What a year 2020 has been. COVID-19. Banana bread. Zoom. Tiger King. The US election. The highs have been high and the lows subterranean. Throughout it all, however, beauty has remained a constant. And, at times, even a beacon of hope as people around the world used this time to revamp their hair, skincare and makeup routines.
Indeed, from Dua Lipa to Georgia May Jagger, every celebrity worth their salt flirted with a bit of DIY hair dying, while Kendall Jenner kept herself busy smashing avocados and slathering them all over her face. In fact, no fruit nor spice was left unturned in search of the perfect homemade facemask. Elsewhere, the Euphoria effect was felt in full force as people sought to recreate the glossy, neon club-kid looks that made the show such a global hit.
As this annus horribilis comes to a close, we’ve rounded up the most-searched global hair, beauty and skincare trends of 2020.
What were the biggest hair trends in 2020?
When it comes to hair, this year we’ve seen the biggest shift in trends as salons around the world were forced to shut shop as we went into lockdown, leaving our roots to fend for themselves. If you didn’t chop, dye or treat your hair to a homemade mask this year, were you even in lockdown?
In a bid to keep roots at bay, consumers “learned how to DIY hair colour this year, so there were a lot of searches around related products,” says Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of trend forecasting platform Spate. “Even though trends such as purple shampoo were growing before lockdown, time at home accelerated interest for toning-related products as consumers became more educated on how to DIY colour hair.”
With more time on our hands, there was also a rise in at-home hair masks, as maintaining that healthy glow for your daily Zoom call became a new priority. “Consumers are also looking to maintain their hair, overall, with hair masks and serums, to avoid going to the salon.”
According to Vogue’s audience growth executive, Mayu Kato, we also saw an increase in searches for easy-to-maintain hairstyles such as the bob (perhaps inspired by Freja Beha Erichsen’s jaw-grazing chop), general short haircuts and braids, while others simply Googled the best ways to keep their hair off their face, from scrunchies (Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber were among those who paid tribute to that nostalgic accessory this year) to the humble ponytail.
The latest advancements in skincare
There’s something comforting about having a healthy glow in the middle of a global pandemic, which is why there’s been such an emphasis on skincare this year. “[Consumers] are turning their homes into spas and learning how to think professionally about skincare,” says Horwitz. “Their time at home was used to research advanced ingredients. The skincare consumer has become very knowledgeable when it comes to the dos and don’ts of skincare, and they’re using time at home to optimise their routines.”
According to Kato, while most people searched for individual ingredients such as niacinamide (a form of vitamin B) and bakuchiol (a natural retinol alternative), others simply opted for a crash course in Korean skincare. There was also a return to basics, which saw people raiding their fridges and kitchen cupboards in an attempt to create the perfect at-home DIY face mask. Among the most popular ingredients were turmeric and avocado, the latter courtesy of Kendall Jenner.
Is makeup becoming more natural or enhanced?
All made up with nowhere to go—except, of course, online. This year, makeup trends were divided into two camps. On the one side, you saw the rise in natural makeup, as consumers looked to enhance their features under the all-seeing eye of Zoom. On the other, there was a rise in experimental makeup. “Social media and time at home is exposing consumers to more influencer content, creating stronger demand for looks such as the e-girl and Euphoria aesthetics.” Among the most popular searches included pink lipstick and glossy eyeshadow.
Elsewhere, there was an emphasis on maintenance with lots of consumers researching various ways of eyebrow upkeep from at-home lamination to DIY eyebrow dye. “Searches this year have demonstrated that consumers are prioritising their brows and lips, even while at home, to get the perfect Zoom look,” concludes Horwitz.
Barbie Ferreira, Euphoria
© Eddy Chen/HBO