What was your go-to beauty look in college? Last night’s eyeliner and dubious bedhead? Us too — which may explain why Pretty Little Liars employed a time jump to skip right over that timeframe in the characters’ lives. Okay fine, so the storytelling trick probably had more to do with moving the characters further into adulthood, but for us beauty nerds, it’s a great case study in evolutionary beauty on the fly.
Before the five-year time jump (which took place at the start of season six), the girls of Rosewood stuck to beauty looks ruled by classic high-schooler archetypes. Aria (played by Lucy Hale) was the resident goth; Spencer (played by Troian Bellisario) the bookish smartypants; Emily (Shay Mitchell’s character) the jock; and Hanna, the hottie. But as the show progressed, so did their beauty looks.
“For the flash forward, we decided to make up the characters opposite of what they were in high school,” explains Cindy Miguens, makeup department head on the show. “If you wore a lot of makeup in high school, you tend to do less as you get older, or at least this is what happens in Rosewood.”
But just because the characters shed their high school identities for more professional personas doesn’t mean they settled into basic beauty looks. Throughout their evolution, the PLLs stayed on trend in any given year — and looking back at their evolving styles year-by-year serves as a stellar roadmap of this decade’s biggest makeup looks.
“When we started the show, some trends (like nail designs) were in and other makeup trends we're not in the picture yet (such as the heavy contouring and lash extensions), so as the years went by, we dropped the nail designs, but added the heavy contour and thicker longer lashes,” the makeup pro told us. See how your favorite residents of Rosewood have evolved, ahead, and get ready to time travel through contouring, bronzing, and statement lip trends in the flash of an eye.