Makeup Trends Everyone Ditched This Past Decade

How do makeup trends start? Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta revealed to Byrdie, "I get inspired by everyone around me and by the beauty and things I see every day — I don't necessarily sit and think what is the trend I want to set," adding, "It's a very organic process for me." Although experts like Ta have a hand in propelling trends, he admits that people of today aren't interested in trends merely because they're trendy. "What we can tell is that what's cool now is dictated more by 'normal people' (read: street style, YouTubers, and other influencers) rather than unapproachable fashion runways or magazine spreads like back in the day," he explained to the publication.


Although beauty trends are being adapted and individualized more than ever, Georgie Greville, Milk Makeup's creative director, revealed that "trends now have shorter lifespans." A makeup trend in the '60s may have lasted for months, whereas a beauty trend of today may be in and out in a matter of days. 

Over the last decade, we've witnessed — and, let's be honest, participated in — a ton of passing makeup trends. Need a reminder? Here are the trendiest makeup looks we tried and ditched between 2010 and 2019.

Pale blue eyeshadow was a makeup trend that aged out this past decade

You've probably long since forgotten about this early 2010s trend, but the internet never forgets. Thanks, in part, to Jason Wu's Spring 2011 runway show, pale blue eyeshadows became one of the hottest makeup trends of the year. Take a moment to let that sink in.


In late 2010, Harper's Bazaar advised readers to avoid being "afraid of color" in the new year and recommended Estée Lauder Pure Color Palette in Blue Dahlia to achieve the look. Looking back, it's hard to say what we liked about the ghastly bluish-gray shades, but we liked them nonetheless.

These days, though, you probably wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing pale blue eyeshadow. "Blue eyeshadow works for some people," New York City-based makeup artist Susmita Patel told Total Beauty. "Little girls in dance recitals. Guests at 1970s-themed parties. Ethereal looking supermodels. If you aren't one of the aforementioned people, don't wear it. Enough said." Hear, hear.

People said goodbye to the smoky eye makeup trend

In the 2010s, we became obsessed with the sultry, smoky eye. We also tried what Glamour dubbed the "untraditional smoky eye" using shades of purple, navy blue, and — sometimes — even glitter. Although this became one of the top makeup trends of 2012, we can't help but look back and cringe.


The smoky eye was one of those styles that looked stunning on celebrities, but didn't translate well outside of Hollywood. Still, it stuck around for years. But, in 2018, makeup artist Nicole Moleti penned an article for PopSugar aptly titled "I'm a Makeup Artist, and Here's Why You Should Never Ask For a Smoky Eye Again." Her top reasons? "Because you are not Kim Kardashian, nor do you want to be."

She continued, writing, "You will not be followed by the flashbulbs of the paparazzi and you will not spend your days taking selfies. You simply want to look like a better version of yourself and a 'smoky eye' does not do that for most people." She's not wrong. "You are better than a smoky eye," Moleti summarized. "So don't ask for it again." And we didn't.


Blurred lips became a makeup trend of the past

"On the fall runways, lipstick was intentionally blurry," wrote Allure in May 2013. "Edges were faded, centers were darkened, and in some cases, the lipstick was blotted away until it became a soft, hazy stain."


Makeup artist Tom Pecheux explained his thought process behind the "blurred lip" look, telling the publication, "I wanted the makeup to resemble a Sarah Moon photograph — all blurry — to balance the sharpness of the clothes." Makeup artist Pat McGrath referred to the look as "done/undone" and compared it to "leftover makeup." Although that may not sound like the traditional intention of beauty products, she admitted, "It's been a while since we've experimented with lip looks, so it was nice to be playing around again." 

Blurred lips certainly had their moment as a makeup trend, but Rick DiCecca, creative director of makeup design for Artistry by Amwa, revealed to The List that "everyone quickly realized that it looked more messy than trendy." If you see anyone wearing blurred lips today, well, it may just actually be leftover makeup.


Bright orange lips had a moment as a makeup trend this past decade

Remember that one time you tried bright orange lipstick? No? Well, allow us to jog your memory. In 2013, Glamour revealed that statement red lips had been usurped by a new, reddish-yellow shade. "Statement-making orange was all over — from runways to the red carpet — and in all sorts of textures. Glossy, matte, stained, you name it: There was an orange for everyone," the publication stated. Gulp.


Although bright orange lipstick may have been one of your beauty staples in 2013, that's no longer the case. In 2019, "classic, vibrant red" lipstick stole the show once again, Rick DiCecca, creative director of makeup design for Artistry by Amwa, confirmed to The ListYet and still, orange lipstick continues to have a place in our beauty bags — albeit burnt, not bright, orange. The makeup trend began in 2017, but has lasted well into late 2019 and could even see us into the new decade. Of course, only time will tell.

Everyone ditched the makeup trend of heavy foundation in the 2010s

In 2015, heavy foundation was the go-to. By the year's end, though, makeup artists were begging us to put down the thick makeup. "I wish people would stop copying the heavy-foundation tutorials," celebrity makeup artist Daniel Chinchilla dished to Allure. "People feel like they need to drown their face in foundation and contouring products in order to achieve a flawless finish. In reality, these techniques look better on camera than they do in real life." Instead, the expert advised "using a more natural foundation — and less of it — and contouring with a powder bronzer." He explained, "Not only will this look more natural, but it will be much faster as well."


After giving up our heavy foundations, we never really looked back. In fact, as the years progressed, lighter and lighter foundations became the norm. Ahead of 2020, celebrity makeup artist Christina Flach told The List that she predicts an even "more natural" and "less dramatic look coming in 2020." And we're here for that makeup trend.

No make-up makeup paired with a bold lip was a makeup trend that saw its end

As the heavy foundation makeup trend started to die out, the no-makeup makeup look took its place. However, in 2015, it became popular to wear this bare-faced look with dark, often berry, shades of lipstick, celebrity makeup artist Noreen Taylor Diani recalled in an interview with The List. And, at the time, we loved the look. "When the rest of the face is naked, it emphasizes the color choice," makeup artist Maxine Leonard explained to W magazine at the time. "The bravery comes in seeing skin's real texture."


While we've retained our love of no-makeup makeup in the years since, you've likely noticed that this style started being paired with a more minimal lip as opposed to a bold one — and that's expected to remain a hot trend in 2020. Kenny Screven, makeup artist and beauty influencer, told The List that "glossy looks" will be the new style of minimal makeup in the new decade and calls for non-pigmented glossy lids, glossy skin, and glossy lips.

In the past decade, the heavy eyeliner makeup trend lost popularity

In the early portion of the 2010s, there was no such thing as "too much" eyeliner. Instead of just lightly lining your upper or lower lids, you can probably remember painting thick, dark lines. After all, that had become the trend.


Fortunately for our eyes, heavy eyeliner began to trend out after a brief moment in the spotlight — and it's easy to understand why. "To nail the extreme eyeliner you need both a specific eye shape and precise application or it can look harsh, raccoon-like, and really unflattering," celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass told Insider.

In the new decade, you may start to see another way to wear eyeliner. At Giorgio Armani's Cruise 2020 show, Linda Cantello, international makeup artist for the brand, debuted a new eyeliner technique. "Inspired by the duality of Japan, a modern society steeped in ancient culture, a graphic black eyeliner on the top lid is softened underneath with feathery strokes," she explained in a press release (via The Zoe Report). In ten years' time, feathered liner may become the heavy eyeliner of the decade, but, for now, we love the makeup trend.


People stopped hopping on the lip plumper makeup trend this past decade

Lip-plumping products took off in 2012, but some beauty gurus hoped to see their popularity wane by the year's end. "All they do is irritate your lips," makeup artist Carmindy explained to Glamour at the time. "Instead just trace your lips with a highlighter for a fuller look."


Nevertheless, the plump lip trend would continue for several years. The trend became arguably more popular when Kylie Jenner released her lip kit and began sporting a noticeably larger pout, which she claimed was au naturel. Some fans turned not just to the lip kit or lip-plumping products, but to lip suction devices. Jenner eventually admitted to having lip fillers in an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (via Independent).

In 2018, upon having her fillers removed, Jenner, who's debuted changing looks over the years, became the face for a more natural look. "During Kylie's pregnancy, she wasn't getting her usual fillers or putting on much makeup," a source reportedly told Entertainment Tonight. "Kylie really fell in love with the natural look, and wanted more of that, so she decided to stop putting filler in her lips." Though we can't say for sure, that could've contributed to the lip-plumping makeup trend dying down.


Matte skin became a dated makeup trend this past decade

You may have tried to forget it, but matte skin was once popular. Yep, in 2012, this super dull look was in. By the end of the year, though, many makeup artists were calling for the makeup trend to be done away with. "There's no dimension to the skin; it ages the person and makes the skin look too flat," celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh opined to Glamour. And oh how times have changed.


In 2018, the Korean beauty trend dubbed "glass skin" started becoming popular in the United States. Beauty blogger Joan Kim explained to Insider that this look calls for a "clear, poreless, and dewy" finish to the skin. That is, the face should mimic a sheet of glass once the look is complete. "Glass skin is my absolute favorite trend," cinematic makeup artist Ulla Gaudin told The List ahead of 2019.

Since the induction of glass skin to our beauty routines, we haven't gone back to matte. In fact, glass skin has started to transform into full-on glossy skin, as Kenny Screven, makeup artist and beauty influencer, previously told The List.

People stopped following the Instagram brows makeup trend this past decade

The precisely manicured, filled-in eyebrow trend known as the "Instagram brow" was a favorite of the mid-2010s, but the makeup trend started to lose popularity by late 2015. "I am over the Instagram- and reality-TV-driven trend of perfectly waxed brows," celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein admitted to Allure that year. "Brows are meant to be unique to each face. They add character and structure, and those brow shapes that look like precisely pruned lines do neither." However, she didn't expect untouched brows to get popular. "I am all for removing the excess stragglers that do nothing for an arch," she further explained, "but I just think it's important not to go overboard in a quest for the 'perfect' brow because it just ends up looking cookie-cutter."


Ahead of 2020, Diana Melendez, certified microblading expert and owner of the threading and microblading studio Accentuated in Scottsdale, Ariz., revealed to The List that she started seeing more and more of "the 'undone' look," including naturally bushy brows.

The makeup trend of using Millennial Pink lipstick ended in the 2010s

"The reign of Millennial Pink — that literally and figuratively cool hue whose blue undertones flattered no one — seems to be coming to an end at last," Fast Company reported in December 2018. The world may have been ready to pave way for a new color by the end of the year, but there's no denying the popularity of the Millennial Pink makeup trend over the course of 2018 — especially in the beauty world. According to the AR beauty app YouCam Makeup (via HuffPost), the shade was the most popular lipstick color among its 23.5 million daily visitors that year. 


Despite blowing up in 2018, Millennial Pink was nowhere to be found in the beauty aisle come 2019. As it happens, the color wasn't even listed among the most popular shades of lipstick sold on Amazon the following year. Instead, the light pink color was replaced by lipsticks in nude, dusty rose, and classic red shades.

The "crazy contouring" makeup trend is now a thing of the past

It's been so long that you may not even remember what facial mapping was. Despite loving the look at the time, celebrity makeup artist Brandie Hopstein looked back on the makeup trend as what it was: "Crazy contouring." The expert detailed to Allure how people used facial-mapping, which was to "basically draw all over your face using heavily applied makeup in the wrong colors and then pretend a Beautyblender [makeup sponge] can save the day." She's not wrong.


Hopstein hoped the trend would be replaced by a much milder version of contouring. "In the age of body-positive declarations, let's bring back the love for natural and subtle enhancements of our facial features," she told the publication.

It may have taken some time, but that's exactly what started happening. In 2019, celebrity makeup artist Christina Flach confirmed to The List that "exaggerated contouring" had lost popularity. Furthermore, celeb makeup artist Chris Lanston said to expect more of a '90-styles contour trend in 2020, which calls for a much more natural approach to defining the face.

Everyone stopped doing the "baked" makeup trend this past decade

"Baked" makeup became a trend in the beauty industry in the mid-2010s. But it wasn't new. "'Baking' your makeup has been around for a long time," Luis Casco, lead on-camera makeup artist for Project Runway, told Allure about the makeup trend in 2015. "Performers, drag queens, dancers, and even some actors have been doing this technique that involves letting heavy layers of powder sit or 'bake' on the skin while they apply the rest of their makeup. It gives a really strong and striking effect that looks great under heavy stage lighting, and of course with a good Instagram filter." How's that a bad thing? Casco continued, "The problem with baking is that unless you have baby-soft, flawlessly smooth skin, it will accentuate any fine lines or dry skin and will look completely fake in person." 


Kim Kardashian admitted to Glamour that she and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic relied on "really heavy baking" as early as 2009 or 2010. But even the contour queen has traded in both baking and contouring for a more natural appearance. "Now, I tend to stick to a monochromatic nude look," she told the publication in 2018. Makes sense that she would mix things up, as Kim Kardashian is the queen of changing up her looks.

The makeup trend of matte brown lips became outdated in the 2010s

What can brown do for you? Not good things, apparently. "[Matte brown lipstick is] incredibly aging and does nothing to complement your skin or features," Kryolan makeup artist Kelly Hanna Thompson divulged to Allure. Although the '90s will continue to influence makeup trends well into 2020, this is one blast from the past you shouldn't expect to see making a comeback in the new decade. The bold lip color did, however, resurface briefly in 2015, but the makeup trend proved not to have staying power. Now, that's not to say you should avoid all dark shades in the future.


Celebrity makeup artist Mary Irwin told The List that "dark lips" in shades like "almost purple or black" will be a fun, bold trend to try in 2020. Christopher Macken, makeup artist and global creative director of Ready To Wear, added that a "dark blood red or navy lip" can look equally stunning. So, just put down the brown.