Over the past year, Zoom-friendly-makeup and leisure wear has become our new normal. Without access to beauty professionals, many of us took everything from hair coloring and nail art to facials and hair removal into our own hands.
Beauty and self care became a welcome distraction during lockdown and a way of relaxing in turbulent times. Finding comfort in these routines and rituals when other aspects of our lives had very little structure. As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many of us have begun to reflect on our relationship with beauty. As we prepare to remerge from what seems like an eternity of hibernation, how will this affect our beauty routines?
With so many of us opting for DIY treatments during lockdown, searches of at home face masks were up by 233% at the beginning of lockdown and home lash lifts up by a whopping 300%, will professional treatments ever return to their old popularity, or will the promise of sunny days at the beer gardens prompt us to go all out and experiment with beauty like never before?
One positive to be taken from our time spent in lockdown is our gift of just that, time. Without a regular commute, school run or other hassles of our busy day to day lives, many now had the time to invest in their skincare routines and give themselves a little extra tlc.
As we have come to the realisation that there are major mental health benefits to be taken from a pampering session, alongside a focus on cleanliness and hygiene, it comes as no surprise that skincare has been the most popular trend both in lockdown and as we begin to return to normality.
For some of us the stress of lockdown, hours spent indoors in front of computer screens and mask wearing, led to lacklustre skin, dryness and breakouts. Because of this, Facial serums grew in popularity during isolation, with customers specifically investing in the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid and zinc serums with increases of 85 percent and 115 percent respectively. These additions to our routines look set to become staple products.
Spending more time on our skincare also means a bigger focus on the products we use and if they really deliver the results we desire. Tik Tok ‘Skinfluencers’ became a hot topic during months of lockdown with Hawaii-based skincare influencer Hyram Yarbro emerging as the ruler of the skinfluencers, with some 6.8 million followers amassed over the course of less than a year. Debunking skin care myths and breaking down the importance of particular products, he has offered an education in skincare from the comfort of our homes. We are becoming more clued up on skincare ingredients then ever and with the growth of ingredient focused brands such as The Ordinary and The Inkey List making skincare simpler than ever, we can all add skincare aficionado to our CV.
A focus on good skin looks set to stay post lockdown. The main trend will be about looking refreshed, glowing, healthy. We are experiencing an evaluation of beauty routines that puts skincare top of the list and we remain on track to emerge with glowing skin when we appear at our first social function of 2021.
Our focus on skincare and the fact that we have spent most of our time on Zoom calls rather than face to face conversations, has led to far more of us getting used to going barefaced. After all, the camera rarely pics up that emerging pimple or severe under-eye bags anyway.
But as we return to some kind of normality, will our makeup bags see the light of day or will our adoption of a more natural look stick around?
Over the past year, 55% of women have reduced how frequently they wear makeup, according to Mintel. There is that saying that during a crisis, lipsticks sales rise. But this theory doesn’t necessarily hold up for a pandemic in which we have spent most of our time behind closed doors and when we do go out masks are a requirement. Even the most enthusiastic makeup wearers deemed a creative look wasted on a day spent at home with your dog.
For some this pared back approach to makeup seems to be extending into life after lockdown. Sales of products to enhance natural beauty are up. “We’re seeking pared back and super-natural makeup with glassy skin, laminated brows and even faux freckles,” says Tony Baumann, head of artistry at Mecca. Products such as Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint and Lottie London’s Freckle Tint are sure to give the understated glow you’re after just in time for summer.
However, for others the opportunity to break out some of their old favourite looks or to try something completely new is an exciting prospect. We all have those impulse purchases such as glitter eyeliner or the wacky shades of an eyeshadow palette you promise you will use one day before returning to the faithful browns and nudes by default. Breaking out of lockdown could be the perfect time to bring out our most creative makeup looks yet and give this year the glitz and glamour that 2020 lacked. As the first rays of springtime sun shine, an emergence of colour is on the horizon. Try the Urban Decay Naked Wild West Eyeshadow Palette for shimmering turquoise or luscious gold shades, and Fenty Beauty’s Shimmer Skinstick in Unicorn for a luminescent glow.
With so many of us opting for DIY beauty treatments during lockdown, it is hard to tell if the popularity of professional treatments will ever return to normality. However, despite our best efforts to emulate a salon-quality treatment at home, nothing beats a trip to see someone who really knows what they are doing.
After being left behind in various phases of the government’s plans to lift lockdown, beauty services are being slowly reintroduced. Nails, eyelashes, tans, brows, botox, and massages are back, and many of us have rushed to rebook in order to get ourselves back to our pre-lockdown standards.
With hair appointments high on the list of bookings, facial treatments come in a close second place. Microdermabrasion and acne treatments are peaking interest. As facial treatment regulars will no doubt return to their routines, there are a number of beneficial treatments to treat yourself to post lockdown even if you are a newbie.
From skin icing to microdermabrasion and dermaplaning to LED acne treatments, acupuncture and pore vacuums, there’s a vast menu of facial treatments to choose from and it really depends on your skin type and specific needs. However, one treatment is sure to banish the blues and leave you feeling rejuvenated, a facial massage.
A visit to popular ‘facial workout studio’ Facegym will do the trick. Their signature facial not only eases tension but also stimulates blood circulation and collagen, boosts the lymphatic system and increases cell renewal.
If conducting a facial at home during lockdown without having to get off of the sofa was your dream come true, sales of beauty gadgets have continued to rise. For the ultimate treatment try Dr Dennis Gross’ DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro. This super high-tech mask uses a combination of 100 red LED lights and 62 blue LED lights that work together to smooth wrinkles, firm skin, diminish discolouration and clear acne for a beautiful, youthful complexion.
Easing ourselves out of lockdown and back to normality won’t be easy and it goes without saying our beauty routines will need some adjusting too.
More time spent out of the house also means more time wearing a mask in public places. Despite their important role in preventing the spread of the virus, they can also sadly wreak havoc with our skin. The increased humidity that comes with mask-wearing, impairs the skin barrier and changes the skin microbiome. This can lead to congestion, breakouts and dryness.
To avoid this, it is important to cleanse effectively. The SkinCeuticals blemish and age cleanser has a lightweight gel formula that is gentle but also has exfoliating agents to decongest pores.
More time spent outdoors (hopefully in the sun) means we need to be more diligent with our sunscreen use. We have all been told time and time again about the importance of weathering sunscreen on a daily basis, and although we should have continued to use it during lockdown, we may have slacked off slightly.
Now is the time to ensure you are using a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect skin. Try Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen for Weightless, scentless and utterly undetectable protection. This broad-spectrum sunscreen doesn’t clog pores and its non-greasy formula doubles up as a makeup primer (if you’ve opted to wear any).
Although returning to somewhat normal life can seem daunting at first, there is much excitement around the anticipation of a social life and the ability to go back to doing some of the things that we love.
Throughout lockdown we have learnt alot about our beauty routines and there are plenty of good habits to take forward, but for many of us the first chance we get to indulge in a professional beauty treatment and experiment with a fun and colourful look we will do just that.
What will your beauty routine look like post lockdown?