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Rewind: Reflecting Back on 30 Years in Beauty Industry

Whether you lived through it or watched it in movies and music videos, you’ve witnessed firsthand the exciting evolution of beauty over the last several decades. With the onset of television, music videos, the internet and social media; over the last thirty years we’ve transformed from the breakout trends of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, (that spoke of freedom and individuality), to create a palette that’s more centered around each individual.

As trends come and go, we often see them reborn into a new and better aesthetic than the original. Case in point, mullets.

Boca Beauty Academy was founded thirty years ago in 1991 with one mission in mind, to create an outstanding educational campus for those in search of a successful career in cosmetology. The Academy has grown exponentially throughout the years to encompass fourteen programs
which today includes massage therapy, skin care, paramedical aesthetician, makeup artistry, nail technician and more.

Beauty, like fashion, is in a continuous evolution as we discover new styles, new ingredients, new treatments and honor centuries-old traditions. So let’s take a look back at the last 30 years to celebrate artistry, ingenuity, innovation and the pioneers of trends that have become mainstream today.


Year Trend or Invention of the Year What Made the News
1991 Bright Eye Shadow & Bold Makeup As seen in Thelma & Louise, bright colors on eyes & lips takes center stage.
1992 Pouffy Bangs & Voluminous Updos Tia Carerra made this look in Wayne’s World.
1993 The return of French Tips A classic returns as an understated trend thanks to Janet Jackson in her film debut Poetic Justice.
1994 Creative hair color Grunge goes mainstream and, thanks to Claire Danes in My So Called Life, so does bold hair color. (Her color choice? Oxblood red)
1995 The Rachel haircut This short layered look created by Chris McMillan for Jennifer Aniston became “The Style” of the decade, not just the year and has influenced styles even today.
1996 Chiseled cheekbones and contouring Makeup artistry earns its spotlight for its ability to transform more than day to night, but enhance, accentuate and transform. This look was best seen on Kate Moss in Gucci’s runway show.
1997 Genie high ponytails Naomi Campbell rocked this look on the runway with her high pony (a flirty retro 60’s style accentuated with a hair extension).
1998 Smudged eyeliner Inspired and recycled from the 60’s, this smoky, smudgy look was seen on A-list celebrities including Winona Ryder. Today this is a classic look that creates the eye-enhancing “doe eye”.
1999 Frosted Tips Let’s not forget the frosted tips of Justin Timberlake and NSync.
2000 Frosted eye shadow Nothing says “sparkle” like frosted eye shadow (and makeup). The frosts of the late 90’s have evolved into a palette of shimmery colors today.
2001 Skinny brows Those who were caught up in this overplucked look may be the microblading brow clients of today.
2002 Ringlets What came naturally to Nicole Kidman was replicated by stars including Brittney Spears thanks to perms making a brief return.
2003 Lip liner Once Hally Berry walked the red carpet with this bold look, (a dark lined lip with a soft lip color & gloss) it was emulated by women coast to coast.
2004 Bronzer Paris Hilton wore it best (or at least the most). As someone said, “If you didn’t look like Tandoori Chicken you were doing it wrong.” Fortunately this bronzed look (and the products) have improved over the years.
2005 Tattoos anyone? This permanent statement started to enter the mainstream as seen on Angelina Jolie and many other A-listers.
2006 Tiger striped highlights Far from a natural color style,
foils fly throughout salons to
create mod-style of
“not-so-subtle” chunky stripes
of color was seen on Kelly
Clarkson and women everywhere.
2007 Flatiron hair The straighter the better. This look may have been the inspiration of heat-protectant styling products.
2008 The return of razor-thin eyebrows Don’t do it. (no one listened) but as we know over plucking causes permanent brow loss. Permanent makeup and microblading to the rescue.
2009 Armband tattoos Just remember, tattoos are
permanent and should never
be the result of a trend as is
evident with armbands and its
predecessor from the early
2000’s (on the lower back),
aka “the tramp stamp”.
Fortunately, Boca Beauty
Academy added a
paramedical aesthetics
program to help remove
unwanted markings.
2010 Big brows Finally, it’s back in fashion to stop plucking and be natural. Some women may have taken this look a little far with their brows overpowering their face. Thanks to the practices of threading, waxing and microblading, we’ve evolved.
2011 Chin patch aka “The Soul Patch” This may be one of the facial hair trends we’d like to erase from history, but it did open the door for more creative facial hair and the evolution of styled barbering for men of all ethnicities.
2012 Short spiky hair As reality TV takes over cable TV, Kate Gosselin wore this signature short hairstyle of long in the front, short on top.
2013 Pouffy hair updos Jennifer Lopez owned the red carpet this year with her voluminous style pulled back on top and down on the sides. The hairstyle was inspired by looks of the 50’s.
2014 Black Hair Black women stood proud and black hair became an important part of the beauty conversation, thanks in part to Viola Davis’ wig removal moment on How to Get Away With Murder.
2015 Pouty Lips It was the year everyone wanted more volume to their lips and the perfect pout as touted by Kylie Jenner. Many tried to create the look with suction cups (not advised). Lip fillers have gained popularity ever since.
2016 Marbled, Metallic, Contoured & Holographic Nails Color, texture, and more color. Complex and creative nail art became the trend taking the nail profession to new heights.
2017 Face Masks It was the most Googled trend of the year. From at-home sheet masks to spa treatments with turmeric, charcoal and other holistic, vegan ingredients.
2018 Shade-Inclusive Foundations The palette of 8 skin colors
proudly expanded to embrace
every skin tone and color.
Fenty, founded by Rhianna,
launched with over 40 colors
embracing color for ALL
2019 Return & Revamp of French Nails The French manicure returns with a bold twist of color.
Evolving from white tips, nail artists explore the spectrum of color, creating tips with pastels to metallics, aka the French Moon and Floating Tips were worn on celebrities, influencers and basically everyone.
2020 Multicolored Eye Makeup Before the Pandemic, the year started off with an exciting forecast of color. From lining lower and upper lashes to bold strokes of color, eye art owned the main stage. As everyone cozied at home, TikTok exploded with how to’s… keeping the love alive for all things hair, makeup and fashion.
2021 Rise of Natural, Vegan and Organic Ingredients The world goes au naturale. With the heightened focus on health and wellness, natural & plant-based beauty products become increasingly popular with mainstream consumers.

It’s been an incredible 30 years exploring creativity, artistry, color and style with some trends that remain today and others discarded. Yet with many trends that come and go, they often resurge with a new approach and application, for the better.

Together, we’ve experienced groundbreaking moments as well as style that may make you cringe. Most importantly, we are reminded of the importance of being true to yourself and celebrating individuality. As stated by Coco Chanel,

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

At Boca Beauty Academy, we’ve celebrated the ins and outs of beauty and fashion in order to provide our students with a solid educational foundation and a current repertoire of what clients require today.

Wondering if a Career in Beauty is Right For You?

Boca Beauty Academy not only offers hands-on learning in a passionate and creative environment. Our Parkland and Boca Raton campuses both feature a busy onsite salon for students to gain real-world experience and build their portfolio prior to graduation.

Take our online beauty & wellness career training readiness quiz which will help you identify goals, personal strengths and important facts about your potential career path so you can make an informed decision about your future. Visit us at today. It takes just a few minutes!


Boca Beauty Academy is Florida’s preeminent, nationally accredited beauty and wellness academy offering programs in cosmetology, makeup artistry, nail technician, skin care, massage therapy, paramedical esthetician, and electrolysis. Students are supported with job placement and financial aid assistance. To learn more or arrange a tour of our two campuses, call Boca Raton 561-487-1191 | Parkland 954-866-1011.