What makeup trends did everyone ditch in 2020? One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on makeup trends is to also be up-to-date on what’s happening in the world. To that end, to say that 2020 has been an unprecedented year would be an understatement, and makeup trends are no exception. With so many adjustments to the way we live, like always wearing a face mask or face shield, or only seeing one another on Zoom calls, the way we think about makeup has also changed. But even without a global pandemic, makeup trends were bound to evolve from 2019 into 2020.
From the way we sculpt our eyebrows to the color of our lipstick, 2020 makeup trends upended many of those that came before. So say farewell to what’s inside your makeup bag and clear your afternoon for an online Ulta or Sephora shopping binge, because these are the makeup trends everyone ditched in 2020.
Full-coverage, matte concealer is a makeup trend that got ditched in 2020
If you don’t like the look of full coverage matte concealer, then you’ll be glad to hear that everyone ditched this makeup trend in 2020. Professional makeup artist Nikki Carmela is particularly excited about this, too. “Personally my happiest shift from 2019 trends to 2020 was [the end of] that full-coverage makeup look,” she told The List. She added that people are instead opting for a “nice, natural glowy skin look instead of fully matte.”
Beauty expert and blogger Kryz Uy agreed. “This trend is disappearing,” she explained to The List. “It makes the skin seem very flat.” Instead, Uy revealed there’s been a rise in Korean beauty trends and something called glass skin. “I love this look because it creates a complexion that resembles being sculpted from glass,” she continued. “This can give both a subtle, natural look while still being glamorous!”
If you’re not ready for the glass skin look, Emily Larsen, the lead makeup artist at Sahra Salon suggests, “Use a hydrating tinted moisturizer or light-to-medium coverage foundation with concealer for areas where extra coverage is needed instead of using matte, full-coverage foundations.”
We all ditched the heavy, one-dimensional brows makeup trend in 2020
Tired of spending so much time on your brows? You’re in luck, as professional makeup artist Rick DiCecca told The List that 2020 is the end of the Kim Kardashian-inspired need to have perfectly shaded brows. “Most of my clients are women with careers, executives at companies,” he shared. “They have lives, they have children. Who has time for perfectly precise eyebrows?”
But even if you have time, professional makeup artist Nikki Carmela shared that less is definitely more for brows going forward. She told The List that a soft fill-in, then texturing with small, microstroking details to emulate brow hairs is much better than a full color gel. “At the end of the day, brows are hair so we’re trying to emulate hair as much as possible,” she shared.
Licensed esthetician Pamela Jeschonek agreed, sharing that the brushed-up brow will continue to be fashionable, and not the shiny and sometimes stiff brow of 2019. “Although focus is on the eyes behind our pandemic masks, brows [in 2020] are more natural with more skin breaking through,” as well as less emphasis “on overly defined, highly powdered, and penciled in brows.”
Bold lipstick is a makeup trend everyone ditched in 2020
Lipstick can make us feel more confident, and is worn for a variety of reasons. But in 2020 everyone ditched the bold lipstick look, mostly because everyone started wearing face masks in 2020. According to professional makeup artist Nikki Carmela, lipstains are making a huge comeback because they add “a little color to the lip, but also won’t move anywhere,” she explained to The List. They’re perfect “for days when I just want a flush of color for the lip, but don’t necessarily want a full lipstick on.”
Think lipgloss is another good solution? Think again, says Carmela. “Lipgloss is a challenge because if the wind blows the wrong way, you’re out of luck,” she continued. “A lipstain is going to stay on your lips really well, and make your lips more luscious and presentable.”
If you’re wary of trying lipstains because you’re not sure how to apply them, Carmela has some advice: use it like a lip liner, then lightly buff it inward on your lip with a brush. “It looks like your lips are naturally flushed like that,” she added.
Brown lipstick is also a makeup trend that's gone in 2020
If you are going to go with lipstick, stay away from brown lipstick, as that’s a trend everyone ditched in 2020. Sure, this was a hugely popular look that Glamour UK pointed out hearkened back to the ’90s, but some things from the ’90s just don’t translate well to the year 2020. Sure, there are some really gorgeous brown lipsticks out there, but they’re not your best bet in the time of mask-wearing.
Celebrity Makeup Artist Bryan Cantor told The List, “While a brown lip might complement your look when you first apply it at home in the mirror, it will look like a sloppy mess later after it’s smeared all over your face by your mask.” And no one wants to look like there’s chocolate smeared all over their lips and chin!
Instead, Cantor suggests bringing that drama to your eyes. “Some of the trends we have been seeing this year are bedazzled embellishments, floating eyeliner, and ‘painterly’ or watercolor eyeshadow,” he added. So ditch that brown lipstick going forward and play with your eyes instead.
Everyone ditched "pretty" makeup trends in 2020
Since early 2020, we’ve all been spending a lot more time alone, and that also means we’ve had a lot more time to think about what kind of makeup looks really represent us. People did a lot of soul-searching in 2020, according to professional makeup artist Nikki Carmela, and started to ditch some conventional makeup trends. “People are starting to get really comfortable with owning their weird, and I love that,” she revealed to The List. Even though a lot of us embrace that around spooky season every year, Carmela added that “people are starting to embrace that weird is good and not just for Halloween.”
Owning your weird is something that Carmela said really sets you apart from the crowd, too. “Lots of people who would just do ‘pretty looks’ are branching out of their comfort zone,” she continued. So get out there and own your weird. Carmela has lots of inspo on her Instagram if you’re looking for somewhere to start.
Glitter lips are out as a makeup trend in 2020
In 2018 and 2019, glitter was everywhere: on our lips, eyes, cheeks, and even our scalps, armpits, and other cheeks. But even though this look can be eye-catching, the only times it’s okay to wear glitter is at large gatherings. From festivals to nights out at the club, glitter is a statement look, and that just wasn’t happening in 2020 thanks to social distancing and avoiding large crowds. On top of that, professional makeup artist Rick DiCecca also pointed out that glitter on the eyelids, on the face, or on the lips is a lot of work for little to no payoff in 2020.
Plus, there’s that pesky mask component again. As DiCecca remarked to The List, “Who wants glitter on their lips if they’re wearing a face mask?” Like lipstick, it’s just going to smear and fall off, and no one will even see it. So everyone ditched this makeup trend in 2020, with good reason.
2020 saw the end of the technicolor makeup trend
Colorful makeup can be uplifting and fun, so surely super saturated technicolor is even better, right? Well, not so much, as everyone ditched the technicolor makeup trend in 2020. “Just because colors exist, it doesn’t mean you have to use all of them,” professional makeup artist Kerrin Jackson told The List. “Nothing screams ‘so last year’ louder than red, yellow, pink and green, purple, orange, and blue.”
Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t about using any color, as you certainly don’t have to stick to beige, brown, black, and gray, says Jackson. “I love colors. I really do, but there is a time and a place for each of them,” she continued. “But not all of them, and certainly, not at once. Let’s leave that eyeshadow rainbow back in 2019 where it belongs.”
If you’re thinking this is limited to your eyeshadow and you can get away with a “subtle” colorful mascara, think again. “Yes, bright colors in makeup can be done elegantly, but in mascara it tends to come off childish,” beauty expert and blogger Kryz Uy told The List. “There are more mature ways to use bright colors in makeup.”
All over highlighting is another makeup trend everyone ditched in 2020
Another makeup trend that everyone ditched in 2020, according to professional makeup artist Rick DiCecca, is glow all over the face. “For people’s everyday lifestyles, certainly women with careers and families, who has the time?” he explained to The List. “You can probably get that from cleansing your skin and using a good moisturizer.” Duly noted.
Additionally, makeup artist Theresa Novicky told The List that all-over highlighting is especially bad for more mature skin. “It likes to get into your wrinkles and accentuate them,” she shared. That’s a makeup mistake that will make you look older, for sure.
Celebrity makeup artist Bryan Cantor revealed to The List that the better option going forward is a natural-looking glow. In this look, “skin appears dewy and healthy, as though you have just gone through a rigorous, 15-step skincare routine — instead of 15 seconds of piling on highlighters.”
No one is saying you can’t add a little light to your face, but the key is to not overdo it. “It’s called highlight, not high-heavy!” professional makeup artist Kerrin Jackson told The List.
We all ditched the super bright under eye makeup trend in 2020
In addition to ditching that all over highlighting, another makeup trend that bit the dust in 2020 is wearing super bright makeup under your eyes. You know the one: the look that attempts to make your peepers pop, though it’s rarely executed well.
Kate Stromberg, the senior makeup artist at Color Salon by Michael Boychuck broke it down. “Under eye concealers that are way too bright will look unnatural and most importantly, not flattering,” she shared with The List. “It’s definitely okay to softly brighten the under eye, but it should never appear stark white or five times too bright.”
Instead, Stromberg suggests using a concealer just one shade lighter than your complexion, or a peach or white gel eyeliner to nail the well-rested look — and professional makeup artist Nikki Carmela agrees. “We typically have a bluish purple hue under our eye, so to cancel that out, we need to do color correction with a peach or tangerine undertone,” she explained to The List. “That actually corrects and neutralizes the color under your eyes so they look bright and more awake.”
Everyone ditched the dark black smokey eye makeup trend in 2020
A great smokey eye can really accentuate your eyes, and, as Jordan Muto wrote for Today, create a timeless look that just requires three different shades and some eyeliner. Unfortunately, too many of us focus on the super dark smokey eye with black and gray shades, a common mistake according to the New York Style Guide.
But finally, that super dark smokey eye makeup trend got the boot in 2020, according to Emily Larsen, the lead makeup artist at Sahra Salon. “The smokey-eye with harsh blacks and grays will also be a thing of the past,” she told The List.
But just because everyone ditched the black and gray smokey eye in 2020 doesn’t mean you have to ditch the smokey eye altogether. In fact, Larsen says there are many ways to achieve this look without creating such a harsh juxtaposition. “I recommend using golds, burgundies, and browns in a halo or ‘spotlight’ effect,” she added. “It’s a great alternative to darken up the eye makeup and emphasize your actual eye color.” Speaking of which, here are the best eyeshadow colors to make your eyes pop.
Everyone ditched heavy contouring and heavy makeup in 2020
Heavy contouring has what Allure called a “seductive quality to how attainable” it is. Attainable or not, that doesn’t mean you should do it, according to Kate Stromberg, senior makeup artist at Color Salon by Michael Boychuck. “Heavy makeup sinks deeper into the skin which can clog the pores and lead to major breakouts,” she revealed to The List. And that can be murder on your skin.
This harsh reality became even more of an issue in 2020, says Stromberg. “Heavy makeup mixed with the prolonged wear of facial protective equipment is a recipe for skin disaster,” she continued. “Hot and humid air gets trapped inside our masks when we breathe, talk, or sweat, which creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, causing ‘maskne.'” Yikes! If that’s an issue for you, a dermatologist explained how to tackle your ‘maskne.’
Kerrin Jackson, another professional makeup artist, is also glad to see this trend get jettisoned. “While it’s a great technique to create a bit of definition and slim and contour our cheeks, the Instagram filtered heavy makeup look doesn’t really translate into real life very well,” she told The List.
Fake freckles are a makeup trend that got the boot in 2020
Another makeup trend that everyone ditched in 2020 is fake freckles, especially as more natural makeup trends are coming in to style (via Harper’s Bazaar). Professional makeup artist Theresa Novicky also eschews the fake freckle trend, as it’s seldom well-executed. “They look awful and I’ve only seen other makeup pros pull them off,” she shared with The List. “They look like a failed Punky Brewster Halloween look.” The last thing you want is for your makeup to look like it’s a failed Halloween costume!
This makeup trend has been on its way out for a while, as Krystal B. Armstrong told The List in 2019. “Nothing looks worse than fake freckles done wrong — and MOST of them were done wrong,” she explained.
So for all of you who are still holding onto this trend even though it was on its way out all the way back in 2019, it’s time to let it go, says Novicky shared. “Thankfully as a makeup artist I only got one request for fake freckles; I’m glad that trend is gone.”
Everyone ditched the cut crease makeup trend in 2020
Along with the super harsh smokey eye, another eye trend that you’ve probably seen all over Instagram is the cut crease. There are tons of tutorials about how to master the cut crease, but Enigma magazine isn’t on board with this trend, which everyone ditched in 2020. “We believe that whoever started this trend, just didn’t know how to blend eye shadow properly and thought, ‘Why not make a trend out of it?'” they wondered. Perhaps that’s a little harsh, we don’t disagree.
Although the IPSY makeup blog asserts that the cut crease look “makes your eyes appear wider and draws more attention to the colors on your lids,” some pros don’t agree. Professional makeup artist Theresa Novicky shared with The List that the look is especially bad for certain types of eyes. “Cut crease is gone, thank goodness,” she mused. “It wasn’t for hooded eyes, which I have!”
As Enigma magazine put it, “Trust us, get over this trend because nothing looks better than properly blended eye shadow.” So instead, focus on the best makeup trends you’ll be trying in 2021.
Spider lashes went out of style in 2020
Look, we’re all focused on making our eyes stand out, but in 2020, spider lashes just weren’t the way to do it. You’ve seen them: the spindly, clumpy lashes that, yes, resemble spider legs. That’s why everyone ditched them in 2020.
This look isn’t new, but it also isn’t good, according to professional makeup artist Kerrin Jackson. “We all have the lovely, lithe Twiggy to thank for this look. And she owned it,” she explained The List. But just because something was trendy before doesn’t mean it should be around for the long haul. As Jackson added, spider lashes are “another makeup look that sadly, can just come off as looking like a poor makeup job and not the striking or dramatic effect you were going for.”
While this makeup trend can certainly put the focus on your eyes, it’s not for the right reason, says Jackson. “Creating definition and drama on our eyes is almost all we have right now, but chunking up the mascara in an effort to achieve the high fashion catwalk looks should really be confined to just those places,” she continued. “Messy and clumpy is out.”
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