Exploring beautiful lips PART 1: The Evolution of Lip Trends Through the Decades


Lips have been an essential feature of beauty and expression since ancient times. Long before lip fillers found their way into aesthetic medicine, women used makeup to shape their lips or make them appear larger. This tradition laid the groundwork for the multitude of lip trends we have seen over the decades. This blog post is particularly relevant for those considering lip fillers or already opting for this treatment. My goal is to address an important topic: the question of whether we should embrace the ‘one size fits all’ approach and follow the trends of the moment en masse, or if there is another path we can take.

The 1920s: The ‘Clara Bow Lip’

In the 1920s, for example, Hollywood actress Clara Bow, also known as the “It Girl,” introduced the world to the ‘Clara Bow Lip.’ These lips were typical of the roaring twenties and the early film industry with silent black-and-white films. The Clara Bow lip emphasized the shape of the lips rather than lip volume, especially the cupid’s bow, which was often exaggerated and made more pointed than the natural lip shape. The corners of the mouth were sometimes drawn downward, giving a dreamy or ‘pouty’ expression. This lip style symbolized sensuality and playful allure, fitting for the flapper girls of that era. It was also effective for expression in silent black-and-white films.

The 1950s: Softer Transitions and Full Lips

By the 1950s, lip trends shifted towards fuller lips with a more natural transition, away from the strong cupid’s bow, towards a softer, more natural shape. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor embraced this trend by drawing over their natural lip contours for a fuller look. This technique softened the cupid’s bow and created a voluptuous appearance synonymous with glamour in this decade.

The 1960s and ’70s: Focus on the Eyes

Twiggy ’60s

In the 1960s and ’70s, the focus shifted from the mouth to the eyes. Icons like Farrah Fawcett and Twiggy showed that less emphasis on the lips did not mean the overall look had less impact. On the contrary, heavy eye makeup, including thick eyeliner, striking eyeshadow, and long, dramatic lashes, became a hallmark of this time. The lips took on a more natural role, often accentuated with subtle, soft lip colors that were not meant to compete with the striking eye makeup.

Farrah Fawcett ’70s The focus was on the eyes with dramatic dark makeup and little focus on the lips with natural lipstick.

The 1980s: The Return of Fuller Lips and the Rise of Collagen Fillers

The 1980s marked a striking return to the preference for fuller lips, a trend partly driven by the rise of collagen fillers. This period embraced a bold and glamorous aesthetic, with stars like Dolly Parton leading the way to a pronounced look that reflected the femininity and confidence of the time. Collagen fillers became popular as a way to enhance the natural fullness of the lips, giving women around the world the opportunity to achieve the desired lip shape and volume.

Dolly Parton with full lips in the 1980s.

The 2000s: The ‘Big Lip Trend’

Angelina Jolie, known for her natural full lips, was named the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” in 2006, and full lips became one of the most coveted beauty features.

In the 2000s, the demand for lip fillers was significantly boosted by Angelina Jolie’s natural, full lips and received further momentum when Kylie Jenner confirmed her use of lip fillers. This period also marked the rise of hyaluronic acid fillers, valued for their safety and natural results, contributing to the popularity of lip augmentation.

Kylie Jenner, one of the biggest influencers of the 2010s, admitted in 2015 that she enhanced her lips through lip fillers. Following this, there was a 1000x (!!!) increase in demand for lip fillers worldwide.

Modern Trends: Russian Lips and the 1:1 Ratio

Recently, the ‘Russian Lips’ technique has garnered attention, focusing on flat lips with vertical elevation and a pronounced cupid’s bow. At the same time, we see an increase in preference for a 1:1 ratio between the upper and lower lip due to influences from social media and other sources.

Russian Lips


This historical journey through lip trends raises an important question: should we follow trends or celebrate our unique features? In the next part of this series, ‘What Science Says About Beautiful Lips,’ we will further explore this question by examining what scientific research says about the characteristics of aesthetically appealing lips.

It is essential to understand that beauty is diverse and unique. In an era where trends come and go quickly, especially in the age of social media, the pressure to conform to a certain beauty ideal can be overwhelming. However, pursuing a ‘one size fits all’ approach, where everyone pursues the same lips of the moment, is not only unrealistic but also not conducive to celebrating our individual beauty.

As an aesthetic physician, my advice to anyone considering enhancing their lips is to seek out a professional (such as at Doctor Contour Clinic) who recognizes how essential it is to tailor treatments to your unique facial features, facial shape, and ethnicity. The goal should not be simply to follow a trend but to enhance natural beauty in a way that harmoniously aligns with who you are. The ‘ideal’ lips are those that best suit you, not those that happen to be in fashion at the moment.

This blog series is designed for anyone interested in the deeper aspects of beauty and the science behind ideal lips, whether you are considering lip fillers, already have them, or simply want to learn more about this fascinating subject. Stay tuned for part 2 of ‘Exploring the Ideal Lips’, where we delve deeper into what science has to say about aesthetically attractive lips.

If you are considering enhancing your lips with fillers, then Doctor Contour Clinic is the right place for you. We do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but strive for a personalized approach where we take into account your entire face and appearance to give you the most beautiful lips that suit you.

Book your consultation or treatment now!


Hi there! I am Dr. Kim Detollenaere, aesthetic doctor and owner of 'Doctor Contour' aesthetic guide and clinic. I have been a content creator for several years, next to my busy medical life. Get to know more about me on Instagram, Youtube or check out the 'About me' page on this blog for more info!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Book Now for Expert Aesthetic Services in Antwerp | Doctor Contour

Unlock your confidence with expert aesthetic services in Antwerp. Book now for BTX, fillers, biostimulatoren, lipolyse, PRP, and draadjeslift at Doctor Contour.

Scroll to Top
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles