Makeup trends 2022: five pro MUAs predict the biggest looks for the year ahead

This year is (finally) almost over, so we’re thinking positively and looking ahead to all of the glorious makeup trends that 2022 will bring us.

Now more than ever we need that lift of putting a bit of warmth into our cheeks or slicking on our favourite lipstick. And while in 2021 fluffy brows and soft glam makeup continued to dominate, things will undoubtedly evolve a little next year.

“There will generally be more emphasis on the eyes and brows and this could play out in a slick graphic bold neon liner, a pastel eyeshadow or a wash of colour blush on the cheeks,” explains makeup artist Cher Webb. “Overall, everything looking effortless, but perfectly placed and always paired with the glossiest, healthy dewy skin.”

For a few more top trends, we spoke to some of the industry’s top professional makeup artists to get the lowdown on what’ll be big in makeup during the year ahead. From clumpy lashes to crystals and glitter galore, here’s what they had to say…

The top makeup trends for 2022 – professional MUA predictions

Amped-up lashes

If you like a defined, fanned-out lash, look away now. “I’m seeing lashes getting clumpy again; it’s a rebellion against the uber perfected, overly filtered augmented unreal world,” says Dominic Skinner, Global Senior Artist for MAC and BBC Glow Up judge. “Layering up your lashes to make them as long and as thick and clumpy as possible will help bring a refreshing change.”

Dewy skin

“I also predict skin will get dewier; dewy, fresh skin looks lighter and uplifting, which is what people will want to feel for sure,” Dominic adds. “A matte, full coverage base just weighs us down, so people will want to change that up. We’ll also see the increase of hybrid products: makeup that acts like skincare to help make your skin look as good as possible, without the need for or look of lots of products, will be popping up more and more. It’s all about giving off the feeling of optimism.”

“The last year has been focused a lot around skin and skincare, so combining makeup with skincare infused products is an amazing way to incorporate the two and will allow the natural skin to glow through,” agrees Cher. “If you prefer a fuller base, try adding a pump of your most-loved serum in with your foundation to add hydration and glow whilst keeping the longevity and cover.”

Lighter bases will also take centre stage and people will embrace their uniqueness. “Full coverage on every look is making its way out for the celebration of imperfections,” says award-winning makeup artist Joy Adenuga. “This is one trend I truly love. Wrinkles, folds, spots or any personal scars are being embraced and celebrated.”

Embellishments and pops of colour

Get ready to throw everything but the kitchen sink at your eyelids when it comes to embellishment. “Eye makeup will continue to be the focus in beauty. Throw in the revival of the bright young things and adornments to help with self-expression will play a big part in individuality,” Dominic tells us. “Glitter, crystals, sequins, pompoms, you name it, will all be there to play with. The craft of crafting and creating something new will be capturing our imaginations.”

“Normally reserved for festivals, these are making their way to being used on normal days,” adds Joy. “Embellishments could be a Swarovski stone applied to the tear duct or a stick-on aqua liner. 2021 started with barely there glam to soft glam and ending with colours being reintroduced by way of blushes, graphic colourful liners, bolder lipsticks and more.”

Orange glossy lips

“2022 is all about glossy lips!” says Bobbi Brown PRO Artist Amy Conway. “Unlike past glosses, these newer formulas are super nourishing, using oils to create that gorgeous high shine that isn't sticky at all – which makes this new trend so wearable and flattering. And in a nod to the rising Y2K (00s) looks, we are seeing orange lips making a comeback in sheer and tinted formulas, whether it’s in a balm or a gloss, this finish gives a fresh warm tint to the lips.”

Minimal vs maximal

Apparently it’s either low-maintenance or all-out for 2022: there is no in-between. “I can see the trends being divided into two quite clear categories," says Nikki Wolff, KVD Beauty's Global Creative Director of Artistry. "I think we are going to see a lot of very low-maintenance, natural looking, fresh glowy looks with minimal, multi use products applied. Then on the flipside I think there will be a big trend for more dramatic statement makeup. Think heavy liner, blush that comes right up to the temples and even across the eyelids and bold, statement retro tones on the lids and lips."

Smudgy lips

The wine-stained lips trend recently took off on TikTok, so it’s no surprise that this will continue to be huge next year. “Diffused stained lips will make mask-wearing a breeze and the less perfected look allows the lip shade to do its thing,” says Cher. “Start this look by applying the most colour at the centre of the lips and blur it out with fingertips so there’s no hard lines.”

Here’s to all of us enjoying a makeup-filled 2022!

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