Stunning Eyeliners To Bushy Brows, Here Is A Lowdown Of The Top Makeup Trends Of 2021


As we gear up for the new year, a bit of reflection could do us a lot of good. With pandemic easing up in the second half of the year (that was a relief), we witnessed some of the best statement red carpet looks (yup, we speak of Yara Shahidi’s unforgettable 1920’s inspired MET gala do up), minimalist makeup trends, hybrid products, and a ton of new trends. 2021 saw some fab makeup trends, and though they may be too OTT for everyday wear, we don’t think we’re ready to let go of them just yet. The newness of 2022 brings with it a promise of ever-changing makeup trends and hacks, and we’re here for them.

The exploration was double-ended, one side of it was restrictive, and the other gave creators the freedom a lot of them craved since they first started using their mom’s lipsticks behind her back. Of course, there was the fact that all of us had to don a mask, so lipsticks were relegated to a corner but skincare became a thing. At the other end of the spectrum, with individuals staying home through most of 2020 and a majority of 2021, and they took various liberties with new hacks, styles, application techniques, etc. Multi-tasking makeup was looked into, not only out of necessity but also out of convenience, embellishments were tried on, and a ‘barely there’ foundation was given a shot.

Here’s our round-up of the top makeup trends that made us blush in 2021!

Everything And More Than What Meets The Eye


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Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India and Organiser of the Cosmoprof India show commented, “The Covid19 pandemic has changed the industry landscape across sectors. With masks covering most of the face, more attention is directed to the eyes. The eyes serve as windows to the soul now more than ever. According to beauty experts, one of the trending eye make-up looks in 2021 is the reverse cat eye look. Like the fierce winged eyeliner, it is inverted that focuses attention on the lower lash line. Its stunning look accentuates the eyes giving it a smoky and sultry look.”

Embellishments, popping colours, the drama of glitter and masterfully created graphic liners- eye makeup looks were put on a pedestal in 2021.  The lids became synonymous with a canvas for makeup lovers. From bold, stern eyeliners and highly pigmented eyeshadows, the eyes did all the talking because the masks were on. Colourful mascara made a comeback and technicolour lashes got their moment in the sun. Fluffy brows were given a shot due to the acceptance (and love) of bold, smouldering looks and thick eyebrows. Sky-high lashes for a lifted look had us in ‘flutter central’.

Read My Lips


A personal favourite of 2021 in the lip department was the comeback of the 2000’s fashionista clear gloss look. Glosses did get better, they no longer entirely covered our hair in goo but they were still sticky. Still, the matte colours which had our lips parched were no longer the flavour of the season and for that we are thankful.  And with non-stick formulas for glosses becoming insanely popular, the minimalist beauty trend had many takers throughout the year. This year, lip plumper set our puckers tingling giving us pouty lips that made for perfect selfie shots.

Gradient shades were tried out, with dark overlines blended with lighter shades towards the centre, giving your lips definition to die for. New overlining techniques played out on the internet, and hacks were tried out (the pursed lips hack, easy but effective) for a natural lip plumping. Nudes became a crowd favourite, largely due to their versatility, and stained and tinted lip colours became our go-to ‘under the mask’ companions.

We Came, We Saw, We Contoured (Not Tho)!


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The ‘fresh skin’ trend had everyone flaunting clean, glowing skin throughout this year. Lightweight bases with coverage but not too intense made the whole concept of acceptance about where your skin’s at extremely popular for all the right reasons. Changing up full coverage foundations for lightweight CC and BB creams that covered minor blemishes were the way to go. Honestly, it was probably all that foundation giving us textured skin to begin with.

Dewy finishes had people glowing all year, no matter the weather conditions outside their homes, and cheek tints were the new favourite colour popping addition to makeup kits around the world. Revisiting creators’ freedom, face art made makeup gurus show off their talent, rightfully earning them a place on the ‘artists’ bench.

Can You Make Up Your Mind?


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This year saw a lot of makeup hacks, most born out of boredom and some out of desperation or convenience. Concealer lifts changed the game for the sultry looks we needed, and the highlighter and blush lift just added oomph to the mix. Knowing right where to place each product to get the angle right was a task, but with a bit of practice (and a whole lot of YouTube tutorials), we can safely say we got the hang of things pretty quickly. Bobby pins used to create a stamp of the perfect outline for a winged eyeliner look and were probably the easiest hack to come into play, reducing the time taken up significantly.

Speaking of eyeliners, white eyeliner was used to contour and lift faces (talk about multi-purpose products, amirite?) and seemed to do a darn good job at it. Reordering steps in the makeup routine and straying from the norm yielded surprising results, too, with the foundation hack of applying moisturiser, primer and setting spray before applying foundation, resulting in a long-stay and clean, matte finish.

The Best Buys Of 2021


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You can’t have a makeup rewind without giving up our best-kept product secrets for the year. Here’s a list of products that stole our heart, wrapped it up in cotton, and kept it safely stowed away for next year.

1. Huda Beauty – The brand has seen a mercurial rise since its inception and with one hot new launch after the other, it has become the go-to makeup pick for many. Some of their best picks for 2021 were the Wild Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, Glowish Multidew Skin Tint, Silk Balm Hydra-Plumping Lip Balm

2. Ilana Organics – This homegrown brand charmed beauty lovers with its gentle and innovative natural makeup range. Some of our favourites from is are the Boss Babe Beet Tint, Celestial Pop Face Shimmer Highlighter and the Golden Hour Makeup Primer.

3. Fae Beauty – Yet another homegrown fave, the good people over at Fae Beauty won everyone over with their adorable product range and filter-free branding. We love the Glaws Gloss Emerging, Brash Primer and Brow Gel from them!

4. Clinique – This popular brand’s foray into makeup saw much fanfare, especially the Even Better All-Over Concealer + Eraser.

5. Disguise Cosmetics – 100% vegan and cruelty-free, this homegrown brand’s wholesomeness spread a lot of joy this year. We love the Supaarwoman Eyeshadow Palette and Champagne Moonshine multi-use sticks.

Photos: Instagram

- Beauty Contributor

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