What we’ve learnt about beauty in 2019 (and what’s coming next)

Scroll back through the year’s biggest beauty trends – and get a sneak peek of what’s slated for hair, skin and make-up in 2020.


2019 trend: Feathered brows

Amid the slow, painful death of the “insta brow”, the feathered brow triumphantly took its place as the key brow trend of 2019.

Full and fluffy, the technique involves using a spoolie and brow gel to brush up the brow hairs, giving them a lifted, thicker appearance that looks defined without resembling caterpillars.

2020 prediction: Natural-ish brows

After years of defined, thick, statement brows, we’re all set to do a 180 in 2020 and embrace natural-looking brows.

By natural brows we don’t mean unkempt or product-free, but rather that we embrace our natural brow shape and only fill in or define our brows where necessary.

2020 prediction: Laminated brows

Although the laminated brow trend took off in 2019, it’s only now gaining mainstream attention.

Think of it as a more refined, polished take on the feathered brow, with the “lamination” process involving a chemical solution – typically keratin – that makes the brow hairs straight and flexible, lengthening and setting to the desired position.


2019 trend: Cool-toned hair

Multidimensional ash tones were a major hair trend for 2019, rocked by Selena Gomez, Taylor Hill and Kim Kardashian, to name a few.

While the hair trend will continue into the New Year, there will be a shift to more neutral tones, which are neither ashy nor warm, but rather a perfect middle ground.

2020 prediction: Chunky highlights

Ah, chunky highlights – the throwback trend no one wanted to see return, yet here we are.

A particularly ’90s take that’s gaining traction is the Mallen streak-like contrast of light and dark hair, as worn by models on the Kim Shui SS20 runway and more recently British pop singer Dua Lipa.

A modern, yet equally polarising take on the trend is the inverted root, popularised by Billie Eilish who tends to dye hers green. (Imagine the upkeep!)

2019 trend: Mermaid waves

Just about every celebrity and influencer wore this hairstyle at some point in 2019 and perhaps its short shelf life is due to the trend’s sheer oversaturation.

Despite being a major trend for 2019, it’s not expected to be as popular in the year to come.

2020 prediction: Supermodel blowout

One of the best hair trends of the ’90s was the supermodel blowout, and finally it’s back in vogue.

Voluminous and bouffant, the hairstyle encourages movement and your natural texture to peek through. For the ultimate throwback effect and further volume, don’t part your hair – let it fall to the side.

2019 trend: Blunt bob

This style doesn’t suit everyone, but that didn’t stop just about everyone taking the plunge and getting the blunt bob in 2019.

When done right, it can look timeless and classy. When done wrong … it can look oh-so wrong.

Not to mention the months – if not years – it takes to fully grow out the style.

For this reason, the trend will probably fizzle out by the end of 2020.

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2020 prediction: Y2K up-dos

Does it count as a retro hairstyle if it originated less than 20 years ago? Deep questions aside, the Y2K up-dos are where it’s at.

And those ahead of the game have been early adoptees of the trend, with Bella Hadid wearing the look throughout 2019.

Watch the trend hit the mainstream in the year ahead.

2019 trend: Buzz cut

This classic, clean-cut hairstyle was a major trend in male grooming in 2019.

But don’t lump all buzz cuts under the umbrella term, with different variations including the induction, high and tight and crew-cut particularly popular.

2020 prediction: Buzz cut with a twist

The buzz cut trend will extend to a more creative interpretation in 2020. This trend’s resurgence kicked off when Tyler the Creator rocked a leopard print buzz cut at the 2018 Grammys, further intensifying when model Joao Knorr sported the look on the Versace runway this year.

But you may recall Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden and Dennis Rodman sporting the trend decades ago.

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2019 trend: 1990s Lip

Shades of beige and brown were common in 2019, getting increasingly ’90s-esque as the year progressed.

For the ultimate throwback, people are now lining the perimeter of their lips with a darker shade of brown.

While the trend will continue well into 2020, next year will see more variety (and colour) when it comes to lip trends.

2020 prediction: Goth lip

Much like the ’90s progressed from brown lips to darker, vampire lips, history is repeating itself with gothic statement lips set to return in a big way next year.

Unlike its predecessor, however, the 2020 take on the gothic lip is far more modern – paired with simple, bronzed makeup and a blue-based wine red, which makes teeth look extra white.

While dark lips will be a key trend, bright statement lips of all shades are also trending.

2020 prediction: Glossy lip

As we continue to shift away from the ultra-matte liquid lip popularised in the late 2010s, other lip finishes are gaining a resurgence, especially lip gloss.

Unlike the glossy lips of the early 2000s, the 2020 version of the trend is far more subtle, usually a clear gloss formulation without any sparkle or shimmer.

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2019 trend: Sheet masks

While they’re hardly a new skincare product, sheet masks reached their peak in 2019.

Once only common among luxury skincare retailers and K-beauty, this year the product entered the drugstore mainstream, making it more accessible than ever before.

But how the mighty have since fallen.

Due to their increasing popularity, so has the running commentary questioning their sustainability.

Much like facial wipes, sheet masks are being dubbed the new plastic straws due to their contribution to waste and pollution.

For this reason alone, it’s doubtful the trend will kick on for much longer.

2020 prediction: CBD skincare

There’s been a noticeable boom in cannabinol (CBD) products and that trend is expected to continue into 2020, particularly when it comes to skincare.

Unlike other products of cannabis or hemp, CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which means it’s not psychoactive.

It does contain antioxidant-rich, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, with some claim can help reduce red, inflamed skin. However, early studies have so far been inconclusive.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.