The Most Iconic Black Beauty Looks of All Time

Black history simply isn’t complete without black women. Beyond their unique outward beauty, these ladies have broken boundaries and influenced others through their hard work. Hollywood still has a way to go in terms of inclusivity, but these actresses, singers and all-around entertainers are leading the charge to ensure that younger generations can see themselves reflected in film, television and magazines.

And although we love celebrating these change-makers year-round, it’s only right that we up the ante for Black History Month. Ahead, we look back at 30 looks that helped shape how women of color see themselves. From Billie Holiday’s flowery updo to Beyonce’s “Lemonade” braids, we have a feeling you’re already familiar with some of these standout moments.

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

When the singer first entered the spotlight, she arrived in straight back cornrows, which she wore religiously through the release of her second album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys.”

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Angela Davis

Angela Davis

The former Black Panther and political activist has long been associated with the afro, a black-centric style she wore as a form of protest against Eurocentric beauty standards.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

The groundbreaking actress became the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar after starring in “Carmen Jones,” where she sported this iconic hairstyle with a rose tucked behind her ear.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Eve

Long before she was a co-host on “The Talk,” the rapper and actress rocked a blonde buzzcut that made everyone want to big chop.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Grace Jones

Grace Jones

An icon in every sense of the words, Jones has always marched to the beat of her own drum, rocking standout fashion and a close-cut coif that showed off her gorgeous cheekbones.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe

For the first few years of her singing career, Monáe’s “uniform” was a black and white tuxedo and this sleek pompadour hairstyle.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker

With her wide smile, dark lipstick and slicked down hair, Baker became one of the most recognizable faces of the Harlem Renaissance.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet

After leaving “The Cosby Show,” the actress began embracing a bohemian style that included the waist-length locs she still wears to this day.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

When the actress won her Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” in 2014, she also became a modern day hair icon in her teeny weeny afro.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles

The singer’s “A Seat at the Table” album cover marked the unexpected comeback of duckbill clips.

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Zendaya

The former Disney Channel star made headlines in 2015 after calling out TV host Giuliana Rancic for unfairly critiquely her locs at the Academy Awards.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Lady Day was rarely seen on stage without a flower tucked behind her ear.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Brandy

The singer and actress was the unofficial face of microbraids throughout the ’90s.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Lil Kim

From her colorful wigs in the “Crush on You” video to her infamous pastie ensemble at the MTV VMAs, the Bad Boy rapper has delivered more than a few iconic beauty looks.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Rihanna

In 2007, this good girl officially went bad and chopped her hair into a killer, jet black, asymmetrical bob. Jaws dropped everywhere.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Pam Grier

The Blaxploitation era gave us many gifts, including an afro-licious Grier, who starred in many of the cult-favorite genre films.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Donyale Luna

Donyale Luna

In 1966, she became the first black woman ever to cover Vogue Magazine. Just look at that smize!

Photo: Vogue

We’ll forever associate this image of the powerhouse performer’s cornrows with her tour-de-force album, “LEMONADE.”

Photo: Instagram/@beyonce

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Halle Berry

Halle Berry

When she became the first black women to win a “Best Actress” oscar, Berry was still rocking the pixie haircut that made her a ’90s beauty icon.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell

We’ll forever associate middle-parted, waist-length hair with the fierce supermodel.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

Long before her untimely death, the singer and actress’ curly locks and vibrant makeup made her one of the most recognizable pop stars of the ’80s.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Florence Joyner

Florence Griffith Joyner

The legendary Olympian broke records and won medals, all while maintaining a set of long, stiletto nails that ultimately became her signature.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Sade

Who rocked a red lip and braided ponytail better than the British songstress? We’ll wait…

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

The “Santa Baby” singer cemented her place in history when she rocked a cat eye and cat suit as Catwoman in the 1960s “Batman” TV series.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Lena Horne

Lena Horne

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, Horne mesmerized film and stage audiences with her porcelain skin and megawatt smile.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

She’s the first, First Lady of color. Enough said.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Iman

Before she gifted us with IMAN Cosmetics, the African model’s slender features and beautiful brown skin covered the world’s biggest fashion magazines.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Tina Turner

Tina Turner

The legs. The hair. The cheekbones. Look up the word “rockstar” and a picture of Turner will be next to it.

Photo: Getty Images

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson

She’s a modeling pioneer and the first black woman to cover American “Vogue.”

Photo: Vogue

STYLECASTER | Iconic Black Beauty Looks | Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

Back in 1997, the model-preneur and “Top Model” host became the first black woman to snag a solo “Sports Illustrated” cover.

Photo: Sport’s Illustrated

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