This Low-Key Makeup Trend Dominated In 2020

by Sara Spruch-Feiner
Originally Published: 
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"I'm happy to say that not even a pandemic could halt beauty from evolving and inspiring me this year," says celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon. It's been (needless to say) a weird year — and said weirdness has certainly impacted habits — especially when it comes to makeup. For some, quarantine presented a unique opportunity to play with makeup and create interesting, trendy looks for 2020. For others, a refreshing chance to embrace a life spent entirely bare-faced and in sweatpants. "It's not that people are abandoning beauty rituals and makeup — but they're certainly being more selective," notes celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno.

Against all odds, however, some interesting trends emerged. With mask-wearing becoming commonplace (and required), the eyes became a focal point of play for some. Colorful eyeliner, whimsical shapes, and fun textures have all shown up on lids this year. And for some, quick and easy natural makeup looks that highlight one's complexion have taken center stage. Yes, no matter how you cut it, in a year of quiet uncertainty, some clear makeup patterns still managed to emerge.

Ahead, the top looks that shone brighter than ever in 2020, according to celebrity makeup artists.

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2020's Best Makeup Trends: Experimental Eyes

This year has presented an opportunity to get super creative with eyeshadows and eyeliners. It's led to an explosion of "colorful eyeliner in unusual places," celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass says, "I’ve noticed a lot of really experimental, vivid eyeliner that often floats away from the lash line." It is perhaps, a reflection of the ways in which everything normal was turned upside down in 2020. "I think we’ve all had more time on our hands to experiment and play, and less concern for being judged," Bass says, "Life is crazy around us at the moment so no one is going to think twice about floating lime green eyeliner. And I think a little fantasy is welcomed right now."

Plus, it's just nice to have a little fun. "This is an easy way to brighten up your face — just drawing little clouds or even just a line in a bold color with a different colored tip on it," Denno says.

2020's Best Makeup Trends: 5-Minute Makeup

If you didn't want to spend more than five minutes on makeup most days this year, you certainly weren't alone. "The pandemic has led people to change their makeup routines, and in a way, they've started to care less about perfection," celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder says. One of the easiest ways to do this is with makeup in stick format, something Westman Atelier excels in.

2020's Best Makeup Trends: Natural, Glowing Skin

"We’ve finally had the time to use all the oils, masks, and various devices on a regular basis and it’s showing," says Bass of the increased attention (and time) devoted to achieving one's skin goals this year. "More and more people are starting to embrace, appreciate, and accept their imperfections and work with them not against them," Blunder says. She recently launched Blunder Cover, a concealer-foundation hybrid, which she says is an example of "an easy product that focuses on enhancing your natural beauty."

2020's Best Makeup Trends: Bold, Fluffy Brows

"Getting through Covid has been about trying to find the silver linings, whether big or small, like finally being able to grow out your eyebrows!" Bass says. "We’re only really seeing people on Zoom, so who cares about a little regrowth? I’ve definitely noticed bigger, fluffier brows and I’m here for it!" If you've been thinking about letting them grow and leave them au naturel, it's a good time to embrace an imperfect, fluffy brow. Enhance what you've got with a 'brow-cara' — a mascara for the brows.

2020's Best Makeup Trends: Long, Lush Lashes

"For me, it has been all about eyelashes," explains makeup artist Amber Dreadon. "Without any access to lash extensions, the focus has been on growing long, thick natural lashes and making the eyes pop with a bold mascara," she says. Time at home (and away from the wear and tear of extensions) has allowed for some repair. "Using a lash serum that conditions can really make a crazy difference in length, if used daily, and when paired with a mascara, it's just the perfect eye for lockdown," Dreadon says.

2020's Best Makeup Trends: A Colorful Lip

The easiest way to add a pop of color (even on an otherwise bare face), a bold lip presented a simple but bright way to look "presentable" on Zoom in a pinch. Celebrity makeup artist Carolina Dali calls this trend her favorite of the year — her preference is for a matte finish. "A matte lip looks so chic and opulent," she says, adding that her favorite is the Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Color, which "has a stunning matte finish, and doesn’t transfer or bleed, so you can wear it under your mask without it smudging or coming off."

Her tip: "I like to apply a touch of Orcé foundation using an Artis brush around my lips first — this helps my lips stand out a little more and evens out the skin tone in preparation for the lip color. Then I apply the lip color and, lastly, I perfect my lip line using a clean lipstick brush dipped in the color of choice to further define the lips and create the perfect pout."

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