After spending a year mostly indoors, I'd say I have had plenty of time to really hone my makeup skills... kind of. I've learned how to properly apply foundation. I still don't always understand how to contour perfectly, but I'm close. And I can totally wing one eye perfectly. As for the other, well, I'll get there. If that sounds like you, too, after a year of unprecedented practice time, it's high time we take these talents from our bathroom mirrors and not-viral TikToks into the new year. Add in the most bomb 2021 makeup trends that'll be all over your Instagram explore page in no time, and you and I have got ourselves a wealth of viral makeup looks brimming with viral potential.
Unsurprisingly, maximal makeup looks are already deep in the ether of quarantine, but expect things to get even more colorful. If you thought the egirl heart stamps were just a fad, buckle up. But, don't go out and buy the biggest eyeshadow palette you can just yet. For my no-makeup-makeup people, there are some natural-looking trends making headway that'll be right up your alley. Regardless of your makeup preferences, though, just know 2021 is about to be a whole new year of beauty tricks you never dreamed of and inventive looks you'd never see coming.
2021 Makeup Trend: "Natural" Makeup
The '90s look of barely-there makeup mastered by Aaliyah will be back in full force this year. "Very light-little to no makeup look,' Sabré O'Neil, the makeup artist behind @GlamorousMoments on Instagram, tells Elite Daily. "This year I believe being pure is going to be big. Being true to who you are how you are and what you have going on is what's going to be 'trendy' this year." Keeping your makeup simple with just brushed-up eyebrows, mascara, and maybe a winged eyeliner is all you need to complete this trend.
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2021 Makeup Trend: Smoky Eyes
Brooklyn-based makeup artist Najmah Baker believes it's finally time for you to perfect your smoky eye. The sultry look has never really gone out of style, but a new, subtler version is on the rise. However, don't worry if your smoky eye still looks a little too much like "I slept in my makeup" eye. If you need any help perfecting the look, you can watch Baker's easy-to-follow tutorial.
2021 Makeup Trends: Graphic Eyeliner
It's time to take those eyeliner wings and learn how to make them fly. In 2021, the possibilities for your eyeliner are endless, though. You can go for bright neon colors, add some gems, or try something totally new all together — you can even add these all together. The biggest takeaway? Experiment. "I think [graphic eyeliner is] going to be a big staple in makeup for 2021, because you can get really creative with your look while still wearing a face mask," makeup artist Heather Davie says.
2021 Makeup Trend: Lip Stains
Masks aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but you don't have to give up a bold-colored lip. “Glosses and balms are better for virtual events, but if you are going to be wearing a mask, look for a lip stain," Nechelle Turner, global makeup artist for Jane Iredale, says. It's a great way to bring a full coat of color to your lips without transferring it all to your mask.
2021 Makeup Trend: Brushed-Up, Laminated Brows
The brushed-up brow look is still flying high, even into 2021. As masks force all the attention onto your eyes, fluffy and filled-in eyebrows will command and demand attention in the best way. Brow expert Azi Sacks recommends using the Kush Fiber Brow Gel ($20, Milk Makeup) from Milk Makeup to get a professional-looking finish without a ton of hassle.
2021 Makeup Trend: Flaming Eyelids
The flaming eyeshadow trend is taken straight from TikTok — and it freaking slaps. This look has slowly been taking over my feed for a few months, but now, I couldn't escape it even if I wanted to. There are a lot of different ways to execute this look, but one of the easiest is to make the flames is by working backward. Meaning: Apply your eyeshadow, and then, gently swipe away excess eyeshadow with a Q-Tip to form the flame shape. Genius.