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The biggest beauty trends of 2021 by LOOKFANTASTIC

The biggest beauty trends of 2021 by LOOKFANTASTIC
Sabrina La Monica
Writer and expert2 years ago
View Sabrina La Monica's profile

It’s been over a year now since the beginning of the first lockdown, and we have had plenty of time since then to fantasise about that glorious ‘freedom day’. Well, the time is finally here, and now we have a new problem facing us: after months on end of tracksuits and makeup-free faces, how on earth do we figure out what beauty trends we should be taking inspo from?

Luckily for you, we have scoured the socials to find the most popular and up-and-coming trends for 2021 so that you will always be ahead of the curve.

The top 10 returning trends

It’s well known at this point that trends are constantly being pulled from decades past. From the Y2K resurgence to wanting to look like young Donna in Mamma Mia 2, a trend is never truly dead. To figure out exactly which ones are scheduled to experience a new life in 2021, we looked closely at the increase in searches to see which beauty trends are being talked about the most. Here are the top three:

Brown lip liner with gloss

As seen (infamously) on the lips of Love Island contestant Faye, the iconic 90s look of brown lip liner topped with a shiny gloss is well and truly back in style. With a 600% increase in searches since July 2020, mostly in summer months, don’t expect this trend to go away any time soon. If there was ever a time to live your Rachel Green Fantasy, it’s now.

Heavy black eyeliner

Again drawing from the 90s, albeit a very different side of it, the grungy and smoky black eyeliner look is going to make a huge impact this year. Also with a 600% increase in searches, mostly in June, get ready to don an impactful eye look this summer.

Thin eyebrows

Farewell, Cara Delevigne brows, there’s a new trend in town. With a 450% increase in searches, and coming straight from the early 00s, tiny brows are about to make a huge comeback (ironic, really). From Christina Aguilera to Rihanna, this trend has graced the faces of countless celebrities, and yours is next.

The official list of the top 10 returning trends

So what else is coming back this year? Here are the rest of the top 10 search increases to help you decide what to spend your well earned money on. After all, you’ve got a years’ worth of spending to catch up on.

Brown Lip Liner with Gloss 600%
Heavy Black Eyeliner 600%
Thin Eyebrows 450%
Powdered Skin 420%
Body Glitter Stickers 300%
Makeup Gems for Face 300%
Matte Lipstick 250%
Pastel Nails 237%
Crimped Hair 200%
Blue Eyeshadow 150%


The most posted about trends on social media

Trends are born on social media, and we are the first to know about them. By looking at data such as hashtags and searches on sites such as TikTok and Instagram, we are able to see exactly which trends are on the up. Here are just a few of the most popular internet beauty trends of the moment:

Matte lipstick

Matte lips have been around for a while now, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, either. With a massive 1,600,000 hashtags, this trend is all over the place, so hang on to the matte lipsticks you already have: they will be a hot commodity in no time.

Glossy lips

There doesn’t have to be just one lip trend at a time, and this result shows that perfectly. With 1,100,000 hashtags, the glossy lip trend isn’t far from the top spot. So whether you fancy gloss or not, the trends are on your side this year.

Glitter eyeshadow

Good news for all you bold makeup lovers out there, glittery eyes are definitely in fashion at the moment. The only question you have to ask yourself is whether looking like a 70s diva is worth ending up with glitter everywhere imaginable. We think it is.

The official list of most posted about trends

For the other top trends, calculated using hashtags, peruse at this table to your heart’s content.


Matte Lipstick 1,600,000
Glossy Lips 1,100,000
Glitter Eyeshadow 815,000
Dewy Skin 639,000
Glass Skin 575,000
No Makeup Makeup 535,000
Black Lipstick 524,000
 Blue Eyeshadow  509,000
 Gua Sha  362,000
 Natural Lips  285,000
 Soap Brows  194,000
 Graphic Eyeliner  174,000
 Crimped Hair  137,000
 Faux Freckles  122,000
 Laminated Brows  67,100
 Body Glitter  66,900
 Bold Eyeshadow  51,100
 Heatless Curls  49,300


The most viewed trends on TikTok

The short-video app has taken up far more time that we would like to admit over the past year, but not in vain. The phenomenon of TikTok trends has sold out entire lines of products, turned indie musicians into chart toppers, and single handedly taught an entire generation how to do a very specific type of dancing. It is fair to say that what TikTok says, goes. What, then, does it say about the beauty trends we should follow?

Heatless curls

People throughout time (well, since the invention of electricity), have sacrificed the health of their hair in return for pin straight or beautifully curled locks. No longer. With the new trending methods of curling hair without heat, we can finally achieve the desired effect, and keep our hair healthy at the same time. With 590,800,000 views, expect to see plenty of luscious curls this year.

Claw clips

Another trend making its comeback from the 90s, there have been a total of 223,200,000 views on videos mentioning claw clips. An easy way to get that effortless ‘I woke up like this’ look, claw clips will be the hair trend of the summer.

Soap brows

A good brow product isn’t cheap, but TikTokers have found an ingenious way to put an item we all have laying around to good use: a bar of soap. With 178,900,000 views, this trend is only growing, so give it a go!

The official list of most viewed trends on TikTok

Here is the remainder of the most viewed trends on TikTok, for all your 2021 beauty inspiration…

Heatless Curls 590,800,000
Claw Clip 223,200,000
Soap Brows 178,900,000
Glass Skin 141,400,000
Graphic Eyeliner 117,700,000
Black Lipstick 87,100,000
No Makeup Makeup 83,800,000
Blue Eyeshadow 62,900,000
Faux Freckles 61,400,000
Glossy Lips 59,200,000
Too Faced Lip Injection 46,300,000
Matte Lipstick 36,800,000
Laminated Brows 32,700,000
Natural Lips 28,300,000
Dewy Skin 24,900,000
Glitter Eyeshadow 20,400,000
Slugging 15,500,000
Thin Eyebrows 13,900,000
Crimped Hair 12,100,000


Upcoming beauty trends to look out for

So we’ve covered the current trends, but which ones should we look out for in the future?

Trends increasing in popularity

There are plenty of trends to be getting on with at the moment, but there are a whole lot more on the way. By looking at numbers of searches, we have figured out which trends are being posted about more and experiencing huge increases in appearances.


To be very clear, this trend has nothing to do with those little garden pests, but rather includes coating your face in a petroleum jelly. Originating in South Korea, this is a great trend for dry skin - so great that mentions of it have increased by 319% in the past year.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

Mentions of these Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops have increased by 312% since July 2020. If you want a gorgeously tanned face with no streaks, these are the drops to get. TikTok agrees.

The official list of the top TikTok beauty trends

While they experienced a slightly lower increase in mentions than the top three, these trends are also absolutely on the rise:

Slugging 319%
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops 312%
Fox Eyeliner 90%
Colourful Lashes 50%
Heatless Curls 22%


Trends which have ‘exploded’ recently

To finish with a bang, let’s have a look at which trends have ‘exploded’ recently and are being searched for the most. To really impress your friends by turning them onto something great before it becomes mainstream, consult this list.


Yep. Believe it or not, mullets are on the rise. There are 330,000 searches for mullets on social media each month, and this number has grown 53% in the last year. Prepare your eyes for an influx of ‘business in the front, party in the back’ hair.

Pimple/spot patches

The first of many skincare-based exploding trends, these spot patches claim to directly fight pimples. The patches have seen a 222% increase in searches in the past year, and are guaranteed to be the next big skincare craze.

Topical skincare products

Skincare is a big deal in 2021. From serums to cleansers, the emphasis on taking care of your skin is huge, and the search increase for topical skincare products reflects this. With 33,100 searches each month, and a 130% growth in the past year, your skin will be better than ever in 2021.

The official list of ‘exploding’ beauty trends

There are three more exploding trends, so keep an eye out for these in 2021.

Mullets 330,000 53%
Pimple/spot Patches 33,100 222%
Topical Skincare Products 33,100 130%
Retinol Serum 22,200 43%
Scalp Scrub 14,800 117%
Peptide Serum 1,900 30%


There is no shortage of new beauty trends in 2021, and we all deserve a bit of pampering after the year we’ve had, so if there’s any time to get stuck into upcoming trends, it’s now.




Sabrina La Monica
Writer and expert
View Sabrina La Monica's profile