Any self-respecting fashion doyen will know that beauty trends can change as fast as catwalk creations. But often it’s not just the products that change, but the perception of beauty itself.

In the 1950s, thanks to Marilyn Monroe, we had the blonde bombshell and red lips. Fast forward to the 1980s and Madonna and Desperately Seeking Susan had us pinning for bad perms, big brows and vibrant eyeshadows.

Thank goodness for Jennifer Lopez in the 1990s who brought in the golden look with bronde hair, a fab tan and natural looking make-up. In the 2000s, thanks to the omnipresent Kardashians, its been all bout the contouring.

While these are the trends that has had the Western world in its manicured grip, it might surprise you to know that it wasn’t much different in the Middle East.

Check out our video to see how Middle East beauty has changed through the years.

As you will see from the video, the trends have been drastic. In the 1900s we start, here, in the UAE, where, most likely kohl was used by women to decorated their face a little like tattoos.

While today most women’s beauty regimens entail plucking away the monobrow, in 1910 Iran women would colour in the section creating one uniform brow.


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Much like in the West, Coco Chanel’s allure had women opting for a chic look. In Iraq that entailed the classic cat eye liner and fresh looking face. By the 1940s, in Syria, this look got slightly bolder with a red lip and filled in brows.


1980s beauty in Jordan

In 1960s Egypt it was a similar look yet complimented by a beehive hairstyle, of course.

By 1980 and early 1990s the lure of the West was strong. Even Queen Rania wasn’t able to escape the beauty trends that the era brought with it.

queen rania 1980s

Queen Rania, then Princess Rania, at graduation

Of course the 2000s have been dominated by one family and the beautiful daughters within it – the Kardashians. Thanks to Kim and Kylie in particular, all women the world over now have sculptured cheekbones – or so their magic make-up tricky will allow you to think.

Watch the video and share with us, in the comments below, your best make-up memories. Also tell us which look you love the most.

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Videographers: Kristina and Donnie Miguel

Stylists: Alexandria Gouveia and Emma Day

Hair and Make-up artist: Roshi Ross  

Model: Dina Ghandour