Oh wait, I’m sorry. Did you think makeup was…cancelled? TBH, I can't blame you. We’ve all seen the headlines—lipstick is irrelevant now that it’s hidden behind a mask; forget concealer, now’s the time to really focus on skincare, makeup’s cooler, younger cousin; if you’re not going anywhere IRL, what’s the point of getting made up?
Well, here’s a few reasons for ya: It’s one of the few pleasures during this, um, less than fun time. You try swiping on a pink eyeshadow or a blinding highlighter and not cracking a smile. The vibrant shades are instant mood-boosters that make the everyday a bit more playful. Makeup isn’t over—she’s just changed (and who hasn’t this year?).
You won’t find any 15-step, contour-heavy looks below—the trends that’ll be on your face all of 2021 won’t take forever to nail down. And to show off these looks, we tapped Salem Mitchell, the 22-year-old model who just launched a colorful collab with Wildflower Cases. In case you haven’t stalked her feed, she’s a beauty girl, through and through. While a lot of things have shifted for Salem this past year (virtual castings), there’s one thing that hasn’t changed (her love of makeup).
Are you ready to have some fun with makeup again? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Ahead, makeup artist Tami El Sombati breaks down the looks that'll be e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e next year.
Don’t want people to skip past you on their IG feed? These sparkles are certified scroll-stoppers. Dab NYX Clear Glitter Primer along the bridge of your nose and on your cheeks (El Sombati says that it’ll give you tackiness without leaving behind a glue trap). And then, literally just stick the glitter on. Don’t worry—everyone will be able to spot it, even when you’re wearing a face mask.
El Sombati recommends choosing larger glitter over smaller flecks—you need those bigger pieces to get people to lift their thumbs off their phone screens. And you want to opt for holographic glitter—it reflects a different color, depending on how your face is angled. It’s kind of like a highlighter—you really notice the sparkle when the light hits it. It’s lowkey like a concealer too (hiding your zits with sparkles is a 10/10 idea). Basically, these mini lights on your face will make the rest of your makeup mad jealous.
Eyeshadow is great and all, but it almost looks too effortless. Like, no one can really tell how much work went into nailing that smokey eye. So let out your inner art kid, reach for a pair of colorful liners, and create a creative eye look that says, “No, I did not wake up like this, and yes, I would like a compliment.” There's no right or wrong way to draw on these lines—either copy what Salem's rocking or dream up your own idea.
El Sombati used Make Up Forever Artist Color Pencil to draw on this masterpiece, but she says that gel liners are an option that you can use too. To make sure the lines look sharp, she took a Q-tip dipped in a little bit of makeup remover and cleaned up any messy edges. Oh, and you should let the liner do the talking here, says El Sombati. Fill in your brows with a clear gel and leave the rest of your makeup natural, so the liner can take center stage.
Blush is basically like a shot of espresso for your face—it wakes it right TF up. And even though nowadays it seems like everyone and their mom is a multi-hyphenate, blush really can do it all. It’s a contour, highlighter, and eyeshadow, all in one. Whoever said less is more was (1) lying and (2) had never tried out this look.
Using a blush brush (say that 3x fast), El Sombati went in with Tower 28 Beauty’s BeachPlease Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm—right above where a face mask would hit. Then, sweep a powder blush on top to set your look, says El Sombati. Keep the color to the outer half of your eye, she adds, buffing in the shade from your temples to the top of your cheekbones. P.S. Since your base is a cream blush, it looks more like flushed skin, so you don’t have to stress about staying in the lines.
2021 is all about the glow up—your lips included. This look pairs together gloss and brown liner (name a better duo, I’ll wait) to make your lips look bouncy, cushion-y, and glassy. I’m talking hiiiigh shine; but the kind that perks the rest of your face right up, and not the type they can spot from the International Space Station.
You want to start with a clean canvas, says El Sombati, when layering on a lip scrub. Then, line the perimeter and the outer corners of your lips with brown liner to give your lips some depth. Next, layer on a clear, non-sticky gloss (so you don’t have to see or feel it on the inside of your mask) and blend it with the liner for that cool ombré effect.
FYI, color doesn’t have to stick to your lids. Yes, it’s actually possible to rock blue eyebrows and keep it wearable without looking like a member of the circus. Plus, you don’t even have to learn any new skills to recreate this. Dip an angled eyeliner brush into a dense, matte-blue eyeshadow and fill in your brows like you normally would, says El Sombati. Another option? Dig up that blue mascara from the bottom of your makeup bag and gently swipe it on. Either way, your brows will stand out on even the grainiest of webcams.
Remember, we’re not trying to be too over-the-top with this look. Pair your vivid brows with a clear balm highlight and keep the dewiness to your cheekbones and temples (aka the parts of your face where your mask won’t hit).
Ummm, who said bright lipstick was only meant for summer? If red isn’t your vibe but you’re still after a statement lip, orange is for sure the way to go—this hue looks dope, no matter what the weather's like outside. I know, orange is probably a different shade than what you’re used to swiping on. But hello—it’s me from outside your comfort zone. Life is good here; this shade will pull you out of your makeup rut, and remind you that you are that bitch.
El Sombati recommends rubbing a lip scrub all over your lips (matte lipstick is notorious for gripping on to every chapped flake), and then filling in your entire lip with Make Up Forever Artist Color Pencil in Any Tangerine to give your lipstick staying power. Swipe a matte-finish orange lipstick on top, then dust some translucent powder on a fluffy eyeshadow brush and press it onto your lips. This will keep the lipstick from sliding all over the inside of your face mask.
Red look: PH5 dress; Bea Bongiasca hoop earrings; Fry Powers ear cuffs. Yellow look: MM6 by Maison Margiela coat; Lady Grey Jewelry necklace; Jennifer Fisher earrings; Uncommon Matters ring. Chain look: Area dress; Mounser earring. Blue look: Hansen & Gretel top. Sheer top look: Aisling Camps dress; Danielle Frankel earrings; Jennifer Fisher ring. White dress look: Jacquemus dress; Past Midnight necklace; Uncommon Matters ring; Demarson New York earrings.
Photographer/Videographer: Jenn Collins; Beauty Direction: Ama Kwarteng; Creative Director: Abby Silverman; Producer/Visuals Editor: Raydene Salinas Hansen; Photo/Video Assistant: Sean Michon; Video Editor: Heather Weyrick; Stylist: Kia Goosby; Stylist Assistant: Katie Collins; Makeup Artist: Tami El Sombati; Hair Stylist: Ashley Lynn Hall; Nails: CliqOnU
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