Top Makeup Trends of 2021, So Far

By Nickie Hayes

Now that we have hit April, it is a good time to look back on the first fourth of the year. Specifically, looking at the top makeup trends so far this year. We have seen major fads so far, like the Spock brows from Nikki Tutorials on YouTube and eye paintings from the TikTok star Abby Roberts. This year, makeup looks are taking an interesting turn, and the makeup trends are following in those steps. 

Diana Kraut is a freelance makeup artist from New Jersey. As a working makeup artist, she felt it was important to distinguish that she is not an influencer or a content creator. With that being said, she is not necessarily following the trends from social media while at her job. 

However, she believes that the overall trend in makeup this year will be high-spirited and eye-catching looks. 

“I think what we are going to be seeing a lot of is playfulness,” Kraut said. “We have been wearing masks for over a year, and people really miss being able to have fun with their makeup.”

She said that bold colors have been particularly popular and will continue to be into the summer. People are also becoming more experimental with their makeup in ways people have never thought to do so in the past, she said. 

Allison Kostik is an aspiring makeup artist who is a senior at Arlington High School in LaGrangeville, New York. Her goal is to work her way up to be a medical esthetician. 

Kostik agrees that people are becoming more comfortable doing bold makeup looks with brighter colors, and she said she also tends to gamble with these interesting makeup looks.

Colorful Eye Makeup

This is an extreme version of the colorful eyeshadow trend. However, the use of bright colors in an artistic way is very popular for eye makeup right now. Photo by Michele Seghieri on Unsplash

Colorful eyeshadow is not new, but the manner in which it is being done in makeup looks this year is particularly inventive and intriguing. Eyeshadows are placed on the eye in an artistic way, allowing the individual to show their creativity. The easiest way to create this look is using one bright eyeshadow color all over the upper and lower lid to create a monochromatic eyeshadow look.

Kostik says her favorite way to do bold eye makeup is with a cut crease. This eyeshadow style entails laying a base color down and essentially carving out the eye crease with a different color, accentuating the individual eye shape. This may be done with a single color or multiple colors. 

“I would say hot pink is my favorite color to use,” she said. 

Dolphin Skin

This trend embodies natural, illuminated and fresh looking skin. Photo by febri sym on Unsplash

The dolphin skin makeup trend is not new and there has been many varying forms of the trend over the past few years. The trademark features of this trend include dewy, illuminated skin, that does not necessarily look like it has any products on it. 

“This is predominantly what we are asked to do on set and what we are asked to create on set,” Kraut said. 

She explained that this concept is not necessarily a trend, but the name of it is. 

“We love to give it a new name every year like dolphin skin or reverse highlighting, but really it’s the same thing.”

She said that glowy skin and accentuating the best features of the face, in this case the skin, will never go out of style. 

When Kostik is working or at school, she said the natural foundation look is perfect. It is lighter and a trend that is wonderful for everyday life.

However, she said if she does have an event or something special planned, she still enjoys wearing full coverage foundation and creating dramatic looks. 

Bold Blush

An easy way to explain this trend is doing your blush like you have just come back in from a cold winter day. This trend emphasizes the natural blushing seen in fair skin tones. Photo by Juan Goyache on Unsplash

For this trend, the entire upper cheekbone, along with the nose, is covered with blush. The color of the blush is not very particular. Most who do this trend use the normal blush they would use, but in a much heavier manner. In this blush placement, it allows for a sun-kissed look, Kraut said. 

She said she thinks this trend will continue into the summer of 2021. 

“I think it’s going to be a part of people being a little bit more bold with their makeup, as I mentioned before,” she said. “A bold blush color is definitely part of that.”

She said that she has also seen the blush being taken up to the forehead and on the chin. Taking the blush onto the forehead, she said, allows for a transition between the bronzer and the lighter skin tone, making the makeup more natural. 

However, she stresses that blush placement should be done with the person’s face in mind and considering where it looks most flattering. 

Kostik said, “It is not just E-Girls or gamer girls mostly seen on TikTok that are creating this look.” 

Kostik agrees that most use this trend to create a sun-kissed glow. The girls seen on TikTok who create this look are doing a dramatic version of this trend. In everyday life, most who do this trend do it with a lighter hand when applying the blush. 

Intense Eyeliner

People are taking eyeliner looks to new heights, and this is an example of colorful, graphic eyeliner. Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras on Unsplash

Bold, colorful, smoldering, and graphic eyeliner has been huge this year. Exploration of new eyeliner shapes and styles has also been trendy this year. 

“I would say just regular winged eyeliner is the most popular choice to go for,” Kostik said, “but a lot of people have been going for graphic eyeliner and cool designs to go along with it.” 

Taking regular makeup looks to new levels is common this year, and building off of a look already done frequently is an effortless way to achieve the 2021 look. 

Kraut said that this is another one of those trends that should be taken with a grain of salt. 

“Eyeliner is not a one size fits all, and I think it looks best taken into consideration the person’s eye shape,” she said. 

For Kraut, personally, she said that she likes a graphic eyeliner the best on herself because that is what is most flattering on her eye. She said she has a hooded eye shape. 

1960s Inspired Makeup

To understand how to get this makeup look, all you have to do is take a look at Ariana Grande. Her style of makeup, and even her hair and outfit choices are the ‘60s look made modern and trendy. 

“On me, I would prefer the ‘60s look,” Kostik said. 

“I would say the majority of what I’ve seen on social media is people are trying to hippie look,” she said. 

The flower-child look and even the cottagecore trend, which is an internet 

fashion aesthetic is another avenue to find inspiration to recreate the 1960s look. 

1990s to Early 2000s Inspired Makeup

To achieve this trend, you need thin eyebrows, smoldering eyes and a brown or neutral-toned lip. 

“I think Bella Hadid does the ‘90s to early 2000’s look really well,” Kraut said. “Her brows are a little bit thinner, she has a ton of eye space to play with, and she really rocks those earthy tones we saw a lot of in the ‘90s.”

She said these neutral eye shadow colors are usually found on the eyes and the lips when creating this makeup trend. 

Stained Lips

This is a trend inspired by Asian cultures and their makeup routines, and it is a soft and subdued lip look. Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

This is a popular look where the lips are given a wash of color in the center of the lip. The product is then blended out from the middle of the lip outward and is a natural way to wear lipstick. To get this look, Kraut says the easiest way to do it is with a small fluffy brush.

“You can take any lipstick you have already and use a fluffy brush to apply the lip color,” she said. “Then you won’t get the full-color payoff and instead the stained effect.”

Another way to get this look is just by using the finger tips, tapping the product into the center of the lip and blending from there. 

For inspiration, Kostik said that Haley Bennett, an American actress, is a great example of someone who does the stained lip look best. 

Fluffy Brows

This is a great representation of the fluffy brow look. The brow hairs are brushed upward, it is lightly filled in the empty areas and it is unrefined. Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

This may be one of the easiest makeup trends to achieve. The shaggy and unpolished eyebrow is taking over compared to the perfect and clean-cut browns that used to be everywhere. 

I think we are moving towards a more natural, fluffy and imperfect brow, which I think is beautiful,” Kraut said. 

Taking advantage of your natural eyebrow and accentuating what you already have is how to create this style. 

“It is much easier to let them do their thing, fill in any spots if you need to if they are particularly sparse, but just let them be,” Kraut said. 

Kostik said there is another variation of this trend that has also been popular called laminated brows or soap brows. This is where you take a bar of soap and an eyebrow or spooly brush, run it across the bar of soap and brush the brow hairs up to create a bushy brow effect, she said. 

To find new makeup trends, Kostik said just to look at any social media application. She said that she will look at Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube for inspiration. 

“NikkiTutorials and Jeffree Star are popular on YouTube for new makeup trends, and on TikTok, Abby Roberts is popular,” she said. 

Kostik said that Roberts not only does colorful eye looks, but will create almost like paintings on her face, which is great for inspiration, she said. 

In regards to where to find more of these new trends, Kraut says the best way is to just follow a working makeup artist on one of the many social media platforms.

“We have to remember that influencers are performing, and influencers are creating content specifically for social media,” she said. 

She explained that you would not necessarily see the looks you find on Instagram or YouTube in real life because those makeup looks are the best on camera. Following working makeup artists that are doing makeup for people who are leaving their homes is a great way to find everyday makeup trends. 

Kraut also said that just looking around in your everyday life is another easy way to find new makeup trends. 

“If there is somebody whose style you really love, you can get inspiration from them,” she said. 

In regards to platforms like YouTube and TikTok, Kraut says that they are more likely to set trends in their realms. By this, she means that these influencers set trends for the social media outlet they are on, and not necessarily real life.

Taking inspiration and ideas from the pictures and videos from social media may help someone to create a trendy makeup look for their everyday lives. 

This is the perfect representation of the lively and out of the box makeup we are seeing this year. Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

This year it is easy to say that bold colors and playfulness are mostly what the makeup trends are consisting of this year. Along with that, accentuating one’s natural features and going for an imperfect style is reinventing makeup so far this year. It seems these trends will continue through the spring and into the summer, and most will be able to find a trend that suits their style. 

Creating fun makeup looks is a great way to add some adventure into the day, and why not try something new. Makeup can simply be wiped off and reapplied. Find the trends that work for you and make them your own. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s