We try to keep things as positive as possible here at Who What Wear, but we won't act like we're not excited for a fresh, new year. Of course, we're still anticipating plenty of curveballs in 2021, and we realize totems of 2020 like constant mask wearing, less IRL interaction, etc. will continue to be our steadfast reality. The good news? 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 eve of a new year for some novel inspiration?
We're already chomping at the bit where 2021 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 2021 makeup trend predictions they're most excited about along with the must-have products you'll need to re-create each trend at home. Keep scrolling!
Trend #1: Smoldering Eyeliner
With all of the mask wearing in our future, Stern predicts smoldering eye looks will reign supreme among the 2021 makeup trend set.
"A classic, wet-lined liner look can really make us feel put-together," she explains. "I’m obsessed with Jillian Dempsey's Khôl Eyeliners ($20). They're clean, and they come in all colors."
"With all eyes on eyes, I predict lots of playfulness when it comes to bright-colored mascaras and Technicolor lashes," Stern continues.
The sky is the limit where formula and color 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.
As far as specifics when it comes to her wands of choice, Stern tells us she loves the cobalt blue and deep-sea green options from L’Oréal.
Trend #3: Sky-High Lashes
Are you noticing a theme here? Undoubtedly, 2021 will be 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!"
That said, if your local lash spot isn't open or if you're not comfortable making appointments just yet, you still have options for maximum lash potential. Surratt Beauty's Noir Lash Tint ($50) might look bizarre, but it will give you the longest fringe you've ever had from a tube, and falsies or customizable gossamers will never go out of style.
Trend #4: Stained Lip Color
There has been a definitive shift in focus from our pouts, but that doesn't mean we'll have no need for a megawatt lip moment in the coming year. (We're still predicting lots and lots of Zoom calls, Instagram Lives, and more in 2021.) Stern's take? Choose something that's bold and has stamina.
"Long-wear lipstick never had a more relevant place in our beauty bags!" she emphasizes. "Apply a couple of coats of your favorite stain and blot in between each application—this will stain your lips and allow you to wear a bold color 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 favorite. The color range is epic, and the formula feels amazing on your lips."
Trend #5: Resurgence of Early 2000s
"Early 2000s makeup is 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 chocolatey brown lip by outlining your pout with a flesh-tone lip liner, filling it all in with a moisturizing lipstick, and pressing your lips together to blur out the lip line. She suggests shopping Propa Beauty's collection of lipstick, which contains a wide variety of neutral brown hues that cater to all skin tones.
Trend #6: Fresh Skin
We reported clean, glowing skin as a top beauty trend to watch earlier this fall, and according to Loiz, we were right on target.
"Rocking your real and true skin will be where it’s at for 2021, 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 for 2021, Loiz says bold and bright eyelids are her absolute favorite.
"It’s time to get creative with the eyes and use all the colors 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 color-block shapes on the eyes with Danessa Myricks's Waterproof Cream Palettes, or if you want something a tad more subtle, you can reach for a colored 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.