After a year or so of paired-down makeup (or totally fresh faces), fewer haircuts, and newly prescribed skincare routines (thanks, maskne), it's safe to say we're yearning for the glam. While the future of reentry is still foggy, the joy of doing hair and makeup is something many of us have sorely missed—and are looking forward to getting back into once we can safely do so. Even if you're not ready to commit to full-on lipstick or knotless braids to wear in the wild just yet, there's plenty of inspiration ahead to convince you that it's fun to experiment with your look, even if it's just from the comfort of your own couch.
For some, the magic of blush is calling. Others are reaching for colorful liners and hair tools (remember those?) for the first time in a year. Whatever your pleasure, there's probably an Instagram photo you've been eyeing for months, handily stowed away for when you'll have a chance to give it a debut.
Read on and get to know the beauty looks Byrdie editors are excited to wear when the world has safely reopened again.
"If it’s brightly colored, I want it. Of course, I’m beyond excited to wear vibrant lipsticks and eyeshadows, whenever we can safely get out there again. But, I’m particularly passionate about showing off my favorite colored liners. I’ve been experimenting way more with beauty while I’ve been home, and colored liners are my new obsession. They add such a cool touch of playfulness and fun to any look."
"After a year plus of too much inside time, I’m craving blush, bronzer, highlighter—and going completely overboard with all three. My vision is less 'sun-kissed' and more 'sun-slapped.' I’m putting blush everywhere it’s socially acceptable: the bridge of my nose, my temples, a healthy dose on my cheeks—I’ve even been using my most cherished shade of the moment (Fleurtatious by Pat MacGrath) as an eyeshadow. Just add a strong dose of bronzer along the hairline and below the cheekbones for some extra dimension, and I look happy and healthy. Finished with as much highlighter as I can muster, my comeback is looking bronzed and baked and glistening in the sun."
"I'm excited to have some fun with bold eyeshadows. I've recently purchased a few and, yet, have no place to wear them. Currently, I love Kosas' 10-Second Eyeshadow in 333, which is a gorgeous cool lavender color. I also recently bought Yeux Paint from the buzzy French-girl makeup brand, Violette Fr, in Rose d'Aurore, which applies as a bright, sparkling Fuchsia. Both liquid shadows are just waiting to be worn with a patent leather boot, trench coat, and oversized purse."
"As much as I love experimenting with makeup and hairstyles, I'm a creature of habit. I'd love to say that I'm ready to try neon negative space liner and a slicked-back bun (which would be considered 'daring' for me), but I typically stick to what I know works best for my features. The most out-of-the-box style I've done lately has been leaning into the '90s rom-com renaissance of late—think Clueless and Passport to Paris—that the likes of Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa have been sporting. For a quick updo, I'll whip my hair up into a haphazard French twist and secure with a fun claw clip, letting a few waved-out pieces fall in front of my face. Throw on a spaghetti strap mini dress, and I'm ready to cruise on a Vespa with a Parisian boy."
"I've always been here for a bold eye makeup look, and to be honest, that's what I've really missed from my morning routine this past year. My new thing is creating a new makeup look every time I leave the house, even if it's just to the grocery store. It doesn't always have to be as bold as this ombré eyeshadow I did using the About-Face Liquid Eye Paints, but it needs to feel different than whatever I did the last time I put on makeup. This new routine kind of forces me to try things out of my comfort zone, use new products, and also helps to start my day with creativity. And to be honest, the bolder the look, the better."
"After 18 months of walking from my bedroom, to my living, to my kitchen, and back again—my vitamin D levels have seen brighter days. As such, my first order of business when we can get back out there will be to dutifully apply SPF. My favorite of the bunch is Vacation's Classic Lotion—commonly referred to as the 'world's best smelling sunscreen'—as its whipped, hydrating formula is a pleasure to apply and the scent is perfect. Think Miami swimming pools and nostalgia.
"The other product I'm coveting is Beauty Pie's Super Healthy Skin Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm (a mouthful of irresistible words, no?), as I'll likely apply more makeup than usual and want to make sure I'm good about removing it. It's formulated with aloe juice and cold-pressed Baobab Sariché, brimming with vitamins A, D, E, and F, to effectively melt and remove every last lingering spot of makeup. Plus, it very literally heats up as you massage it into your skin—allowing for a sensual cleansing experience that takes the mundaneness out of washing your face.
"Then, there's my old faithful—Nars Lipstick in Heat Wave. I've worn this shade since before I was a beauty editor (read: almost a decade), but haven't slicked in on in over 18 months. It feels so good to apply it, even if it's just for me at this point, but I can't wait for a time when all this is behind us and I can wear it with abandon. We're not there yet, but hopefully one day we will be."
"Summer is protective-style season which means knotless braids, faux locs, and feed-ins (among many other styles) are abound. Even if we're not spending a ton of time outdoors yet, it's necessary to protect our hair from the heat while also looking good. Extra-long protective styles are luxurious, and the finished product makes the eight hours at the salon so worth it."
"I'm calling this look 'All Gloss Everywhere' or 'Glazed Donut Skin.' After a year of avoiding any kind of gloss in favor of mask-friendly matte options, I’m ready to go all-in on gleaming, dewy looks. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be coating my lips, cheeks, and eyelids in enough gloss to make me resemble a glazed donut. Like a kid on Christmas, if it’s not shiny and reflective, I don’t want it."
"Colorful eyeliner just doesn't translate over Zoom. And during the pandemic, every look I wore felt so high stakes. It would be the first time I saw my friends or family in a while, and it felt like my look had to declare, 'Remember me? This is who I am.' I wouldn't experiment and only stuck to my standby favorites.
"That said, I want to play with makeup again. About-Face's Shadowsticks (I'm wearing it here in Creature) are like crayons for the face. It makes me feel giddy to add a pop of bright green or orange to my lids. It's my foray into the Euphoria trend while maintaining the minimalism I embraced during the pandemic."