The Biggest Beauty Trends to Try in 2021
I’m looking forward to a lot in 2021. A new president (hallelujah!), being able to safely see family and friends again, more shows I’ll engulf in a single day like “Bridgerton,” new music (I’m holding out for more quarantine albums, ahem Mr. Harry E. Styles), lots of time at home with my candles and good books, and maybe even a night out on the town or two if I’m super lucky. But I also look at January as a clean slate for my beauty routine. There’s so much time to experiment with new products, techniques, styles, and more. This year, I’m looking to these 11 beauty trends to get me out of bed and excited to start yet another day in what feels like our 27,000th day of March. I can’t deny that I’m overjoyed at the number of eye makeup trends we’re seeing pop up this year, but we’re also leaning into minimalist, at-home beauty too. If you’re excited to up your beauty game this year, here’s what to look out for:
If you’re on Tik Tok, you’ve seen a little bit of this trend. We’re seeing tons of variations of this trend, from fluffy curls (think your mom’s hair in the ‘80s) to voluminous, natural texture, and even ‘90s-inspired big waves (all those hot roller tutorials might have you convinced!). No matter your hair type (textured, coily, wavy, straight), there’s a variation of this trend that’ll suit you.
We experienced about a decade of heavy, matte makeup, but we’ve also gone from lightly radiant to full-on wet dolphin skin in a matter of a few years. So, where do we go next? In 2021, expect natural skin to take over. Not overly dewy, but not matte either, this trend is basically adapting to your natural skin’s texture and keeping it the way it is. Foundations, concealers, and powders that look just like your natural skin are popping up everywhere, and we’re pretty excited. It’s what our skin has been waiting for. Plus, this trend really embraces your natural skin, including any blemishes or texture on the skin. It’s not about looking flawless; it’s about showing off your real skin.
After a year of trying dozens of new skincare products, I’m excited to welcome this trend with open arms. Instead of shelves upon shelves of products, we’re seeing a shift to shorter routines filled with products that pack a punch. Instead of five serums every night, opt for one product that does it all. This trend is really saying, “less is more.” Along with your skincare routine, this trend goes perfectly with quarantine. If wearing makeup isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. This trend welcomes the barest-of-bones when it comes to your makeup routine too.
The “fox eye”–popularized by Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and more–is here to stay, but we’re putting an even larger focus on winged liner as a whole. Instead of thick, long wings, 2021 will be full of casual, breezy thin lines that just slightly wing out at the ends. It’s perfect for Zoom meetings to make you look awake and alive without spending forever trying to perfect it just right.
Bangs, shags, layers, and more are popular words coming out of the mouths of hairstylists around the globe. Not ready to go full-force into a curtain bang or shaggy cut? Ask your stylist for long, face-framing layers (this often gets confused with curtain bangs; a curtain bang is a bang, meaning shorter than your eyeballs, while face-framing layers are typically chin-length or a little shorter). You can easily style these in a swoopy way to mimic bangs without having to deal with the short cut (perfect for people who dislike hair in their face, or work out or sweat a lot).
In 2021, the eyes have it! Because we’re likely wearing much less on the lips this year (except for maybe balm or a light gloss), makeup artists are going all out with color, texture, and blend this year. My favorite take on a bright eye look is a bright wash of color across the lids. The trick to this look is always using a primer so the shadow sticks and making sure to blend just above your crease (much above your crease if you have hooded eyes or monolids). All you have to wonder is which shade you’ll try next!
This has been trending the last few years, but with the resurgence of eye makeup, especially lashes and liner, of this year, we’re about to see it basically everywhere. This is a simple, easy way to look fresh and put-together without a crazy bright eye. It’s perfect for Zoom, giving off the slightest bit of color without looking too bright or unprofessional. If you’re scared, opt for trying the mascara just on the lower lashes for a little punch of color without being too bold.
Another Zoom-inspired trend, hair accessories are here to stay, and we’re not objecting. There’s no better way to hide that you haven’t washed your hair in seven full days than a strategically-placed headband, bandana, or barette. Plus, it looks put-together with the most minimal effort. Accessories to look out for: bandanas, bright-colored scrunchies, pearls, vintage-inspired pieces, and claw clips.
Thanks to Ariana Grande’s “Positions” music video and the entire promo of the album, mod-inspired makeup (especially eyes) is at the forefront of our minds. We’d already seen mod hair all 2020 with flipped-out ends and voluminous updos, but it’s made its way to makeup this time around. This look is super easy with light brown eyeshadows and liners, but you can also go a little more intense with thin black liner in the crease and Twiggy bottom lashes (see more below!). Bonus: we’re seeing this trend on the nails too with daisy patterns!
When the time comes that we can finally head outside of our homes (hopefully by the end of 2021!), we’ll be excited to finally dress up for events again and maybe even go out on the town. With all that experience you put in getting better at eye makeup while wearing a mask, it’ll be the perfect time to try out a deep, classic smokey eye. And if you can’t go out, well, we’re not against dressing up for a dinner at home, complete with the staple date-night eye.
Like we said, the eyes are the key to all things 2021 beauty, and the easiest way to achieve that look is with a hefty coat (or six) of mascara. Big, bold lashes (whether with mascara or false lashes) are a simple way to make a major impact with your beauty routine. The trick, if you’re only using mascara, is to do multiple thin coats, waiting until the preceding one dries. (Also, a proper mascara that builds well is important too–the Gucci mascara was truly made for gigantic, spidery lashes like this!)