These Makeup Trends Are Unexpected, But They’ve Been Huge in 2021

Here at Who What Wear, we love taking inspiration from the trends that have defined the year. Experimenting with all things fashion and beauty can be cathartic, fun, and a great way to spike your creative juices. And what better time than the final months to look back at this year’s greatest hits?

We’re already champing at the bit where makeup trends are concerned, so we couldn’t wait to take a peek through 2021’s beauty lens via predictions from some of the coolest celebrity makeup artists in the business—Molly Stern and Renée Loiz, founder of Color May Vary, a Black-owned beauty guide. Ahead, both Stern and Loiz are sharing the makeup trends they’ve been most excited about, along with the must-have products you’ll need to re-create each trend at home. Keep scrolling! 

With mask-wearing continuing in 2021, Stern predicted smoldering eye looks would still reign supreme. “A classic, wet-lined liner look can really make us feel put-together,” she explains. “I’m obsessed with Jillian Dempsey’s Khôl Eyeliners (£19). They’re clean, and they come in all colours.”

“With all eyes on eyes, I predict lots of playfulness when it comes to bright-coloured mascaras and Technicolour lashes,” Stern continued. The sky is the limit where formula and colour are concerned, and if you’re building up your sea legs, Stern recommends using one coat of colored mascara first, followed by a stroke of black or brown—a layering technique that will give you a slightly more subdued take on the trend. 

Are you noticing a theme here? Undoubtedly, 2021 was the year for everything eyes and lashes, and Stern says the longer and more lifted, the better where your flutter is concerned.  She cites lash-lifts (versus extensions) as an up-and-coming trend surge as far as splurge-worthy treatments go. “This is a super-easy and accessible way to have a major beauty look with minimum effort,” says Stern. “Look for technicians in your neighborhood and make sure that you read their customer reviews!” If you don’t want to commit to the full lash-lift, there are plenty of at-home options for the lashes of your dreams. Surratt Beauty’s Noir Lash Tint (£46) might look bizarre, but it will give you the longest fringe you’ve ever had from a tube, and falsies or customisable gossamers will never go out of style. 

When it comes to lip products, long-wearing stains have taken the reigns. Choose something that’s bold and has stamina.  “Long-wear lipstick never had a more relevant place in our beauty bags!” Stern emphasises. “Apply a couple of coats of your favourite stain and blot in between each application—this will stain your lips and allow you to wear a bold colour without it getting smeared all over your face if you end up putting a mask on. Armani Beauty’s Lip Maestro collection is my absolute favourite. The colour range is epic, and the formula feels amazing on your lips.”

“Early 2000s makeup was back for 2021 with full, feathery brows and soft, chocolate brown lips,” says Loiz. The key, however, is to keep things light and fresh. To try the look yourself, Loiz recommends filling in your brows with light, upward strokes using a thin brow pencil, which ensures a more realistic finish that mimics your natural brow hairs. (She loves the below pencil from Camille Ariane.) Then, create your chocolaty brown lip by outlining your pout with a flesh-tone lip liner, filling it all in with a moisturising lipstick, and pressing your lips together to blur out the lip line. 

We reported clean, glowing skin as a top beauty trend to watch in the autumn of 2020, and according to Loiz, we were right on target. “Rocking your real and true skin is where it’s at, and that means having a stellar skincare routine,” she tells us. “I love a triple cleanse for creating a super-clear base—start with a gentle face cleanser and massage it into the skin without rinsing. Next, add a facial scrub on top of the cleanser and massage it in, focusing on the nose, chin, and forehead, where there’s usually a lot of product buildup. Again, don’t rinse! Layer on a detox mask, which will help nix impurities, leaving your complexion soft and hydrated. “Leave all three products on for five minutes, rinse well with cool water, and pat your face dry. Refresh your skin with a face mist and add a hydrating face oil on top, pressing it softly into your skin to help stimulate blood flow and absorption. Do this one to two times per week for the best skin you’ll ever have in your life. No makeup required!”

Of all the bourgeoning makeup trends on the rise, Loiz says bold and bright eyelids have been her absolute favourite for 2021. “It’s time to get creative with the eyes and use all the colours of the rainbow to create something bold and unique on your eyelids,” she says. To re-create the runway look at home, Loiz suggests painting colour-block shapes on the eyes with cream eyeshadows, or if you want something a tad subtler, you can reach for a coloured liner instead. “I love this trend because the sky is the limit, and you’re free to be as expressive as you want to be!” she adds. 

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