The Makeup Category Is Expected To Be Strong This Year. Here Are The Trends That Could Define It.

Makeup made a comeback in 2021, and beauty industry analysts anticipate its momentum to continue this year. As the category heats up, we’re curious what products and looks makeup artists, beauty brand founders and executives believe will intrigue consumers. So, for this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 38 of them: What makeup trends do you think will be big in 2022?

Jillian Dempsey Makeup Artist and Founder, Fyfe and Jillian Dempsey Beauty

We will see a lot of expressive makeup trends. Think bright eyeliners, ruby lips and a variety of unique brow shades. Highly pigmented products with perfectly polished skin will be a huge trend. Less time in the mirror with quick ways to make a statement. A fearless vibe.

Jenny Patinkin Makeup Artist and Founder, Jenny Patinkin

I think we'll see a big trend towards bright, creative and slightly out of the box makeup. People have somber COVID fatigue and getting to be playful with makeup feels like a fun outlet. Think neon eyeshadow, glitter and shimmer, graphic liner and colors that you wouldn't think of as "natural" for eyes, cheeks and lips.

Isaac Doustar Founder, Doucce

I think the no makeup makeup looks are here to stay. The use of intense, high-coverage complexion products has dwindled. That being said, I think we will see more color being incorporated into these no makeup looks, specifically on the eyes.

In the short term, there will be a heavy focus on eyes as we still have mask mandates in most countries and the emergence of the Omicron variant. But, hopefully, the virus will subside in the coming months, and we will be able to shed the masks. When this happens, I expect bold lips to make a comeback. Think ’90s vibes with darker hues leading the trend.

Yaminah Childress Founder, Yany Beauty

My makeup trend predictions for the coming year are no-holds-barred makeup for all. I think that, in 2022, people will use makeup as a fashion statement, self-expression, a way to go viral on social media and everything in between. Makeup will get bolder with the welcoming back of full color.

Techniques will get more creative with hacks that the novice makeup lover can use and experts fawn over. I also think makeup products will get even more inclusive, easier to access shades from brown and Black skin tones. Yes, please!

Laura Kraber Co-Founder, We Are Fluide

Given all we’ve been through, I think beauty in 2022 will reflect our simultaneous desire for comfortable wearability and over-the-top fabulousness—warm neutral lip shades, easy-to-apply formulas for eye and face, and bold brows and glittery pops of color. Balancing these dual aspirations will drive the way we wear makeup in the months to come.

As a brand focused on celebrating gender-expansive identities, we're excited about the growing number of skincare and cosmetics designed for all gender expressions and the increasing visibility of a wider range of models and creators in the beauty industry. Here's to a more inclusive 2022 and the continued growth of makeup as a tool of self-expression and creativity!

Gabriela Hernandez Co-Founder, Bésame Cosmetics

The trend I see is the less-is-more idea, using fewer products, but being more discerning in the choices made with these products. The customers want more from the purchase, high payoff, multitasking and skin-enhancing benefits as well as a beautiful buying experience.

Also, there is a renewed interest in refillable products and sustainable materials, which will keep improving in the coming years.

Sahar Rohani Co-Founder and CEO, Soshe Beauty

While the no makeup makeup look will always be a staple in everyone’s repertoire, my prediction for 2022 is that it will no longer command our For You page. 2022 will be the year where color enters back into the limelight. Not just for MUAs or influencers, but for makeup wearers of all levels. Move over skin tints, soap brows and bronzer. Eyeshadow, lip, cheek and highlight will dominate the conversation.

On the product development side, I’m excited to see how we explore texture in cosmetics. I think we’ll see a lot more creativity and advancements in liquids, sticks, chalks, water-activated formulas and so on. Beauty brands will get crafty in how they tell their story. I think 2022 is going to be a very powerful year for independent brands as well as household names, both commanded by our respective communities and consumer bases.

Amy Chou Granger Founder, M2Ü NYC

From the feedback we received from our core customers (gen Z and young millennials), dual/multiuse makeup products and skincare-makeup hybrids will continue to be on trend. This demographic has a busy lifestyle, and they want something quick and effective for their daily morning makeup routine. We believe this trend will continue in 2022 when we continue to return to normal life. Trends that surfaced in 2021 like bold eye makeup and long-lasting lip products will also continue in the new year.

Sébastien Tardif Co-Founder, Veil Cosmetics

We'll see the emancipation of the mattifying balm as a legit contender and anti-shine option instead of using the usual powders. Mattifying balms like Veil AutoMatte have been used by makeup professionals for television and cinema for a few years, and we're seeing the general public discovering this great alternative for mattifying. A mattifying balm is skin smoothing, while leaving no trace and no makeup buildup for any skin tones and types as opposed to caking and drying powders.

We'll also continue seeing the rise of cream blush and eyeshadows. People are finally realizing that they're easy to use They're not messy. They can be very natural, and they do not look dry and do not enhance fine lines and wrinkles. With today's technology, cream options do not crease. They are long-wearing. They're also skin smoothing and very lightweight.

Another great makeup trend for 2022 will be the monochromatic look, which consists of using just one family of color. Let's say all shades of pink, all shades of brown or all shades of purple, etc. The monochrome look is achieved by using different intensities of that color for eyes, cheeks and lips, creating a very soft harmony and a great impactful result. It is very surprising, very fresh and can suit all skin tones and age groups.

Gabriela Trujillo Founder and CEO, Alamar Cosmetics 

In 2022, I think we're going to see a massive bright under-eye comeback. People are exploring ways to add highs and lows to their complexion to add more dimension and contrast. It makes for a gorgeous finish that looks professionally done. We are also going to see a big trend towards heavy blush placement, especially using cool-toned pinks and purples!

Yasmin Maya Founder and CEO, Birdy Lashes

For 2022, I think the no makeup makeup look will still be very relevant. Half lashes will be trending since it makes it quick and easy to apply, even for beginners. This allows anyone to add something a little bolder to their look without feeling like they are doing too much at once. I also think we'll be seeing a lot more graphic eyeliner looks and cut creases as we've continued to see a rise in this trend over the last couple of months.

Charlotte Knight Founder, Ciate London, Lottie London and Skin Proud

Firstly, I predict that color cosmetics will make an exciting comeback. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus shifted from color cosmetics and the expression that consumers get from them. For 2022, consumers will be excited to re-embrace color cosmetics and the expression and creativity they can represent. With this, I feel you will see consumers pushing boundaries with their looks as due to the pandemic they will want to embrace bolder looks.

Secondly, I predict to see a continued focus on consumers investing in brands that offer hybrid products, especially with regards to complexion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have had time to take a closer look at their current routines and see what products need to be changed for multitasking products with added benefits that blend skincare with cosmetics. We also will see a shift with consumers opting for more natural-looking cosmetics with lighter formulas to achieve a more dewy and glossy finish tapping into the dolphin skin trend from 2021.

Lastly, I predict to see an increased focus of consumers opting for products that are affordable and high performing that are blended perfectly for their skin type and/or skin concern with consumers stepping away from the need of cocktailing multiple products or 10-step skincare routines.

Brett Freedman Celebrity Makeup Artist and Founder, Brett Glam

Golden skin is back! Not overtly bronzed, but a warm, natural glow will be front and center.

We’re seeing graphic eyeliner everywhere on TikTok civilian gals and guys giving high fashion runway liquid liner looks. With tips and tutorials, now anyone can have an electric blue winged eye.

Crayons and matte lips will still be a thing, but sheerer, light-catching lips will make their return. Now a touch of high-shine shimmer will feel fresh and new.

Natural or near natural skincare and makeup has exploded for me as a makeup artist. When glaming a new actress, I’m seeing more and more interest (and knowledge) about what I’m using on their faces.

Bina Khan Co-Founder, Just B Cosmetics

I am glad to see that the spell seems to have lifted, and people are beginning to question the information they receive. Not only does this mean that people are becoming thoughtful about their consumption, they are also more discerning about the information and advice that they allow into their orbit.

Gone, then, are the days of mindless Instagram-inspired makeup routines: It's hard to wear heavy foundation behind a mask. So, the new trend attention to the experts. And the experts are here for it.

I have been pleased to see the clickbait, cartoon-like makeup "tutorials" that encourage mass consumption have been replaced with working artists (suddenly free because of global shutdowns), inspiring us with their excellent advice and brilliant artistry. The result is a slew of interesting trends that show us how informed we have all become; pretty, realistic-looking skin with products that feel healthy and beneficial. Punchy, interesting lips (that have been hiding behind masks), an all-over gentler, more respectful, more intelligent approach to beauty. From mindless to mindful. It took a globe-shaking event to make it happen.

Anisa Telwar Kaicker Founder and CEO, Anisa Beauty and Anisa International

I think the beauty consumer is going to continue asking more relevant questions about makeup regarding ingredients and packaging. The word "sustainability" will trend across the category into micro focuses: Where is the product made? Who is making it? Why does it cost what it does? Can I trial before investing? Is this product negatively impacting my skin in long-term ways that I am not aware of?

I think they are going to start to get a lot more curious about everything they are putting on their skin, shopping for makeup and brands that have transparency with their ingredients, sourcing and sustainability efforts.

Kim Baker Makeup Artist and Founder, Glamazon Beauty

The trend that I see carrying over into 2022 is colorful bold eyes. Women have been having so much fun this past year with playing up one of our best features...our eyes! I say baby blues and lovely lilacs and hot pinks will be all the rage in 2022.

Amy Liu Founder, Tower 28

2020 and 2021 were all about skincare since everyone was at home and could experiment with new tools, regimens and more. In 2022, I think you'll see makeup have a resurgence but in a post-skintellectual world. Consumers have spent so much time getting their skincare right that they will demand more from their makeup ingredients, too!

People are excited to do their makeup and experiment. You’ll see bolder colors and more multi-purpose products. But what's always on-trend is a product that performs. Customers want value for their money and to vote with their wallets, too.

Rea Ann Silva Founder and CEO, Beautyblender

Trends from 2021 are going to carry over into 2022, especially the no makeup makeup look. Brands will continue to make complexion products that actually look like skin and also have beneficial skin-loving ingredients.

Honestly, you’ll always see things like bold lip colors or smoky eye trends come in and out, but the one thing that always remains timeless is having gorgeous skin. 2021 really played into this with products that set the base of your face like skin tints.

Terri Bryant Makeup Artist and Founder, Guide Beauty

If the runways of Fashion Week are any indication (and trust that they are), get ready to pare way back on complexion products and ramp up the bold colors and textures for eyes, cheeks and lips.

The look for skin will be natural and luminous. To get that 2022 glow think finish versus coverage and opt for sheer foundations or pigment-infused moisturizers that even out overall tone without masking the skin underneath.

For eyes, we’ll be playing in gorgeous, shimmering jewel tones. Soft peach tones will also be on trend for eyes, and they pair beautifully with those '90s-inspired bricky lip colors and classic reds we’ve been seeing this season and will continue to see everywhere next year.

Last but not least, cheeks will have their own moment, and it’s a big one. For 2022, put down the highlighter and contour (at least temporarily) and pick up a few statement blush shades, starting with a rich plum or violet.

Achelle Richards Partner, Chief Product and Creative Officer, PYT Beauty

Nineties-inspired makeup is making a comeback. Think over-lined lips, soft wearable accents of pastel eyeshadows in hues of purple, pink and blue and the return of glossy lips, buildable lip tints and blush tints in natural hues and skin-like textures for a more natural low maintenance look.

Additionally, science-backed wellness is on the rise with products rooted in efficacious ingredients, providing quick visible results and clinical studies to support claims. Also, classic red lips paired with natural nearly bare faces for a simple, but impactful look.

Suzanne Somers Founder, Suzanne Organics

The biggest trend we are seeing in the beauty business is an emphasis on clean products. As customers become more educated, they are demanding less toxic chemicals in their makeup and skin care products. I mean, once you realize there is lead in most conventional lipsticks, you know to ask next time and look for brands that do better!

Brittany Lo Makeup Artist and Founder, Beia

We will continue to see people use makeup to highlight their skin rather than cover it up and keep coverage light and natural, whether that's having a nice sheen to the foundation or cream highlight to give a soft dewiness to the skin.

With sustainability top of mind for consumers and brands, we will continue to see more innovation in regards to makeup/skincare packaging. For example, more brands will be using FSC-recycled paper for their outer cartons. Pumps will be refillable with options to simply buy the tube of product without the outer pump packaging. Even with PR mailers, we will see brands using less wasteful packaging and gifting items.

This year, we saw many consumers resort back to services like lash extensions, even if events are not back to full swing. The reasoning is due to how it simplifies their makeup routine and makes it easy to look and feel good. Consumers will be less willing to purchase products that they do not see the true value in and remove as much fluff in their beauty and everyday routines.

Aleena Khan Co-Founder, CTZN Cosmetics

We definitely anticipate a shift in face product (color and complexion) formulations as more brands will look to inject skincare properties into the products. Skincare-forward makeup also ties back to the rise in consumer interest around multipurpose products.

People want products that can do more for them while being ideal for on-the-go consumers who want to carry less in their bag!

Deida Massey Founder, Bixa Beauty

The makeup trends I think will be big in 2022 are foundations that are light and luminous. Tinted moisturizers are making a huge comeback. Bold lips will also be a big trend for 2022. Women are feeling a little more comfortable shedding their masks where they feel safe. Due to the pandemic blues, women want to make a statement with colors on their lips that are bold and smudge-free.

Alicia Grande CEO and Founder, Grande Cosmetics

I think we will start to see new ways to showcase our unique styles and individualism above the mask line such as creative eye makeup and graphic eyeliner. I also believe that simplified beauty rituals will stick around as we continue to favor hybrid formulas that work while you wear them, and color cosmetics with long-term beauty benefits to minimize your makeup bag and cut back on consumption.

Remi Brixton Founder, Freck Beauty

From what we’re seeing, I think 2022 is going to welcome the return of the lip. Bold, blotted, two-tone, red, vampy, glitter, lip is back in full force, and we are here for it.

Bigger picture, I predict the current trend of affordable, efficacious and clean makeup will continue to rise, with consumers becoming increasingly conscious of supporting responsible brands. And, finally, we expect that word-of-mouth marketing will come out as the leader in product discovery. Whether it’s through TikTok or IRL moments, we’ll be looking to our friends and family for product recs!

Gargi Patel Co-Founder, Vasanti Cosmetics

Laminated brows! You’ve probably seen your favorite influencer rocking this trend in 2021. It's extending into 2022. These brows are combed upwards for a fuller, defined appearance. Your brows play an important role in framing the face and completing your overall look. Today, you can create this look at home without having to go to an aesthetician and without the need for a perm.

Plump lips will be trending all 2022 along with lip definition. To achieve that plump lip that looks fuller, look for a lip plumper that will enhance lip size immediately while providing moisture. Next, pair your lip plumper with a lip liner that mimics your natural lip tone or matches the shade you have selected to help define lip shape. If you have thin lips, try extending a very thin line slightly outside the perimeter of your lips.

With the prevalence of mask wearing, a lot of attention is focused on the eye area. A trend we see in 2022 is bright eyes using white eyeliner. Using a white eyeliner automatically brings out the whites of your eyes for more bigger and brighter eyes. It's a simple trick that requires the use of an easy-to-use, pigmented, water-resistant eyeliner.

Having that special glow never gets old, especially when you're in the Northern Hemisphere. Reach for a primer that adds the glow in your skin before applying your makeup. A great primer will add a healthy dose of glow that shines through even after you finish your makeup. They can also turn the clock back by blurring imperfections, softening, hydrating your skin, and add radiance to your skin immediately.

Janna Ronert CEO and Founder, Image Skincare

A glossy lip! Everyone is looking for glowing skin paired with a perfectly plump, shiny lip. The days of dry, bold, matte lips are behind us.

The rise of filter-less selfies! Sharing natural, plump and fresh skin, and prioritizing long-term skin health over temporary glam-ing. This means always reaching for treatments and products that give a plumping and dewy appearance for a youthful glow and choosing smart products with good-for-your-skin ingredients, whether in makeup or skincare.

Aisha Fatima Dozie Founder, Bossy Cosmetics

My take on beauty trends for 2022 is that people will continue to love looking like themselves, but accentuating their favorite features. Based on our recent increase in lipstick sales, I predict we will see a lot of people rocking bold lips in the future. I am also expecting to see a lot of dazzling, colorful eyes to match bold lips, and we’ll be ready for both.

Priyanka Ganjoo Founder, Kulfi Beauty

In 2022, we will see ourselves in a place where both maximalism and minimalism are trending. We see maximalism played out through the looks that consumers create on their eyes, brows and cheeks, with a strong desire to create more bold and colorful looks than ever before. I expect to see more bright colors, bold designs and fun embellishments, while minimalism will be desired for the rest of the face. We will see a favor for all-in-one multitaskers in the complexion category so that consumers can streamline their beauty routines, demanding skincare infused into their complexion products.

Kirsten Aguilar EVP of Marketing, SeneGence

In 2022, we are seeing color palettes that reflect a new sense of optimism and hope—colors that lift spirits after a tough couple of years and bring joy to beauty lovers. Partnered with this, we are seeing a "less rules and more fun" mentality with makeup. Bold, artistic and graphics makeup looks are showing interest beyond novelty events like Halloween. People are leaning more into their individuality and uniqueness, which we love to celebrate at SeneGence!

Dani Kimiko Vincent Makeup Artist and Founder, Kimiko

We will likely see pastel colors trending for eyes in the new year. Where the pastel colors of the late ‘90s and early 2000s had a chalky finish, those of 2022 are rich, pigmented and slightly warmer than their earlier counterparts. We’ll see them as a wash of color across eyelids or in colorful looks with graphic liners.

Sheer, slightly smudged lips created with a balm, stain or gloss are likely to trend because of how effortless they are. A bold statement lip isn’t going to be as easy to maintain since it looks best when very crisp, and we’re still regularly wearing masks. A sheer or muted lip in a brick tone or burgundy shade, however, can still look great even when not perfectly maintained.

In another vein, over-lined lips created with nude liners paired with lighter glosses translate well on video, so we’ll likely continue to see them whether it’s on TikTok or Zoom.

The days of heavy, very matte foundation, intense contour and blinding highlighters are behind us. With ongoing mask wearing, makeup smudging underneath is undesirable, and heavy makeup is far from ideal for skin health. Instead, we’ll be choosing skin-benefitting products that offer some coverage, but also allow skin to breathe.

For that clean and skinimal dewy look, people will be opting for more lightweight foundation formulas, foundation serums and tinted SPF instead of full coverage foundations, or they will be lightening up the finish of their foundations with a favorite moisturizer. While we will still see some contour, it will be strategically placed with a lighter hand. Highlight will be less dramatic than before and used primarily to accentuate for a dewy, well-rested glow.

When it comes to eye makeup, the “kitten” eye is replacing the bold, dramatic cat eye. Rather than very heavy tails, eyeliner will be more narrow, begin in the middle of the eye and be drawn outwards to create a natural lift. Think slimmer tails with a subtle flick. Some may even opt to create the kitten eye with eyeshadow rather than liquid liner for a softer look.

We will also see lashes that are more precise yet still flirtatious, with false lashes placed towards the outer corners to really extend the eye and draw the look up and out. Combining it with the kitten eye mimics the lift you get when pulling hair into a high and tight ponytail.

Anne Marie Nicolet VP of Marketing, Merle Norman Cosmetics

You’ll see customers ready to show off their lips with a specific focus on lipliners and lipstick, especially if there’s color. We’ll see 2022 welcome makeup looks that have concealer only where needed paired with a pop of color to add interest.

Customers will crave color as they continue to shift away from the neutrals they’ve been reaching for of late. What’ll make it interesting is color applied as a wash. It’s quick and easy and can give as much or as little impact as desired.

Sarah Brown Executive Director, Violet Grey    

I think color cosmetics will continue their comeback, but I feel that the way we approach and wear makeup has changed in a fundamental way. The major shift I’m observing—and feeling myself—is that everything has relaxed somewhat. Whether one is going for a full-on “look” or something more subtle, I think the unifying theme is comfort: We want makeup that is comfortable to wear. As a result of the pandemic, and our lingering WFH lives, how we dress and approach fashion—what we wear “to work,” what we wear out, or even just out of the house—has loosened up. And the same goes for beauty.

The result is that we are reaching for products that are less high maintenance, more comfortable. For example, a tinted balm or serum for lips with amazing color payoff and great moisturizing properties, a tinted moisturizer with skin care benefits and SPF that looks like skin, not makeup.

After a bleak year or so locked indoors, it’s been amazing to watch color explode, as it is such an expression of hope, joy, creativity, artistry—it feels like a celebration. I think we will continue to see more experimentation, self-expression and fearless use of color—the difference is there really are no “rules” anymore. So much has relaxed. The pressure to get something just “right” doesn’t feel urgent or, frankly, modern.

Kory Marchisotto CMO, E.l.f. Beauty

In this unpredictable world, people will continue to turn to beauty for moments of joy and well-being, relishing in simple comforts like lighting a candle, lathering in a luxurious cream and getting enveloped in evocative scents. Clean, cruelty-free and sustainable beauty will remain at the forefront with continued innovation in good-for-you ingredients and better-for-the-planet packaging. Luminous healthy skin with bold accents, be it a bold lip, a dramatic brow or a graphic liner, will set the stage for 2022.

Zanna Roberts Rassi Co-Founder, Milk Makeup

2022 beauty will dance the fine line between maximalism and minimalism, leaning towards highlighting one feature at a time worked in an inventive maximalist way, leaving the rest of the skin fresh and real, minimalistic.

We’re seeing a major focus on the eye or cheek. Trending hard for spring 2022 will be bright shadows: purple, aqua, red eye applied in the most unique and graphic ways, outer and inner lids only, leaving negative space. Floating lines. Double cat eyes, mini cat eyes (kittens!). Think about it as a more arts-and-crafts approach.

Also, blush taking center stage! It’s surprisingly versatile and can dramatically change the look and face shape depending on where you apply. Sunkissed blush, monochromatic looks, blush contorting, the list goes on.

Shari Siadat Founder, TooD Beauty

In the past, when we looked at beauty trends, I think we thought quite linearly: Under-eye liner, red lipstick, bright shadows. I think we've seen a shift in beauty trends, though, which now are more holistic and spiritual even. The two biggest beauty trends I anticipate in 2022 are gender fluidity and continued dedication to the environment when it comes to product selection.

At TooD, we never have been beholden to traditional standards of what beauty or gender looked like, but we're thrilled this has become something more and more brands in both beauty and fashion are embracing. Gender fluidity is not a trend, rather an awakening to what has always been.

Today's generation cares about what goes into the formulas of the products they put on—and we encourage that. We are proud to have launched the world's first one-swipe biodegradable bioglitter, which is both on-trend (hello "Euphoria") as well as safe for our land and seas. We now live in a world where can no longer afford to not take this seriously. I invite all beauty and fashion brands to come to solve this.

Rose-Marie Swift Founder, RMS Beauty

I am not a religious trend follower. For me, it is more about what looks good on you and makes you feel your best. However, as a makeup artist, I would like to see the beauty industry return back to a smoky seductive eye—anything from rich, deep tones and even refined metallics.

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