I find that the contemporary beauty icons that I am drawn to tend to all have similar looks for the most part, which is a smokey eye and nude lip. That would be Mila Kunis, Kirsten Stewart, Reese Witherspoon (at least on last months cover of Elle). I also like the look of a nude eye with a lot of lashes and bright lip such as Megan Fox wears. I think it is all planning for the occasion because any of the people I listed above are looks I would wear going out or on the weekends. I also like to experiment with color on the weekends. My favorite combo being purple and green thanks to one of my BFFs. For work I would wear something more similar to Nina Dobrev or Torrey DeVitto from the Vampire Diaries or perhaps even Sarah Michelle Gellar from Ringer.
It was a very popular look, particularly on daytime TV during the summers and as I previously mentioned, it was very hot where I grew up so people spent peak hours inside or by the pool.
Now I find inspiration everywhere I look. I find a lot of inspiration from friends in the beauty community, from companies that I enjoy, blogs, some magazines, and obviously television. I can also look at pictures of a flower or a landscape now and say "Hmm...I want to do an ocean themed look! or I want to do a monochromatic desert look." I also get inspiration simply by walking through Sephora or Ulta and looking at all the pretty colors. It is like a playground for people who love cosmetics.
I would love to hear who your beauty icons are and where you draw inspiration from.