Sunday, April 10, 2016

Trend Report: Current Makeup Trends & How to Achieve Them

Trend Report: Current Makeup Trends & How to Achieve Them: Glittery Eyes, Strobing, Contouring, Bold Brows, Matte Lips, Color Correcting, Ombre Blush

Hi, friends! I thought today we could take a step back from product reviews to look at makeup from a broader perspective. Specifically, I wanted to talk trends. Makeup trends come and go so quickly that it's hard to keep up. Today I'm doing a roundup so we can all get up to speed. I'm not really a stickler for abiding by trends, but I think it's fun to follow them and take inspiration from others so I can incorporate it into what I already like to do. We can all learn from each other. And who knows? You just might find something that sticks long after it dies down. But enough about that--let's get to the good stuff.

2015 Makes a Comeback

These are some trends that have been around since last year, and they're still going strong. Even if you don't keep up with current trends, you've probably seen people wearing these because they've hit the mainstream and are readily available on the market. Let's go over them quickly so we're all on the same page!

Bold Brows

Leaving the thin 90s brows in the dust, 2015 was all about the bold brow. And we still are! Brow products have never been so readily available as they are now. There are gels and pencils galore to fill them in, and even serums to spur their growth. Needless to say, if you weren't worried about your eyebrows before, you probably are now.

How-to: I saw a lot of people giving themselves boxy Sharpie brows when this trend first came about. Don't go overboard, please. Take a pencil like the Anastasia of Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil or Brow Wiz ($21 | .003oz) and draw soft hair-like strokes, just where you need it to create a cleaner shape. Or, take a tinted brow gel like Benefit Gimmie Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel ($24 | .10oz) to fill in sparse areas in one easy swipe. Right now I'm using a product similar to Benefit's by Elizabeth Mott, which I mentioned in my September Ipsy bag. It's about it looking feathery and natural, but defined with any sparse spots filled in. The eyebrows frame your face, so they're important to any makeup look, but don't make them the only thing people will notice.


Thanks Kim K and her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, contouring isn't just for drag queens anymore. Contouring is the art of creating shadows to bring out the angles in a face. Most of the time, contour powder will be swept over the temples, under the cheekbones and along the jawline (think of a 3 or a B), but you can contour just about anything you want. I've seen plenty of people contour their nose to make it look slimmer. This isn't to be confused with bronzing, which is when you'd brush some color over your cheeks and forehead to warm up your skin and give it a sun-kissed glow. Just remember that the same product won't work for both things! 

How-to: The rectangular brown stripe under everyone's cheekbones was looking a little artificial, so it seems like people are starting to take it easy and use a lighter hand. Try doing your makeup by a window or using a mirror that gives natural-looking light--it'll be easier to see if something looks too harsh. If you want to step into contouring, you could pick up Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder ($44 | .11oz) or if you're looking for an inexpensive option, try the NYX Highlight & Contour Singles ($5). Makeup artist Jordan Liberty raves about the NYX contour powders because their shade offerings closely mimic the colors of real shadows on our faces, which is surprisingly hard to find. I talked more about how to choose the right color for you in my Pur Cosmetics Cameo Contour Review, if you're interested.

Matte Lips

You can thank Kylie Jenner for this one. I posted an article on my Facebook page about this woman who spent four months trying to get her hands on one of the Kylie Lip Kits, which sold out almost instantaneously. Practically every brand, high end or drugstore, has released a line of matte lipsticks by now. People are tossing their lip glosses aside in favor of a no-shine look. A plus? Matte lipsticks tend to last longer than their glossy counterparts. The con? If you don't exfoliate your lips beforehand (you can use a lip scrub, some sugar and honey, or even just a washcloth), it'll accentuate the lines in them make them look parched. And dry lips ain't cute, so I always like to apply lip balm and let that set in for a minute first. 

How-to:  2015 was all about nude lips, but for this spring, NYFW was all about the reds. Try a true red like Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso ($24 | .08oz), which came out before this trend was cool. Or, you can check out this hot pink shade I got in my July Birchbox. People also rave about the Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix ($5), which are an inexpensive way to try out the trend. Some people like to "over-line" their lips, drawing outside the lines to make them look bigger. I'm not a fan of how it looks, personally, but the option is there.


After heavy contouring came on the scene, we pulled a 180 and went to extreme highlighting. It's like Carmindy--you might remember her as the makeup artist on What Not to Wear--turned on to full blast. This trend was popular back in the 70s and it's making a comeback! People used to highlight their face before this, but the market was never so flooded with products for it until this trend made a reappearance. It's about bringing light and focus to the high points of the face, including the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the brow bone, and above the Cupid's bow. You may also see a lot of people applying something bright to the inner corners of the eyes. The #1: Becca Skin Perfectors in Powders, Liquids, and Creams. Highlighters galore. It's glossy and dewy bordering on sweaty, so now everyone gets to feel like they have oily skin.

How-to: I've seen some people who went for "strobing" and achieved "sweaty mess." Keep your skin type in mind when determining how you want to go about the look. Be selective with your makeup application. Make sure your skin is hydrated with a nice moisture, and then decide what products you want to use. Do you want to apply a radiant primer all over the face? Do you want to mix liquid highlighter like Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($41 | 1.7oz) in with your foundation? Or maybe you just want to take a small brush and apply a little highlighting powder like theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer ($24) to certain spots on your face. For a cheaper option, I really like the Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearl ($14 | .28oz) to add a subtle glow, as seen in my Demeter Face of the Day. If you do all of them, just remember that you might sweat a little throughout the day, so I like to pick just one of these steps to do.

New for Spring 2016

These are a few trends that I've just been seeing recently. Whether they're just off the runway of New York Fashion Week or newly added to the aisles of your local Sephora, here's the latest and greatest: 

Glittery Eyes

It's New Year's Eve in April! Take out your glittery eyeshadows and go to town. Bring our your inner Kesha. Go wild and crazy. Google some pictures of the models from Baja East and Creatures of the Wind. They look so cool!

How-to: To dip your toe in to the trend, try the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy ($20 .25oz). I have an unsteady hand, but I've been watching people use these and hearing them rave about them for awhile now, and it's like you couldn't possibly have any more control over a glitter than when applying these. Plus, no glitter glue is required for it to stay put! NYX also makes a drugstore alternative called their Liquid Crystal Liners ($4.50) if you're on a budget. If you do want to try using a loose glitter eyeshadow, go for the tried-and-true Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue ($20 | .35).

Color Correcting

I feel like I woke up one morning and color correcting was everywhere. Basically, it's the concept of using color theory to counteract certain spots on the face you're not happy about. If you suffer from dark blue undereye circles, it's been established that something peach-toned will help to cover them up efficiently. This isn't necessarily a new idea, considering the Bobbi Brown Corrector ($25 | .05oz) has been out forever, but it's the latest trend to completely take the beauty community by storm. Granted, I think it's one of the smartest trends to hit the market in awhile, since it's all based on the color wheel. Green concealers to counteract redness have been around for awhile, but now almost every other brand is jumping on the bandwagon.

How-to: What you don't want is to look like a rainbow gone wrong. If you're going to be using another color on your face, such as the new Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid ($28), make sure to start out with a tiny amount and add more as you need it. Then, you can apply your regular concealer shade over the top to help blend it in seamlessly. I usually just use my fingers, since I find my body heat helps things melt into my skin better, but for more a more precise application feel free to use a small brush.

Ombre Blushes

Remember ombre hair? Well, there's ombre blush now. Companies have recently started releasing these blush pans that hold a gradient of color, either a blush fading from a light color to a dark color, or partnered with a highlighter. It's a cool concept, and I think it helps incorporate trends like strobing (it's all relevant!). Like It Cosmetics or NYX, also Wet n Wild, Hard Candy, and Essence. Often combine blush with a highlighter or bronzer for two steps in one.

How-to: There's not just one way to use these! You can take a big, fluffy brush and swirl it around the whole thing before applying it to your cheeks. Or, take a smaller brush and apply the darker color to the apples of your cheeks and use the lighter shade to highlight specific places on your face. Depending on the shade you pick up, you could probably also use them as eyeshadow in a hurry. I've been personally eyeing the It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Ombre Blush in Je Nais Se Quoi ($24 | .38) and NYX Ombre Blush in Feel the Heat ($10). Plus, honestly they're just pretty to look at.

What's Next?

Who knows! This is definitely just wishful thinking on my part, but I'd love to see "skin that looks like skin" make a comeback. Seeing matte, flawless and airbrushed-looking skin on my Instagram feed kind of freaks me out. Like, where are your pores? Let that natural texture through! I'm a big fan of tinted moisturizer, so let's see that become popular again. Whenever something becomes trendy, there are so many more products available for it on the market!

Your turn! Do you keep up with trends, or do you prefer to do your own thing? What are your thoughts on what's currently trending? Let's chat!

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