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Mask On: How the Covid-19 pandemic is changing beauty and makeup trends for good

The year of uncertainty surely changed the way we shop for makeup and beauty products.


There is no doubt that the coronavirus disease has been affecting and changing every aspect of our lives for good. For starters, most of us were compelled to be quarantined alone in our studio apartments away from our family and friends; while others were left to look for supplementary means of income. 


But this rather depressing time has made us realize a number of good things internally too.


This pandemic has opened up opportunities for us to push ourselves to be creative and look for ways to entertain and keep ourselves mentally healthy even when staying indoors. It has also led us to appreciate the simplest things in life, such as afternoon walks in the park, hugging family members, or catching up with our friends after work. It has made us think of ways to maintain communication between our loved ones even when we’re physically apart.


As we live in a time like no other, self-care/beauty is one of the things that keeps most of us sane and happy while being locked down all day. In our past article; 
Should we still wear makeup during quarantine? Stay true to our skin and body care routines? Plus, other quarantine beauty and self questions.

We talked about how makeup lifts our spirits during these trying times, and how the beauty community has been empowering each other to stay happy and focused during the pandemic. 


Maybe beauty, contrary to what its critics say, is not superficial at all. There are definitely emotional and mental aspects tied to wearing makeup below its surface. So today, we’d like to talk about how the pandemic is changing beauty and makeup trends.


Here are 4 ways the Covid-19 pandemic has changed beauty and makeup trends for good


#4 : The Flexible Beauty Industry

In 2019, the beauty industry has massively increased and was valued at a whopping $532 billion, according to a Business Insider article. But, the pandemic is disrupting the industry’s growth and the way it’s being carried out. It’s also changing consumer habits with most of us, and our friends, wearing less makeup and changing our beauty priorities since the lockdown has started. 


But, the good news for our friends who own or work in the beauty industry is that it’s here to stay. Estée Lauder’s Chairman, Leonard Lauder, coined the term ‘The Lipstick Index’. It represents people’s purchasing power during trying times. Basically, individuals buy smaller items - like lipstick - during challenging economic times to get their retail fix. 


‘The new normal’ has us changing our ways and adjusting to the current situation. Thanks to e-commerce, contactless payments, and next-day delivery services, we can still enjoy purchasing our favorite eyeshadow palettes and contour kits.


As the world braces itself to reopen, with more and more shops and malls starting to accommodate clients again, brands are required to adapt to the changes urged by ‘the new normal’. How then is the Covid-19 pandemic impacting beauty and makeup trends for 2020?


#3 : Is Mascara The New Lipstick?

With all these mask-wearing activities outside, who can see if we’re donning nude lipsticks or if our lips are literally nude? Same goes for those beautifully chiseled cheekbones courtesy of our bronzer and highlighter kits. While it’s enjoyable and ultra relaxing to do a full face of makeup, it gets pretty messy when we put on our masks, so it just makes sense that the focus of beauty is now shifted to the eyes. 




Pre-Covid when we didn’t have much time on our hands to do a full face of makeup, we just swipe our favorite lipstick on, and we instantly look and feel so much better. There’s a certain allure of wearing a stunning coral lip, fiery rouge, or a sexy nude lip shade that lights up our faces straight away, even when the rest of our face is bare. 


But as wearing masks can be mandatory when going outside, the bottom half of our faces is covered. Makeup trends will then be veering away from the cheeks and lips, and onto the brows and eyes. Bold eye makeup look will take the spotlight to express individuality. We’re now seeing a lot of striking yet stunning eye makeup looks on our Instagram feeds as we scroll through. Google searches for ‘eyeshadow looks’ are also increasing since the quarantine has started. Mascara, eye liner, eyebrow makeup, false eyelashes, and eye shadows will take center stage as we experiment with bold, eye makeup looks.



#2 : Accessible Luxury

Even in the middle of a pandemic, we can’t help but crave for our ‘normal’. Luxuries such as spa treatments, getting our hair colored and blow dried, or getting our nails done at our favorite salon are on pause nowadays. Cosmetic brands are making sure that even during these trying times, we can still enjoy our little luxuries. 


Accessible ‘luxury’ items such as false eyelashes, makeup brush sets, upgrades on our vanity tables, bath oils, and fancy shower gels are getting favored by consumers. Trying on various makeup looks or maybe curling our hair at home can be a form of de-stressing and relaxation rituals. 


This practice isn’t just concentrated on beauty alone, but on happiness too. The pandemic calls for a simplified life with less or no salon trips, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy these simple life pleasures anymore. 


#1 : Beauty, Digitized

Digital technology enables consumers to experience beauty, particularly makeup, in a completely different way. Brands have veered away from being product-based to experience-based marketing. A lot of brands and beauty retailers are taking advantage of their Shopify sites and social media channels to continue communicating and connecting with their communities. 


Since some physical stores are still closed, brands are innovating and ramping up their website to let their customers try on their products virtually. Yup, you’ve read that right, virtually!

We’re amazed at how brands and business owners bounce back and adapt quickly to any situation. 

Using technology, consumers can now ‘try’ the makeup products’ various shades using virtual try-on tools. So whether we’re looking for a glossy pink lip shade, an emerald green eyeshadow, or even a flawless glowy foundation, we can now try them out in the comfort of our own homes. How amazing is that?


Spotlight on Digital Events and Social Shopping

Since most of us are stuck at home and we’ve got more time in our hands to watch Instagram Live sessions now than three months ago, brands are making the most out of social media channels to reach their customer base. 


Some companies even host virtual chats or live Q&A sessions on Facebook and Instagram Live to deliver high quality customer service to their social community. As events got cancelled, brands are launching their new collections via Zoom video conferences. These experts are providing their communities with virtual experiences, such as makeup tips and tricks, video product tutorials, and DIY makeup looks that the viewers can try and enjoy at home.


Shoppable content on Instagram is also getting a lot of traction during the lockdown. Across the globe, we, consumers, are increasing our online engagement and spending. Yes, we’re guilty of scrolling through Instagram and buying mascara here and a liquid eyeliner there! What can we say, we need them to dress up our eyes when we put on our masks and go on with our day in the outside world!


Final Word

We’re now living in a time like no other, but we have to not only survive, but to still enjoy life.

Although we’re mandated to limit physical interaction on a daily basis, we can still savor life’s little luxuries such as trying out various shades of lipsticks virtually, or perhaps follow a step-by-step makeup tutorial run by our favorite independent cosmetic brand on Instagram. 


The cosmetics industry has been affected by the pandemic, but our beauty warriors are trying their best to give us, consumers, the best brand experience they can offer.


It’s really about changing our perspectives and making sure we don’t just exist, but we relish beautiful albeit simple moments. Makeup trends may change but the need for the industry to uplift our spirits, especially in times like this, will always stay.


Taking care of our body and empowering ourselves and the community we belong to through makeup has now become an essential step in taking care of our mental health.

Take care!




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