Beauty Moments in Pop Culture We'll Never Forget

by Catherine Santino January 19, 2021

Beauty Moments in Pop Culture We'll Never Forget

It’s likely that our earliest memories with beauty involve watching our moms swiping on lipstick before work or sneaking into our sister’s bedroom to steal her glitter eyeshadow. These moments stay with you; but perhaps equally impactful are the beauty moments we remember from pop culture. These are scenes we can rewatch over and over, reliving the way we felt when we saw them for the very first time. 

Not to mention that in today’s world, an outrageous makeup look has the ability to launch a thousand memes, eternally living in the terrifying archive that is the internet. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most iconic beauty moments from film and TV that we will never forget.

Julia Roberts’ epic bath in Pretty Woman

Far before Instagram models were partaking in a modern trend dubbed “bathfluencing”, Julia Roberts was soaking in a luxurious bubble bath in 1990’s iconic romcom,Pretty Woman. Not only is jamming out to music while immersed in a gloriously lavish tub the epitome of #goals, it’s also a particularly sweet moment in the film. 

Edward, played by Richard Gere, is distracted from his phone call by the sound of Vivan (Roberts) belting along to Prince’s song, “Kiss”. He’s clearly charmed by her behavior, even telling his business partner who is pestering him to find a “nice girl” that he’s “already found one”. 

Julia Roberts Pretty Woman

Patrick Bateman’s certifiable skincare routine in American Psycho

If you didn’t know the plot of the movie, Patrick Bateman’s morning ritual would seem like nothing more than the trendy 10-step Korean skincare routine. It starts with an eye pack to depuff, followed by a “deep pore cleanser” and a face mask, then launches into a series of scrubs and moisturizers. Aside from the fact that this routine would probably take an hour, it honestly sounds pretty nice. 

The iconic scene not only gave us important insight into Bateman as a character, but also showed that men (not just psychotic ones) care about their appearance as much as women — sometimes even more. 

Patrick Bateman American Psycho

Mulan swiping away her makeup

Every 90s child remembers the animated classic,Mulan. Arguably one of the most dramatic moments in the film is when the title character decides that she will go to war in place of her father, ultimately saving China (NBD!). 

Women werre not allowed to fight, so in order to disguise herself, she dons armor, cuts her hair, and somehow, effortlessly removes half her face of makeup with one swipe of her sleeve. Mesmerizing, sure, but let’s all take a beat to recognize how completely unrealistic that is. As grown adults, we now know that there was no way she could have cleaned away all that heavy makeup without a serious dousing of micellar water, or at least an oil cleanser.

Mulan Swiping Away Her Makeup

Lauren Conrad’s mascara tear on The Hills

Like any reality television show that pairs messy 20-somethings with a bustling city like Los Angeles,The Hillswas bound to create heightened situations. But the drama we never saw coming? Lauren Conrad’s mascara tears absolutely stealing the show in that one scene. You know the scene.

Lauren, affectionately known in her previous role onLaguna Beach as “LC”, confronts Audrina about their strained friendship, resulting in some pretty strong emotions. At one point, a single streak of mascara falls from Lauren’s perfect cat eye, which remains to be one of the most iconic moments on reality TV. We know that to a certain degree, situations onThe Hills were staged, but there’s no way they could have timed that tear so perfectly on purpose. Right?

Lauren Conrad Crying On The Hills

Literally every makeup look on Euphoria

HBO’s  Euphoria took the world by storm in 2019. The cast of incredibly talented actors, gritty subject matter, and gorgeous cinematography made it one of the most talked-about shows of the year (and even earned Zendaya her first Emmy Award). But, the costume — particularly the makeup — is undoubtedly one of the most special elements of the show.

The show’s  head makeup artist,  Doniella Davy, created breathtaking looks incorporating gems, glitter, and bold color, which sparked a wave of Euphoria-inspired makeup among fellow professionals and fans alike. Suddenly, the days of minimal makeup were over; in came graphic liner and prosthetics and sky-high lashes. The creativity was beautiful! And then, 2020 came, and we no longer have a reason to even wear tinted moisturizer. Ah, well. 

Hunter Schafer Euphoria Makeup

How did all that silver screen nostalgia feel? Tell us over on our Instagram, as well as any other stories you'd like for us to cover. 


become a member