The Big Beauty Trends For 2021

The Big Beauty Trends For 2021

A new year brings with it a host of fresh beauty looks, inspiration and products. In 2021, expect to see brighter eyeliner, more make-up hybrids and the rise of ‘skin minimalism’. Want to know more? Here are seven trends set to make their mark – plus, three buzzworthy ingredients to have on your radar…

Trend #1: Brighter Eyeliner 

Unconventional eyeliner will be big in 2021, so ditch your traditional browns and blacks for brighter, more colourful tones. This doesn’t have to be overly bold or theatrical – think deep aubergine, forest greens and electric blues or navy. To keep it chic, experts recommend you apply a slick of colour on top of existing black liner as an easy, entry-level way to play with new tones. If that doesn’t sound different enough, begin by applying new shades in small, thin layers – try a little at the inner and outer corners first to play around and see what suits you best. 

Trend #2: Probiotic Skincare 

Probiotics are expected to become more prominent in our skincare this year. Why? Harnessing their benefits supports the microflora that naturally occurs on our skin to boost natural defences and prevent inflammation. Instead of stripping away bad bacteria, probiotic skincare enhances beneficial microbial diversity which, put simply, strengthens the skin’s barrier for a smoother, healthier-looking surface. What’s more, when applied topically, studies show probiotics can lower the effects stress has on our complexion, while rebalancing pH levels, too. Well worth adding to your regime this year – especially as the formulas are gentle and incredibly hydrating, making them suitable for everyone.

Trend #3: Gentler Mascaras  

While the term ‘clean beauty’ can spark scepticism, there’s no doubt 2021 will see a continued move towards more pared-back, gentle formulas – notably with mascaras. Expect to see a slew of new launches free from irritants, parabens, sulphates, talc and mineral oil. Cue Kosas, who’s latest mascara is free of carbon black and acrylates, offering gentler application that doesn’t sting or cause watering. A single swipe gives fuller, fluffier lashes, while the wand hugs the lash line perfectly. 

Trend #4: Chromatic Eyeshadow 

Numerous SS21 shows saw make-up artists crafting metallic, high-shine lids with a 3D effect, marking a definitive return to the disco era of the 70s, complete with plenty of jewel tones – think amethyst and emeralds. Experts recommend seeking out formulas that aren’t thick with glitter particles. Instead, look to silky metallic or shades with a pearlescent finish to nail the trend. Make-up artist, James Molloy, who created the blue, chromatic lids seen above recommends using your product sparingly. "Use your shadow to create a soft, oval shape that will suit your eye, gently blurring the edges with a blending brush. Make sure you build the product from the centre of the lids for a more dramatic effect." If wearing a slick layer all over the lid feels like too much, use a pencil or brush to create a feline flick from the centre of your eyes outwards. The key is to play with it and have fun. 

Trend #5: Skin Minimalism 

The term ‘skin minimalism’ was coined late last year after numerous SS21 shows saw a departure from contoured, structured skin, and instead, a return to texture, glow and luminosity. The idea is to work with what you have, rather than covering it up entirely, which industry insiders say is a direct result of face coverings and a desire to focus more on our skincare routines. To replicate, make-up artist, Chynara Kojoeva, recommends layering up: "Skin is a real focus these days. To create the 'minimalist effect,' really take your time to layer skincare and primers for a subtle, dewy look. To balance it out, focus on keeping the eyes a subtle brown tone so that everything ties together." With a 180% increase in internet searches for ‘natural, everyday make-up’, brands are also rising to the occasion with a slew of new, tinted creams, foundations and lightweight bases. Expect to see more barely-there textures and plenty of hybrid launches focusing on merging skincare with make-up.

Trend #6: Make-Up Hybrids & Multi-Taskers

The 2020 pandemic saw a surge in demand for ‘multi-tasking products’ and ‘ways to streamline your routine’. As such, brands are taking note for 2021 and combining their formulas in one handy product – for both skincare and make-up. Expect to see more multi-purpose sticks, dual cheek and lip balms, as well as a rise in does-it-all bottles that include the benefits of an essence, toner and moisturiser in one. Textures are also more pigmented, as well as easy to apply on-the-go, with no set rules required – just scribble and go. 

Trend #7: Orange-Toned Lipsticks 

It’s not often lipstick makes waves on the runway, but SS21 saw colourful pouts making a comeback, with orange-toned hues the order of the day. While that might sound a bit full-on, it’s a tone that’s surprisingly flattering on every skin type. As for texture, there are no set rules – feel free to experiment with glosses, mattes or liquids. 

Plus, Three Buzz-Worthy Ingredients To Know About…

1. Succinic Acid 

Prepare to see this new anti-blemish ingredient popping up everywhere. Succinic acid is a bio-based chemical derived from corn which gets to work gradually unclogging your pores, gently exfoliating and in turn, reducing the size of your spots and any aggravated redness. It has brilliant antimicrobial properties, too, while studies show it also helps protect your skin from daily aggressors like UV rays and pollution. Look out for it in The Inkey List’s latest Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment, and in Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser. 

2. Cica 

Cica is one of K-beauty’s most-loved ingredients and while it was popular in 2020, expect to see it go further in 2021. In its simplest form, Cica works to strengthen your skin barrier, while restoring elasticity and bounce, too. The complexion-boosting credentials don’t stop there – it’s especially good for those with sensitivities or inflammation as it quickly soothes, softens and restores lost moisture. Find it in Dr Jart’s Cicapair Tiger Grass range, as well as in No7’s innovative skincare pastes. 

3. Copper Peptides 

If you’re looking to boost collagen and elastin, copper peptides are the ingredient for you. Working just like an antioxidant, they protect your skin, while also strengthening it to improve resilience and bounce. The Ordinary’s ‘Buffet’ serum is a great entry-level way to try this popular ingredient and reap the firming benefits. Then, up the ante with Medik8’s Copper PCA Peptide formula, which is brimming with 40x more antioxidants than vitamin C for a brighter, smoother complexion.

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