Top Beauty Trends of 2016

Reflecting on a Year of Beauty

By Ryann Casey

2016 has been a great year for beauty. The beauty industry is at a steady growth rate, forecasted to reach over 23 billion dollars by 2020. Consumers are getting their beauty inspiration and advice from a larger variety of sources than ever before, putting as much stock in recommendations from friends and amazon reviews as they do in the expertise of beauty editors, bloggers and brands.  




In 2017 we are expecting even greater growth in beauty with expansion into new markets, new brands and expansive product innovation. Before we move forward into 2017, let’s take a look back on the top beauty trends of 2016.


Grown Out Brows

The topic of eyebrows took new form in 2016, straying from the overly drawn on and perfectly painted brow of 2015 and morphing into an unruly your-brows-but-better full brow. With brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Benefit specializing in full brow lines, brow products have expanded beyond powder and pencil to include pomades, gels and precision pencils. Products like Glossier’s “Boy Brow” exemplify the brushed up full brows of 2016, and symbolize the melding of natural beauty with beauty products. Check out these tips for growing out your brows.


Liquid Matte Lips

Eyebrows aren’t the only part of the face that received excessive attention this year. 2016 has been all about lips, from ultra matte to super glossy and everything in between. The liquid lipstick craze of companies like Lime Crime and Jeffree Star Cosmetics has expanded into the high end market to include brands like Marc Jacobs and Dior who have released their own matte liquid lip formulas. When someone says lipstick we no longer just envision the traditional bullet, but a sleek bottle filled with brightly colored liquid and an applicator wand for ultimate control to brush on our lips like a painting.


Return of Lipgloss

Despite the communal love of matte lips, lip gloss has made a major comeback this year like it hasn’t since the early 2000’s. This year has proven that matte and glossy lips can survive and rise up together, and lipstick lovers everywhere are filling their collection with both long lasting chic matte lippies and glistening juicy glosses. Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics are among the highly talked about brands to offer both super matte and ultra glossy formulas.  Read more about the matte vs. gloss debate, and see how Lancome brought back their juicy flavored lipgloss.


Glitter Lips & Mirror Nails

The shine of lip gloss is not the only thing that caught light this year. Sparkling glitter decorated everything from gilded eyelids to ruby red slipper lips. The eye catching craze of metallic chrome painted nails into little individual reflective mirrors and holographic hues with undertones of any color imaginable. Pat McGrath’s Lip Kit sparkled on celebs and runways alike, while Color Club’s Holographic Nail Polish brightened everyone’s nails with an intergalactic sheen.


Sunset Shadowed Eyes

As for eyes, this year has been all about color. Sunset shadow has manifested itself in everything from primary red eyeshadow to deep cranberry maroon and orange peachy eyes. Instant cult favorite Too Faced Cosmetics Peach Palette completely sold out in its first run, and has come back for the holiday season to finish out the year. Many other eye palettes mimic these hues, and popular eyeshadow colors are vivid and bold sunset hues.


Glow, Highlight, Strobe

Non-touring has taken the place of contouring, by strobing areas of the face where the light naturally hits instead of darkening and accentuating the shadowed areas. Extremely and intensely bright highlighters in all colors, even the iconic rainbow highlighter, are such a staple today that no look is complete without a blinding highlight to top off the cheekbones, nose and cupids bow. Undisputed players in the highlight game are Anastasia Beverly Hills with their unmatched Glow Kits, Jeffree Star with his lavender and peach toned Skin Frosts, and indie brand Bitter Lace Beauty who created the first rainbow highlighter.


NO Makeup Makeup

In opposition to the bold beauty trends of 2016 is the anti-trend, no makeup makeup. This stems from two things, one is the strive to look naturally and effortlessly like you’re not wearing any makeup, and two is to place the emphasis on skincare first and makeup secondary. With many brands fusing makeup with skin care technology, the no makeup makeup trend is strong and on a rise. This quest for natural beauty is present in the media with celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Alicia Keys going makeup-less. Check out what it’s like to go a week without makeup.


Makeup Before Makeup

Along the same lines of the no makeup makeup look comes the trend of beauty products for before and after makeup meant to prep and perfect the skin. This trend is both an emphasis on skincare as well as an attempt to make a full face of makeup last all day. Every brand has or is coming out with primers and moisturizers to prep the skin and improve the longevity of makeup, as well as setting powders and sprays to bake the products into your skin for a more seamless appearance.


Balayaged to Depth

As for hair color, this year has been all over the place from funky colors like peach to natural and muted tones. The hair coloring technique of balayage has taken the place of typical highlighting and transformed ombre into a more natural and multidimensional color. Allowing for your roots to grow in seamlessly, balayage is a hand painted haircolor technique that appears natural and fades into the darker roots in a way that has no severe or harsh lines of demarcation. This is the ultimate way to grow hair out without sacrificing the love of bleach.


Drop the Shampoo

It’s been known for awhile that the detergents in shampoo can strip your hair of virtually all it’s natural oils and moisture, leaving behind dry and damaged hair. This year people have embraced co-washing, a way to wash hair with conditioners and conditioning shampoos, as well as stocking upo with dry shampoo and skipping shampoo all together. With so many products on the market that can clean hair without harshly stripping the natural oils, there is no reason to stick with damaging shampoos.


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