The 10 Most Beautiful Women of the 20th Century
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and even though that may be true, the beauty icons of the 20th century were so perfect that they could not possibly be critiqued on their appearance. These women were considered the most beautiful in the world during their prime, and everyone was stunned by their impeccable bodies and graceful personalities. This is the reason why we decided to compile a list of 10 of the most beautiful women of the 20th century and let you in on the makeup trends that were popular during their respective times. Get ready to admire the legendary features of Gladys Cooper, Thea Bara, Marilyn Monroe and more.
1. Gladys Copper (1900)
Gladys Cooper was a very talented and beautiful English actress that enjoyed a long lasting and fruitful career on stage, on television and in films. Everyone loved and admired her during the 1900s, especially for her exquisite Edwardian beauty, which was characterized by a pale complexion, dark eyes, pink lips and full eyebrows.
During those times, women would use pearl or rice powder in order to obtain a white, elegant complexion, while their lips were stained with poppy petals and geranium.
2. Theda Bara (1910)
Theda Bara was a famous actress that actually became one of the earliest sex symbols of cinema. Due to her numerous roles as a mysterious and seductive woman, the star earned a reputation as a Vamp. Her looks definitely helped in this regard, since she used to sport abundant eye makeup and dark red lips that contrasted beautifully with her pale complexion.
In 1910, TL Williams produced and released the world’s first mascara, which he named Maybelline in honor of his sister Mabel.
3. Louise Brooks (1920)
During the 1920s, Louise Brooks was definitely the center of attention due to her somewhat eccentric “flapper chic” look, which included dark eye makeup, natural-looking powder and lipstick applied in a Cupid’s Bow fashion. Furthermore, Mary Louise Brooks was also famous for popularizing the bob haircut.
4. Carole Lombard (1930)
American actress Carole Lombard was definitely a natural beauty. Due to her immense cinematic success, she was well known as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood during the late 1930s, her salary being five times larger than that of the President of the United States at the time.
Personal success aside, Carole Lombard represented an ideal of beauty and paved the way towards a new look that comprised horizontally applied lipstick, thin eyebrows and brightly-colored eyeshadow. The 1930s were also the years when facial contouring began to surface as a general concept that involved using makeup to discretely change the shape of one’s face.
5. Rita Hayworth (1940)
When we remember Rita Hayworth, we think about her timeless pin-up photo shoots. The famous film star became the embodiment of pin-up beauty in the 1940s, a trend that involved bright red lips, full eyebrows and subtle eye makeup.
6. Marilyn Monroe (1950)
Marilyn Monroe was an American model, actress and singer who became one of the most recognizable sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s. Her look was based on a more radical version of the pin-up trend, as it involved a mask-like complexion that emphasized the lips and eyes. Marilyn’s famous visage was enhanced by liquid foundation and an abundance of powder, while her eyes were adorned with winged eyeliner makeup. Her famous red lips boasted a full, plump look that was achieved by over-drawing the top lip.
7. Jean Shrimpton (1960)
English model and actress Jean Rosemary Shrimpton is famous for her photo shoots highlighting the 1960s Mod style. This look involved natural-looking lips in pastel or pale colors, while the eyes were highlighted using false eyelashes and winged eyeliner. The star appeared on a number of covers such as Elle, Glamour, Vogue, Ladies’ Home Journal and Harper’s Bazaar.
8. Farrah Fawcett (1970)
The 1970s were the prime times of well-toned bodies and glittery, shiny fashion products. Farrah Fawcett was the face of this trend, and so she rapidly became a cultural icon. Her most famous posture involved a 1976 poster in which she was wearing a red one-piece bathing suit. The poster was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as part of the museum’s “popular culture” department.
9. Madonna (1980)
Madonna was definitely the most recognizable figure of the 1980s, boasting a youthful, vibrant look involving neon colors, blue eye shadow and heavy blush. The famed English singer is still appreciated for her unique taste in fashion to this day.
10. Cindy Crawford (1990)
After the colorful makeup years of the 80s, the 1990s brought with them a more toned down, natural look, which was presented by American model Cindy Crawford. During her famed photo shoots, Cindy showed off matte dark brown or deep red lips, neutral eyeshadow and pale, matte skin. In 1995, she was the highest paid model in the world according to Forbes.