The spring/ summer 2021 makeup trends fill us with so much excitement! Most makeup routines have changed a lot over the last year. Some of us pared back to the bare minimum required to look decent in a Zoom call, while others took the chance to go wild, experiment, and have fun with a new look for a new situation.
We also saw a lot of looks that combined both approaches, with minimalist makeup punctuated by a dramatic eye or an unusual lip color. No matter what kind of makeup routine you happened to embrace, the spring makeup trends will include something that will resonate with your approach to beauty during pandemic times!
#1. “No Makeup” Makeup
There are two ways to go about the no-makeup makeup trend. First, you can just take it easy and skip makeup altogether, beyond maybe a touch of concealer where needed. This seemed to be the approach taken at Prada, where models’ skin was naturally visible.
If the prospect of tossing your foundation doesn’t appeal, you can instead take inspiration from the beauty looks at Jacquemus and J.W. Anderson, where the skin was subtly perfected with soft application techniques.
Finally, we must admit our hubris – we thought faux freckles were dead for a brief moment. However, the fake freckles at Jason Wu proved us wrong. All models rocked a soft “no makeup” makeup look, but for a few, that look was enhanced with natural-looking freckles drawn on with a long-wearing brown matte liquid lipstick.
#2. Dewy Glow
The summer 2021 beauty trends proved that glowy, dewy skin is not going anywhere, so forget about that mattifying primer and stock up on moisturizer. The glowy look was mostly targeted, with only the high points of the face shining, although here and there, we also saw some dewier complexions.
At Versace, super dewy skin complemented hair that was styled to look damp absolutely perfectly. The skin shined with health, while the hair looked like it was fresh out of the ocean or pool.
The complexion was also glowy at David Koma, but this time we feel like the highlight was intended to mimic the sheen of the thin layer of sweat an athlete might build up while playing tennis, the game that inspired the entire runway show and collection.
We noticed other examples of pretty, dewy skin at Victoria Beckham, Bevza, Sportmax, Alberta Ferretti, and Hermès.
#3. Spring Blush
A wash of blush always adds an air of innocence to a look, and it’s a nice way to feel extra fresh yet colorful. It fits especially well into the spring beauty trends because it’s quick and easy with a subtle but present impact.
The combination of blushing cheeks and bottleneck curls at Simone Rocha was youthful, harmonious, and intentionally a little childish. A matte, pink blush was applied low on the cheeks and closer to the center of the face to lend an air of softness.
The pink cheeks at Erdem were similar, but something about the diffused way the blush was applied felt less youthful and more wind-flushed. According to lead makeup artist Jane Richardson, the natural flush was achieved with a combination of liquid and powder blush.
Finally, for a slightly warmer look, we enjoyed the touches of peach blush at Coperni. This type of look was a little more summery, and those of you with warm undertones may find it more flattering!
#4. Smokey Eyes
If all that’s showing is your eyes, why not go a little heavier with a smokey eye? While most trends leaned towards a softer place, we still spotted some sultry and seductive smokey eye looks amongst the spring 2021 makeup trends.
The most iconic smokey eye was the one created by Lucia Pica for Chanel. The most notable thing about the Chanel smokey eye was that it was concentrated on the top lash line and lid, while the lower lash line was either lined very subtly or unlined at all.
Models rocked all kinds of dark eye makeup looks at Chloè, including a few with heavy, traditional smokey eyes and a lot of liner on the waterline.
A sultry smokey eye can make the eyes look smaller, but at Mark Fast, the look was actually quite eye-opening because the waterline was left bare, and the smudgy mix of shadow and liner was concentrated on the outer corner of the eye.
#5. Thick Black Liner
When it came to drama and impact, thick black liner absolutely ruled the runway. The slightly grungy, heavy look relied on pencil liner and thick strokes that didn’t have to be overly precise. It’s an easy-to-achieve eye makeup style that frames the eyes dramatically and helps let out a bit of aggression.
The heavy eyeliner at Christian Dior was drawn on with a simple roll-up eyeliner in a heavy layer all around the eye. The outer corner was slightly extended for a thick, slightly blunt cat-eye.
The liner look at Giambattista Valli was also notable. It was like an even more intense version of the liner at Christian Dior, with the same blunt edges but with much thicker and more extended lines.
We spotted some more looks with thick black liner around the eyes at Chloè and Valentino.
#6. Colorful Eyes
The time for experimentation is now! There was a bounty of color in the spring 2021 makeup trends, and now is the perfect time to give them a try.
For something simple yet unusual, you can experiment with red eyeliner, as we saw at Salvatore Ferragamo. The liner was applied in a wing only to the top lash line, while the bottom lash line was softly enhanced with a bit of brown shadow. We also spotted different colored cat-eyes at Batsheva.
At Chromat, models of all genders rocked dramatic and colorful eye makeup, with dual-colored eyeshadow all over the lids or neon negative-space wings.
There were plenty more colorful eyeshadow looks at Kenneth Ize, Bibhu Mohapatra, and Halpern.
#7. Joyful Blue Eyeshadow
Blue stood out to us as a favorite eyeshadow color on many runways and in many lookbooks. Perhaps it’s because classic blue was deemed 2020’s Pantone Color of the Year, or maybe it tied into the youthful spirit of experimentation that popped up for many during the lockdown. Either way, blue shadow is back!
On the ultra-playful side of things, we saw the same kind of bright blue eyeshadow painted dramatically in the crease both in Zero + Maria Cornejo and Bethany Williams lookbooks.
At Tom Ford, we felt some ‘80s inspiration with jewel-tone blue eyeshadow paired with bright pink-purple lips. We spotted more exciting blue eyeshadow looks at Tomo Koizumi and Emilio de la Morena.
#8. Red Lips
Red lips are timeless, of course, but somehow, we were still surprised by how ubiquitous they were amongst the otherwise laid-back makeup trends. Admittedly, for some women, a red lip is a very laid-back way of adding drama to an otherwise subdued makeup look. If that kind of low-effort glamour appeals to you, you’ve got lots of runway inspirations!
Most of the models at Balmain rocked a matte red lip, with the lip line just slightly overdrawn to create a lush pout. The rest of the look was simple, with lightly perfected skin, little-to-no eye makeup, and brushed-up brows. We saw similar bare-skin and red lip combinations at Max Mara, Hermès, and even one model at Versace.
However, if you prefer a more full-glam look, you can draw inspiration from the signature red lip and winged liner look at Dolce & Gabbana, whose timelessness has been proven season after season.
#9. Vamp Lips
While dark makeup always fits in well with autumn collections, it felt extra broody and subversive as part of the spring/ summer 2021 makeup trends.
Our favorite was the matte burgundy-red lip at Olivier Theyskens, which was combined with an eye-opening touch of smokey eyeliner only along the outer half of each eye.
However, it’s probably the vampy lip at Rodarte that generated the most buzz on the blogosphere because of the way it was combined with a very floral, springtime aesthetic and otherwise pared-down makeup. We also saw examples of dark lipstick for spring at Max Mara and Halpern.
#10. Unusual Lip Gradients
Smudged lips, gradient lips, and ombres all showed up on the runways, proving that you can stray from a traditional lip in any way that you like for summer 2021.
Let’s start with the super-smudgy pink lips at Bora Aksu, which we were able to glimpse through partially-transparent fabric masks, in a look that made a big statement on current times.
The lips at Blumarine felt similar yet different, with the color concentrated at the center of the lips and the lip line blurred away with concealer.
For a more lip-enlarging effect, there were the traditional ombre lips of some of the models at Valentino, and the brown ombre lip liner look at Acne Studios.
#11. Bleached Brows
Bleached brows are another one of those summer makeup trends that we feel had a major comeback. It’s not that we didn’t see bleached brows in previous seasons, but they did feel a lot more prominent this time around.
They stood out the most at Giambattista Valli, partially because nearly all of the models had their eyebrows bleached but also because it contrasted with the very black, very thick eyeliner that rimmed everyone’s eyes.
Most of the other shows where we spotted models with bleached eyebrows were also on the eccentric side, like Kochè, Rokh, Charlotte Knowles, and Art School.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly