new roaring twenties, we don’t have to put ourselves through pain to achieve beauty.
So, lets look at what we have achieved in make up since the first-time round to start off with. Well since the boom of women’s rights and freedom to experiment with their own feminism in the early 1920s the world of glamour and makeup rolled on and evolved with each decade.
During the Second World War resources were limited, and makeup once again took a back seat. Women were getting accustomed to working life and fulfilling gaps in jobs that the men at war left behind. Post-war saw a different approach to makeup, it was not the same as previous years and had toned down somewhat signifying the normality of returning to everyday life.
During the 1960s, a lot of women took a strong feminist approach to makeup and saw it as a tool for objectifying women, so it was sparsely used by comparison to earlier decades filled with heavy eyeliner, thick mascara, pale faces and rouge blush. But not everyone felt this way, there was still a booming business in makeup and cosmetics, so models, actresses and singers had to promote themselves by standing out. Eye makeup got quirky, eyeliner was developed in various forms and colours and the approach to mascara was the more the merrier.
The 1970s got really interesting. The era of the serious businesswoman arrived and an experimental time for men and makeup dawned. Punk rock movements meant that makeup was for everybody and androgynous fashions beamed brightly. On stage this mean bright colours and asymmetric patterns and in everyday life it paved the way for equality in fashion.
By the time the 1980s hit you couldn’t escape bold colours, blues, pinks and greens. There was not a groomed eyebrow in site and hair was bigger than ever. But makeup couldn’t do what it can today, and the boom of plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments rose to new heights in a bid to enhance appearances to even higher ones.
The 1990s, well what can I say about the 1990s! It was a very confusing time for fashion, a little bit all over the place. But it started crazes that could not be avoided. Glitter was not just for the eyelids but apparently the whole body as well, lipstick and lip balm came in every flavour imaginable, and the beautifully bushy eyebrows of the 80s became a thing of the past. The thinner the better was the motto and I was an unfortunate candidate along with the rest of the female population.
But one thing the 1990s did do was teach us how to experiment with modern makeup, it wasn’t just one particular style that graced our screens, rave culture, goths and punks adorned music videos, the casually awkward looks from the grunge scene were effortless to carry off and The Spice Girls taught us that you could be whoever you wanted to be and no one could stop you.
After the turn of the millennium and well into the noughties, the glamourous footballers’ wives and reality TV stars were taking over, rap videos were full of bling and the new generation of supermodels were partying with rock stars just as much as they were strutting the catwalk.
Makeup was trying to find its place and was slowly getting there but nude hues of lipstick and super-tanned foundation still had a place in people’s hearts for a few years to come.
But the evolution of makeup was starting to shape up, and come 2010 and the years that followed, we no longer had to settle for a shade of foundation that was three tones away from our actual skin colour, we had the choice of lengthening or volumising mascara, or both! We learned how to contour properly with specific makeup and not just a vain attempt with our blusher, and lipstick learned how to stay in place for more than just the 20 minutes it took to apply it in the first place.
The evolution of makeup has taken us so far and you only have to look through profiles of Instagram influencers or the Snapchat videos of models and pop stars to see that makeup can be understated while prominent all at the same time. The ‘barely there’ makeup look can help with covering blemishes or skin disorders and the glamourous party look can work just as well in the day times as it can on an exciting evening.
The last decade has taught us some new tricks in cosmetics too. With the rise of non-surgical enhancements and non-evasive products on the market, we can lengthen our eyelashes with extensions and eyelash growth serums, we can plump our lips up with lip plumping balms and we can change the shape of our face with just the stroke of a brush.
With the help from products like the Xlash Eyelash Serum that promote a healthy way to boost eyelash length, the health of our eyelashes is a priority and not an afterthought. The thing with makeup and cosmetic evolution is that the things that weren’t even considered in decades past are now part of the evolution. Animal cruelty on testing products is beginning to become a thing of the past, and products that contain only plant extracts are a thing of the future.
Every time a new decade hits we find a way to make products of the past even better than before, and as I said at the start about myself, I want to use the past to help me make myself better than before.
The 2020s are exciting times for makeup when you consider what we have managed to develop in the last 100 years so just imagine what will be achievable in the next 100. But for now, firmly in the driving seat of my thirties I’m not here to set trends, I’m not even here to follow them, just to use the vast and wonderful products to roll with the times in a classic way.
Going into 2020, my eyebrows are definitely not what they used to be and for that I blame the need to follow the trends of the past where unfortunate over-plucking took its toll. I don’t care what they say, eyebrows never grow back in the same after a war with tweezers! I’ve discovered Xbrow Eyebrow Serum though and it is fitting for this new decade with all healthy ingredients and botanical extracts that help to encourage growth of eyebrow hairs deep in the follicle to help them grow back fuller and thicker than before. And trust me, my tweezers are only to tackle strays these days and not the whole pack!
My skin care routine is also something to be questioned, sometimes it doesn’t take every anti-aging cream under the sun to hold back the years but just the one right product that perfectly matches my skin type to keep it firm and smooth.
For me the 2020s are about being conservative on the products that my face needs to remain youthful while ageing gracefully, and not about turning back the clock entirely to bring my twenties back. It looks far less obvious than trying too hard and it is a new decade resolution to stop trying as hard as I have been.
So that’s skin and eyebrow care sorted, but when it comes to makeup, being a little playful never hurt anybody. In fact, I still favour eyeliner and creating the perfect wing, I love that there are style guides now that can tall you what your best suited eye makeup is depending on your eye shape. I also love how many different shades of lipstick there are to experiment with, with glossy or matte finishes and I love the heavy pigmented palettes of eyeshadows that can create masterpieces in just a few minutes.
The 2020s already have a lot to offer considering how far we have come in cosmetics and I’m super excited to embrace them in a positive way and say that not only that I’m proud to be 30 in this decade, but that I’m very lucky. Welcome to the roaring twenties indeed!