It's Official: These Are Going to Be the 8 Biggest Makeup Trends in 2020


(Image credit: @monikablunder)

Since 2020 is here, we finally feel like we can safely say it: 2019 was a landmark year for beauty. We saw the rise of experimental and imperfect eye makeup, mostly due to what we like to call the Euphoria Effect. Thanks to the hit HBO show, and its makeup artists and actors, we saw avant-garde eyeliner, impactful eye shadow, and colorful glitter everywhere. We also saw the rise of softly illuminated complexions and peachy-pink lip colors (perhaps this was a response to the dramatic contour and highlighter looks of yesteryear?). There was even a major resurgence in certain '90s-inspired trends, such as bold blue eye shadow, black pencil eyeliner, and gloss-slick lips.

Where does that leave us for 2020? Well, this is an exciting time for beauty enthusiasts because what we deem trendy now will no doubt develop and evolve to eventually epitomize the entire decade to come. Are you ready? We are. Keep scrolling to see the biggest makeup trend predictions for the coming year, according to five of the top celebrity makeup artists.

1. Exaggerated Eye Shapes 

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Remember that Euphoria Effect we mentioned earlier? Yeah, that's not going anywhere, according to Sofia Schwarzkopf Tilbury, creative executive of Charlotte Tilbury. "I think the eyes are going to be a huge focus for makeup in 2020. One of my favorite trends that I've created recently and seen on lots of red carpets and runways is pops of color on the eye. It's all about creating gorgeous, exaggerated shapes; using softly blurred and blended blocks of color so they're not too defined. I love it when I see someone wearing an eye color look that's not wearing them—more just enhancing their features!"

2. Pops of Blue

If there's one color that you should be expecting to see more of in 2020, it's blue. That's according to Kelsey Deenihan, celebrity makeup artist and Lorac artistry advisor. It only makes sense. After all, Pantone recently announced that Classic Blue is the 2020 color the year. It's a bold shade of blue that's "suggestive of the sky at dusk," and inspires feelings of peace and tranquility.

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"Blue clearly will be on everyone's radar in 2020," she says. She suggests finding fun ways to play with color, such as "taking an unexpected bright shade and creating a sharp winged cat eye." Personally, we're partial to the bold blue eye makeup look she created for Millie Bobby Brown.

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3. White Eyeliner

Pair that pop of blue with a crisp white eyeliner (or a contrasting colorful shade) because celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta, who works with the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, and Gigi Hadid, predicts nontraditional eyeliner colors will continue to grow more and more popular. "Cream and white eyeliner are going to be huge," he says. "Especially for those who are afraid of a traditional black liner, this trend will be a great introduction!" 

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We like how sharp and crisp white eyeliner looks with long, fluttery lashes. Try the trend for yourself in a low-risk, low-commitment way by using NYX White Liquid Eyeliner ($5). Even though it's only $5, the tip allows for precise application, and the formula is smooth and opaque.

4. Colorful Eyeliner

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If not white eyeliner, 2020 is going to see a continuation of 2019's colorful eyeliner trend. "Pastels and neons are also going to be big, especially when worn with contrasting shades," Ta says. Try pairing pink with red, blue with orange, or any other contrasting combination of color. "Post-Euphoria everyone is feeling a little adventurous, and I'm here for it!"

4. Classic Products (Like Red Lipstick)

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According to celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder, who works with the likes of Amanda Seyfried, January Jones, and Gemma Chan, 2020 will also usher in a resurgence of classic makeup looks and products (yup, 2020 will be a year that juxtaposes the traditional with the trendy). "Classics are huge right now, and they will continue to be in 2020! A classic red like Clé de Peau Beauté Lipstick Cashmere in Legend ($65) will never go out of style and will be making a bold appearance in the New Year," she says. 

That's good to hear because even though we absolutely love experimenting with shape and color, we couldn't part ways with our classic red lipstick or sharp winged liner if we tried.

5. Softly Illuminated Complexions

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Another trend that Tilbury predicts will continue on into 2020 is a softly illuminated complexion. Unlike the strobe looks of yesteryear, this trend is all about a soft, lit-from-within radiance. "Glow will never be out of trend, but for 2020 I feel like highlighting products and complexion boosters are really going to get amped up for the ultimate flawless glow," she says. 

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As for which products she recommends using in order to achieve that radiant "I just returned from a two-week vacation in the Maldives" sort of glow, Tilbury says she's crazy about Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Flawless Filter. "It's a customizable complexion booster that you can use on its own, underneath foundation, and as a highlighter… In the New Year, everyone is trying to look fresh and dewy and glowing, and this is such an easy way to achieve that trend!"

"We're also going to see that glow on the eyes, lips, and cheeks," Tilbury continues. "For a couple of years, matte lips have been huge, but gloss is really making a comeback. I often finish a lip look with a slick of Lip Lustre ($22) or Superstar Lips Glossy Lipstick ($34) on top to add a plumper-looking, sumptuous finish with a gorgeous mirror-like shine. Everyone has to try it!” 

6. Makeup-Skincare Hybrids

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With so many people becoming more aware (and concerned) about what they're putting on their skin, expect to see a lot of emphasis on skincare-makeup hybrids in 2020—products that offer color pay-off with good-for-skin ingredients. "There's less attention to color but more on skincare as part of your makeup routine," Blunder says. "Consumers are more aware of the ingredients and quality of their beauty products. It's very common for someone to do research ahead of buying or trying anything. For brands, it's extremely important to note this and only serve clients with the best. Brands like Clé de Peau Beauté do this effectively and reformulate existing products to only incorporate the most sought-after ingredients." 

7. Sheer Makeup

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Now let's talk about coverage, because although we've seen a rise in opaque, ultra-matte makeup formulas in recent years, Ta says 2020 is all about light and airy options. From foundation and concealer to blush, highlighter, and beyond, your 2020 mantra should be something along the lines of the lighter, the better. "I think sheer, more natural products are going to be the focus this season," he says. "Less is definitely more for spring 2020." 

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Deenihan agrees that natural-looking complexions will be en vogue. "I'm seeing a major return to skin that looks like skin—a cleaner, more realistic complexion," she says. We're really taking a step back from faux-looking skin that peaked in popularity over the last couple years." 

8. Sustainable Beauty

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In 2019, we saw a huge influx of sustainable beauty brands, and we're here for it. These brands are conscious of their environmental strain, thereby committing to the reduction of unnecessary waste, often housing their products in plastic-free packaging. Some even give back to environmental charities, supporting ocean clean-ups, recycling programs, and other admirable efforts. Deenihan and Ta know that this is more than just a passing trend. As such, they predict sustainability will continue to be a serious topic of discussion in 2020 and beyond.

"Conscientious product development and sustainable sourcing is becoming non-negotiable in the industry, and I'm happy about it," Deenihan says. "Brands are definitely becoming more aware of the impact they are leaving on the earth and (most!) are doing their best to reduce it. It's the only way." 

"I am all for green and sustainable beauty," Ta continues. "It’s been a huge topic at the Patrick Ta Headquarters so look out for a shift from us. But I’m currently loving Honest Beauty and Kosas; they do a really great job at bringing awareness to this global issue, while still keeping their marketing trendy!"

On that note, we're currently loving Kosas 10 Second Eyeshadow ($28). It's a liquid formula that has an effect like watercolor paint, drying down to create a gorgeous, imperfect finish. Try the blue shade, called Nitrogen, to take part in the aforementioned blue trend.

Next, the most life-changing mascaras we tried in 2019

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.