The most iconic beauty moments from 2010-2019: Fenty Beauty’s rise, beauty YouTube drama, Sephora scandals, and more

The most iconic beauty moments from 2010-2019: Fenty Beauty’s rise, beauty YouTube drama, Sephora scandals, and more

In hindsight

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @badgalriri

We have a finger on the pulse for most things (it's our job), but we won't go as far to say we're all-knowing and omniscient. There's always something to learn from everything we encounter. And with the year drawing to a close, it seems fitting that we look back at the beauty industry's most iconic moments in the last decade to garner some valuable insight. Below, we gather the good, the bad, and everything in between. Strap up — it's going to be a bumpy ride.

M.A.C. cancelled Rodarte makeup line after allegations of exploitation.

In a time before cancel culture was a thing, this was an unexpected — and, to some, devastating — blow to the beauty community. Trouble began brewing when the brands first revealed that highly-anticipated collection would be based upon the road trip Rodarte designers took through Texas. The line-up included a nail polish called "Juarez" (named after an underprivileged, violence-plagued town in Mexico), a lipstick called "Ghost Town", and an eyeshadow called "Bordertown", amongst others. Fans weren't impressed, claiming that the companies were making a profit off the suffering of the citizens of Juarez. The brands then responded with a charity initiative to assist victims, even promising to change the names of the products. Then, in a surprising move, M.A.C Cosmetics pulled the collection entirely, issuing a public apology and affirming users that they will continue "using creativity for positive social change."

Lady Gaga rocked icy blue tips and a meat hat at the 2010 VMA's.

Ah, who can forget the carpaccio get-up? And just as Gaga's dress entered the fashion hall of fame, her azure-dipped strands and meat slab hat also made it in beauty's. The songbird later re-visited the hue in the 2019 Golden Globe Awards — this time without the, uh, animal flesh.


Make Up For Ever hired a transgender model to front their campaign.

In a historic move, Make Up For Ever opted to feature transgender model, Andreja Pejić, in their Be Bold campaign — making her the first-ever openly trans female to be made the face of a beauty brand. This all happened on the heels of Caitlyn Jenner's gender-reassignment announcement, thus opening up conversation (and doors) on gender in the modern age.


Alicia Keys showed up bare-faced on the red carpet.

A move that prompted both admiration and disapproval, it also incited a movement where celebrities opted to strip down for performances, public appearances, and the red carpet. Alessia Cara came on board soon after, with Ciara and Ashley Graham following close behind.


Beyoncé introduced a baseball cap designed for women with natural and curly hair.

Is it any surprise that Queen Bey is behind this game-changing item? In 2017, the legend developed a visor-like cap under Ivy Park, her activewear label co-founded with Topshop. Its backless design allows those with natural, curly locks to don it perfectly without smashing their hair flat. The innovative - and inclusive - design was further exacerbated by the entry of the one, the only...

The most iconic beauty moments from 2010-2019: Fenty Beauty’s rise, beauty YouTube drama, Sephora scandals, and more (фото 1)

Fenty Beauty is born — as well as a revolutionary foundation shade range.

Dubbed the "Fenty Effect", Rihanna's cosmetic line has done more for the beauty community than we ever thought possible. It all began, of course, with the debut of their forty-shade foundation range that soon set the standard for the multi-billion-dollar industry. Inclusion and diversity were no longer catchphrases or gimmicks, but rather, demanded upon by consumers. In fact, it reached the point where brands which didn't adhere to the new order were lambasted, as evidenced by the Tarte Shape Tape debacle. So, thanks to bad girl RiRi, we have now come a step closer to ensuring that beauty is truly for all.


Beauty publications and organisations ban the term 'anti-ageing'.

It's no secret that the industry has an issue with ageing. Or ageing skin for that matter, despite it being a natural process inevitable to all. Allure pointed this out in an open letter from their editor, Michelle Lee, who also penned that the magazine will stop using the term 'anti-ageing' as it "subtly reinforces the message that ageing is a condition we need to battle." The American Association of Retired Persons later announced their allegiance to their movement, alongside a bevvy of beauty brands as well as the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK.


Brandon Truaxe shuts down Deciem after posting a series of bizarre Instagram posts on the company account.

You might know cult skincare brand, The Ordinary — but perhaps not so much about the brains behind the operation. The label was first lauded for its groundbreaking formulations at wallet-friendly prices, but attention quickly shifted to its founder, Brandon Truaxe, thanks to his bizarre Instagram posts on the Deciem account. Think everything from rubbish piles to dead sheep, all of which culminated in a post where Truaxe announces that the company "will be shutting down all operations" as he has discovered his employees were involved in "criminal activities" and "financial crimes". He was later found dead after falling from a condominium building near Toronto's downtown.


CVS Beauty bans Photoshop use for all of its beauty images.

This was done in an attempt to promote realistic standards of beauty, as well as to banish the negative health effects imposed upon young girls and women caused by the constant viewing of digitally-altered photos.


Sephora closed their stores after SZA's racial profiling scandal.

Chaos ensued when singer, SZA, aired her grievances against the beauty empire after an incident where she was accused of stealing. "Lmao Sandy Sephora location 614 Calabasas called security to make sure I wasn't stealing," she tweeted, "Can a b-h cop her fenty in peace er whut." The brand immediately issued an apology before implementing a new manifesto that "affirms [its] commitment to creating the most inclusive and diverse beauty community." Stores, distribution centres, and corporate offices were then closed to conduct diversity training for all employees.


A myriad of beauty YouTubers get accused of racism.

Hoo boy, this one is a doozy. For all the deets, be sure to read out breakdown of the drama here. In short, 2018 marked a time where multiple beauty influencers were accused of racism, sexism, and fat-shaming through the discovery of several archived Tweets. This led to real-life consequences for some: Laura Lee and Gabriel Zamora both lost up to thousands of subscribers at the get-go. Lee's apology video was later slammed for being 'insincere', which further prompted brands such as Morphe, Ulta, and Colourpop to withdraw their support on her makeup line. And if you thought that was all, honey, you sure got a big storm comin'.

The James Charles sexual predator scandal.

The 19-year-old Internet personality lost three million subscribers after fellow beauty YouTuber, Tati Westbrook, posted a video accusing him of targeting straight-identifying men and sexually harassing them both in public and in private. Things further escalated when former-friend, Jeffree Star, backed up those claims. More men soon came forward with their own stories on Charles' inappropriate behaviour. The influencer later cancelled his "Sisters" tour, which was meant to be a celebration featuring "music, makeup, memories, and games."