Though she’s best known for her Academy Award-nominated role as saucy minx Carmen Jones, Dandridge’s look was all gamine. Her kohl-lined doe eyes are the standard for 1950s beauty.
Whether she’s working it on stage, rocking the red carpet or walking with Baby Blue, Beyonce is the epitome of unabashed all-out glamour.
The “Bronze Venus” captured hearts with her sultry yet comedic performances to become the first African-American entertainment icon. Her unique look—pencil thin eyebrows, pouty rouge lips, and kohl-rimmed eyes—became legendary.
Whitney was the ingenue pop starlette of the 1980s. She emphasized that girly persona with playful pastel makeup that became a defining look for the era.
Flo-Jo’s stunning wins at the 1988 Olympics grabbed our attention, but we loved her for her flare. She introduced flashiness and mile-long nails to the masses. And showed us that even while running at breakneck pace, we can still look our best.
This diva’s gorgeous almond-shaped eyes are almost as iconic as her talent. She never failed to play them up with extremely lush lashes.
Our First Lady’s look is timeless and sophisticated. She can glam it up for a state dinner and look polished while tending the White House garden. Her versatility and style have made Mrs. Obama the new standard in beauty inspiration.
As TV’s most put-together mom, Rashad’s multicolor eye makeup and bold brows became the look of the 1980s working woman.
Oh, Halle. You make it look so easy. The actress has mastered the art of effortlessly chic styling, and her makeup is no exception. On the red carpet she looks natural, divine—and never overdone.
Try to picture Sade without red lipstick. Impossible! The British songstress’s crimson lip is almost as iconic as her jazzy ballads. Plus, she made freckles cool.
The Somali supermodel became our makeup savior when she founded Iman Cosmetics in 1994. After years of mixing her own shades for modeling jobs, she knew just what black women needed from their foundations, lipsticks and eye colors. Nearly 20 years later, Iman—the brand and the woman—is still a beauty industry leader.
Even in the 1970s, a decade known for its aesthetic excess, Jones’ colorblocked makeup reached outlandish—and avant-garde—heights.
The legs. The sculpted cheebones and scarlet red lips. Tina Turner’s 1980s look conveyed strength and perserverance.