Among the chaos of another year spent dealing with the pandemic, there were some highlights in 2021 – especially in the beauty world.
We witnessed the birth of the expensive brunette hair colour and the anthropomorphic wolf cut. Hailey Bieber went dark, Zendaya affected an auburn ‘do and Succession debuted a chic flapper-inspired bob we couldn’t get enough of. TikTok users did TikTok things, such as fashioning tape into eyeliner aids, using setting powder as mascara primer and finding easy ways to perfect the french manicure.
When it comes to what we were searching and adding to cart (and, boy, did we add to cart), there were some standout beauty heroes. From Clinique’s cult Black Cherry lipstick to Fenty’s Gloss Bomb Lip Cream, there were a few we couldn’t stop looking for. According to research from cosmetic experts Tajmeeli, there were 160 beauty products we loved to love in 2021. As a beauty insider, these are the nine I really rated.
Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Deep Throat
Another formulation of their explicit bestseller, Nars released the Afterglow Lip Balm, a sheer wash of lightweight colour to hydrate and nourish dry lips.
Laura Mercier Secret Blurring Powder for Under Eyes
Designed to seamlessly set cream and liquid products, Laura Mercier’s Secret Blurring Powder is cake-free and finely pressed, leaving you looking just applied, all day.
E.L.F. Putty Blush in Maldives
Infused with argan oil and vitamin E, this creamy, lightweight blusher melts into the skin for a natural flush. On brand and on budget, I’d snap up a few in different shades for your every blush need.
BareMinerals Gen Nude Blonzer
No, that’s not a typo – Bare Minerals really did combine a bronzer and a blusher to create a ‘blonzer’. In 2021, glow met flush, and we were all about it.
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Night Crimson
Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are celebrated for their moisturising formula and nude-to-neutral colour range. Night Crimson, a deep plum-red, stood out this year for all the right reasons. Effortlessly vampy, it’s the note-perfect ode to 90s supermodel glamour.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Colour Drip Lip Cream
Rihanna can do little wrong and her Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Cream is a testament to that. With zero shimmer, creamy colour and brilliant shine, it was my failsafe option this year when I wanted to elevate my make-up without veering into mirror-shine gloss territory.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Glossy and sheer, Clinique’s Black Honey lipstick has long been hailed as a cult universal shade. The transparent pigment transforms into a slightly different colour on everyone, depending on your lip colour.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara
A product that went mega-viral on TikTok, Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara does, fortunately, live up to the hype. Under a tenner, the product is seriously lengthening without the tell-tale clumps of multiple layers.
Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Face Mask
A reusable alternative to cooling sheet masks, Charlotte Tilbury’s innovative Cryo-Recovery face mask is flexible, cushioning skin with cooling metal and gel beads. Soothe inflammation and target acupressure points for a wonderful at-home facial experience.
Main image: Stylist