Just like fashion, beauty trends—especially makeup—tend to be cyclical. While we are currently enjoying a resurgence of ’90s-inspired trends both in outfits and makeup (raise your hand if you’ve been sporting a plummy brown lip lately), we’re also about to enter the era of brightly colored eyeliner and eye shadow—with a modern twist, of course.
One thing beautiful about resurrected beauty trends is that, while they echo looks of years gone by, new formulas and scientific breakthroughs give way to new products that become vanity staples. Here we list down some of our favorite trends and breakthroughs that we hope will stay longer than 2016.
The year may have brought bad juju to the entire universe, but it was a good year for beauty.
1. Super weightless foundation
A lot of keywords for foundation: “water,” “air,” “serum.” The quest for the ultimate weightless foundation will never end, but this year we discovered old and new favorites. Brands highlighted ultra-weightless makeup bases that promised full coverage with a naked “skin-like” feel. Our top favorites:
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
This unbelievably lightweight foundation covers without making you feel like you’re wearing anything.
MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation
This easily blendable formula is a hit among bridal makeup artists.
Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue powder foundation
Gone are the days when powder foundation felt like it was sitting on top of the skin. Chanel’s version gives long-lasting invisible coverage without caking, creasing or making the face look super powdery.
2. Cushion compacts
Makeup addicts who live in Asia get the best of both worlds. South Korea is arguably the current birthplace of groundbreaking beauty products.
Cushion compacts and sheet masks, for example, aren’t new to those who obsess over K-beauty, but it has only recently gained a cult following in the United States. What’s good about trends from the East making their way to the West is that we get to experience the trendy product in diverse shades (most Korean makeup trends tend to stick to culturally marketable shades) and textures.
One such example is the cushion compact, a liquid-saturated sponge that dispenses product when you press a thin sponge against it. It’s highly buildable: apply one layer for barely-there coverage, or layer on for full but weightless cover.
It also comes with high SPF (we’ve yet to see one with less than SPF 50), so it’s a good way to reapply sunscreen on the go. Our picks:
Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion, Dior at SM Makati
There are no words to describe just how gorgeous this cushion is. If you want to have smooth, poreless looking skin in a few swipes, this is the way to go. It’s very pricey (P3,950 for a set), but the effect you get is worth it. It goes on dewy but dries down to a satin, radiant finish.
Etude House PreciousMineral Any Cushion Pearl Aura, Etude House
If you’re always in a hurry, you’ll love this formula that mixes coverage with a pearly highlighter in one application. This is what you should get if you want to look like a K-drama star.
Tony Moly BCDation Cushion, Tony Moly
Another multitasker that puts together the effects of a BB Cream, CC Cream and a liquid foundation, this handy compact covers blemishes without the weight.
The Face Shop Oil Control Water Cushion, The Face Shop
This lightweight water-based cushion is perfect for those with super oily skin. It dries down to a semi-matte finish and suppresses excess oil production.
3. Modernized permanent makeup
This year marks the renaissance of permanent makeup. Where it was once vilified for its unnatural long-term discoloration, the new generation of permanent makeup uses a different dye and techniques to produce an ultra-natural “I really woke up like this” effect.
Expect more and more makeup artists to add this skill to their repertoire and as this trend continues to skyrocket. But it’s important to be more discerning when choosing the one to permanently ink your face.
For eyebrow embroidery, where hair-like strokes are applied with a super-fine needle, make sure to choose someone who is an expert in eyebrow shapes, i.e. someone who will pick a shape that suits you and your face shape, and not just a standard cookie cutter or trendy shape.
4. Ultra matte lips
There was a time when our moms were obsessed with this super long-wearing lip color that was so long-wearing it also dried out the lips like a prune, which was why the lip color usually came with a moisturizing gloss on the other end. This year, the long-wearing ultra matte lip was back, but with a more lip-friendly texture. Our top favorites:
This brand was reportedly the same one that made Kylie Jenner’s sold-out lip kits. At US$5.99 a pop, these affordable matte lip creams were easy to collect even though they were available only online (there were resellers, but most of them ran out of stock quickly or sold them at much higher prices). Friends would combine their orders into a single one to score free shipping.
The Balm Meet Matte Hughes, Beauty Bar
This minty lip cream came in flattering shades with names that were traits we’d want to find in men (e.g. Charming, Loyal, Committed, Doting)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Rustan’s
Amazingly long-wearing and comfortable on the lips.
5. Beauty pencils
In order to make makeup application goofproof and quick, brands churned out a variety of beauty pencils/wands to satisfy every beauty need. Contour sticks, highlighting and concealer pencils, lip and cheek crayons, and lip liners made “writing” on the face an art.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter, Rustan’s
This magic wand had a round, fuzzy applicator that buffed and blended as it concealed discoloration and added an otherworldly sheen to the face.
Bobbi Brown Retouching Face Pencil, Bobbi Brown
This flesh-toned soft, chubby pencil came in a variety of shades that allowed you to precisely cover up problem areas of the face.
Nudestix lip and cheek pencil, Sephora.ph
Nudestix’s wide variety of pencils for the eyes, lips and cheeks deliver the perfect nude, no-makeup makeup look in a form factor that could fit even the tiniest of purses (you can achieve a full face of makeup using only three of their pencils.
Perfectly groomed eyebrows are here to stay forever and ever. Shapes are now tailor-fit to the face instead of being subjected to runway trends. A multitude of products were released to address brow woes, and these are our favorites:
K-Palette 3 Way Lasting Eyebrow Pencil, Beauty Bar
This slim pencil manages to fit a pencil, a complementary powder and a blending brush for the perfect eyebrow shaper to take with you everywhere.
Benefit 3D Brow Tones, Benefit
To show just how serious they were about giving everyone their best brows possible, Benefit dropped a complete brow collection with pencils, gels, waxes, tints and a serum in various shades. Our favorite from the collection is 3D Brow Tones, a tint that adds dimension to your brows.
Strobing, or using highlights to draw focus to areas of the face, eclipsed contouring this year. Brands churned out different textures and finishes of highlighters in the quest to become the perfect strobing product. Our strobing musts:
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette, Adora
This palette that beauty bloggers were raving about combines the wildly popular Champagne Pop highlighter with another highlighter and three blush shades to mix and match.
Benefit Shy Beam, Benefit
This liquid highlighter is a “flatter,” nonpearlized version of the brand’s popular High Beam and gives radiance to the face minus the sheen.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Calyxta
This is the holy grail of highlighters. Look like an airbrushed magazine cover with this amazing palette.
8. Online beauty shopping
Buying makeup has never been easier with the rise of online beauty stores (both local and foreign) that offer fast shipping to the Philippines. Here’s hoping they replenish stocks fast and add more products for us to obsess over. Where to shop: