On the beauty front, 2020 has already been a year that evokes creativity, inspiration and unique dimensions. From the softer approach of everyday makeup to the high impact and undeniable artistry seen on catwalks, we’re leaving last year’s no-makeup makeup behind in favor of metallic, jewel toned eyeshadow at the likes of LaQuan Smith to pastel eyeliner at Jonathan Simkhai. But as much as these makeup trends leave us awe-inspired on the runways, how do they really translate IRL? I decided to find out.
Trend #1: Less is More
This look is all about fresh, hydrated, glowing skin—like you’re starting every morning with some one-on-one time with your facialist. From Chanel to Rouland Mouret, models debuted dewy, glossy skin with minimal pores in sight. The secret? Mixing skincare products with makeup. I achieved this look by first cleansing my skin with Deviant Skin’s Cleansing Concentrate; it removes dirt and impurities without stripping the skin, and leaves me with a perfectly balanced canvass. I love Dr. Dennis Gross for exfoliation and have used his daily peels in the past, but the Dr. Dennis Gross Professional Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel is my new favorite. I then pressed 111SKIN Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask into my skin with an Omorovicza Rose Quartz Face Roller to further stimulate blood flow around the face, which gives you that post-gym flush. For days when just my skincare isn’t enough, I like to finish off this look with a lightweight bronzer that gives the illusion of a sun-kissed look in all the right places; Nars Laguna Liquid Bronzer will fake a week in post-Tulum glow in just a few seconds.
Trend #2: Flushed Lips
If I could commit to a trend this season it would be be this. Comfortable, rosy and hydrated, this lip trend is the merging of your favorite lip balm and a suede lipstick for that that “your lips but better” look. Think soft and smudged; models at Oscar De La Renta had bold pigments smudged on their lips then gently buffed out to soften the color, taking a cue from K-beauty. I used a satin-finish lipstick Marena Beaute Rouge Tarou Nude in the shade Toffee, which left a soft finish on the lips that doesn’t need much touching up. I lightly pressed it into the lip with my finger, which creates the colour without drawing away the moisture. If I was to attempt a bolder take on the flushed lip, I would apply a lipstick to the centre of the lips and then smudge outwards, but I’ll save that for when the occasion really calls for it.
Trend #3: Bright Eyes
Color is coming in hot with painted pinks at Jason Wu and more subtle pastels at Jonathan Simkhai. For a bolder look, dip into Fenty Beauty’s Snap Shadows; the customizable eyeshadow palette lets you experiment to your heart's desire. I’ll be honest—I’m afraid of color or anything bright, so for this pastel trend, I tread lightly with a more subtle look. If you’re anything like me, try incorporating a swipe of white liner across the eyes for a subtle step up from your classic cat-eye (and to save yourself from giving yourself a mini heart attack every time you see yourself in a mirror).
Trend #4: Metallic Eyeshadow
Dramatic and eye-catching, metallic eyeshadow caught the focus on the runways this season. Whether it’s solid shadow, loose glitter, or a finely milled pigment over the eye shadow, a twinkle on the eye is instantly show-stopping. For extravagance that won’t disappoint, I recommend Pat McGrath Labs’ Mothership V Bronze Seduction Palette; it’s saturated with pigment and the colors are intense and perfectly metallic. If creating a smoky eye limits your time in the morning and like me, you find too much sheen frightening, then applying a wash of color over the eyes before applying a MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow Pigment that matches in colour is an easier (and more subtle) way to pull off the trend. I found that when I started off lightly with a wash of the pigment, I wasn’t as afraid of the end result and the buildable finish can make it the perfect day-to-night eye look.
Trend #5: Water Tint Foundation
While we go waterless with our skincare products, SS20 is introducing the water tint into our foundation routines. Think thin layers, barely-there complexion bases and letting your skin have its moment. The “water” effect is to give the idea of a healthy, hydrated and flushed complexion using either a tinted moisturiser or lightweight foundation. To create the perfectly light but dewy finish, I usually use Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation; it has a beautiful finish and is lightweight enough so that it’s almost invisible on the skin. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation is also a treat for your skin, leaving you with softly glowing skin and a surprising amount of coverage without veering into heavy-duty full-coverage territory. Since I’m more on the oily side, I spritz Caudalie Beauty Elixir as a final touch to enhance the dew and also balance the skin (plus, it’s so refreshing as a mid-day deskside pick-me-up).
Trend #6: Rosebud Lip
Like an LBD, leather jacket or black blazer, there are some things that will never go out of style—a red lip falls in that category. On the runway, it made a comeback too at shows like Helmut Lang and Emilia Wickstead. I applied the classic MAC Lip Liner in Cherry and the MAC Lip Liner in Chestnut all over my lip as a base; this created the perfect base for my red lipstick. MAC’s cult classic Ruby Woo looks good on all skin tones, but if you’re looking or something more impactful, I also recommend Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in the shade Uncensored.
Trend #7: Glazed-Skin Glow
For the ultimate glow (think glass skin goals), highlighting after your face makeup is applied just won’t cut it. The secret is in the pre- and post-highlight—basically, layering your highlighter. Pre-highlighting involves applying either a luminizer or a liquid highlighter after moisturizing and before foundation, then as your final step after your face makeup is done; this is the key to mastering the perfect glow. I tried this technique and highly recommend Nars Cosmetics Tinted Glow Booster; it’s a customizable complexion enhancer that melts seamlessly into my skin without any kickback, offering the perfect amount of radiance without overdoing it. It’s perfect and you can use it any way you’d like—plus, it’s lightweight, doesn’t transfer, and gives you a glow that lasts all day.
Trend #8: Pop of Neon
Neon isn’t going anywhere. With Venetian stained-glass windows at Salvatore Ferragamo by makeup artist Fara Homidi and colorful eyeshadow at both Natasha Zinko and Tibi, it’s no surprise that this trend allows everyone’s inner artist out to play. For a full-blown artistic canvas, dipping into Melt Cosmetics Radioactive Palette is the perfect option because it combines zesty greens, vibrant yellows and stark oranges to play with until your heart is content. I tried a more subtle approach to this trend, sweeping a neon orange eyeshadow across my eyes to instantly wake up my face.
Trend #9: Eyeliner With Attitude
Classic eyeliner went punk for the SS 20 runways. A dramatic wing was showcased at Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, and Missoni, where the inky black line took XXL proportions. Whether you’re exaggerating your wing or covering your entire lid, no ordinary pencil liner will do. I recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Liner; it’s the perfect inky, high-pigment true black and is good for creating both whisper-thin flicks and dramatic lines. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted—and I can’t wait to wear it again.
Trend #10: Feathered Brows
My eyebrows are supremely sparse, so the idea of naturally bushy brows is pretty much non-existent. However, I’m obsessed with the feathered brows seen at Mugler, Haider Ackermann and Balenciaga and donned by models such as Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Luckily, I’ve been able to find a way to fake the bushy brow look. I brush my brows upwards with a spoolie, focusing on the center of the brow, then angle the ends out; this gives an illusion of a fuller brow. I found that a skinny, sharp eyebrow brush is best; I like Browjam’s Multitask Brush, which helps create those sharp upward strokes sparsely through the brow. I also used it to apply Anastasia Beverly Hills' DipBrow Pomade, which gives the most natural, hair-like finish. Beware: apply with a light hand, because a little goes a long way.