Skip to main content

10 Years Of Beauty: The Best (And Worst!) Beauty Trends Of 2011 – 2021!

10 Years Of Beauty: The Best (And Worst!) Beauty Trends Of 2011 – 2021!
Sophie Page
Beauty & Lifestyle Writer2 years ago
View Sophie Page's profile

Still feeling nostalgic over the past decade? With celebrations for our GLOSSYBOX 10th birthday in full swing, we sure are! 

As we celebrate our 10th birthday, we can't help but reminisce about the last decade. So much has changed! And the biggest thing that has grown and transformed by far is social media.

Over the last 10 years, we've been able to share our #ootd, our makeup looks, our selfies, even photos of our food - and your followers definitely love it! With the rise of Instagram, Pinterest boards and now Tik Tok, there are so many ways to share your take on the current beauty trends.

So, we thought this would be the perfect time to look back at a huge handful of the beauty trends we’ve loved between 2011 and 2021... as well as maybe a little look back at some of the ones that weren’t so great too!

Nail Trends

Over the last decade, our nails have been through a lot! I can't even imagine how much money I've spent on nail varnish remover. Over the past 10 years nail art has seriously transformed! We’re long past the dots you used to do at home with a nail art pen... From colour, to pattern, to smell (yes we did go through a scented nails phase!), however you choose to style your nails, it's well and truly an art!

The best nail art trend to make it out of the 2010s decade has got to be the feature nail - the ring finger moment! In this trend, your (most likely) ring finger is highlighted in a different colour, a glittery gold, a pattern or a nail accessory.

What I love about nail art in 2021 is that your nails are still just another way to express yourself -another accessory for your outfit! So whether you DIY your nails or see a manicurist - you do you girl! To try this trend today (yes, we’d still happily rock it!), why not give the Mavala Nail Colour - Gold Cosmic a go? Fast-drying, easy to apply and remove, this long-wearing, award-winning nail polish leaves nails as glossy as us!

For me, one of the worst nail art trends (yes, plural, there are two!) to gladly stay in the 2010s have got to be the cracked nail look! Many brands created nail varnish that cracked once applied and dried - and I cringe just thinking about it! Don't get me wrong it was innovative, edgy and made a statement, but let's leave that statement in the past. The second nail art trend to never step foot in 2021 should be the textured nail! Why did we actively make our nails feel like sandpaper? It was also a nightmare to take off!

Hair Trends

Our locks have also seen some good (and bad) trends during the last 10 years. From colours to lengths, patterns to styles, transformations were constant - and celebs have had a lot of influence on our decisions. Being in the public eye and having many fans means what they choose can very quickly become the choice of many others... I mean, I nearly took the plunge and went for a fringe when both Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande debuted their bangs!

 Just like fashion, hair has quick-changing trends that - unlike celebrities - we sometimes can't keep up with. But, our hair, just like our nails, is another way to express ourselves creatively...

One hair trend that can stay in the past is the feather clips and flower crown hair accessory trend. They had their moment, but unless you’re swanning around Coachella or recreating Sandi Thom "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker", it’s a no from me. However, while some 2010 hair accessories just don't cut it anymore, headbands, hair grips and scrunchies are Y2K trends here to stay!

The best hair trend to come out of the past decade? It’s got to be timeless plait - fishtail, loose plaits, dutch, I love them all. The French braid, brought back to life by Taylor Swift, and the milkmaid braid, which has most definitely spent some time in the spotlight.

How To Do A Milkmaid Plait

It’s easy to recreate this milkmaid plait hairstyle - simply follow the steps below:

  1. Create a middle parting in your hair and separate your hair in two equal low ponytails that are close to each other. 
  2. Plait both ponytails, adding a bobble (preferably the same colour as your hair) at the end of each plait.
  3. Take one of the newly made plaits and pin it to your head, crossing it over to the opposite side of your head, finishing at your crown.
  4. Next, take your other plait and cross it over the opposite side, again pinning it down in place. Make sure to lay the plait next to the first one and not over the top. Using bobby pins, secure any loose ends.
  5. After, use a hairbrush (or your fingers) and gently bring some hair out to frame your face. Finally, set your hairstyle with your favourite hairspray! My favourite? The L'Oréal Paris Hairspray by Elnett for Strong Hold & Shine. Strong hold, satin conditioners protect your hair and don’t leave a crisp or sticky residue!

Tanning Trends

Over the last ten years we have seen the fake tanning industry get bigger and bigger! We've seen it go from a very biscuit smelling, orange look (Jersey Shore we're looking at you), to smooth, silky natural tans we adore! And really bad spray tans and hours on sunbeds, to fabulous affordable DIY tan kits and flawless, bronze shades in a bottle!

So let's erase, probably the worst beauty trend of the past decade - the 'heavy tan'. Even Snooki learnt her lesson from tanning beds, and her Insta feed now is full of stunning, glowy AF looks! Orangey, bad smelling tans are just simply not a vibe!

One of the best beauty trends that has gladly followed us into 2021 is the popular natural, sunkissed tan. With St Tropez, ambassador Ashley Graham created a gorgeous limited edition tanning kit - and in her words, “It's a game changer!”.

TheSt. Tropez Tan x Ashley Graham Limited Edition Ultimate Glow Kit is made up of Roseship Oil, Hyaluronic Acid complex and Vitamin E, leaving skin bronzed, plumped and moisturised. This set includes the Self Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse and the brand’s Luxe Applicator Mitt. This handy mitt distributes the soft and airy whipped mousse perfectly to leave you streak free, while the tan develops over four to eight hours, leaving you with the ultimate glowy natural tan. Totally on trend!

Lip Trends

What’s the perfect accessory to a freshly bronzed tan? A bold lip! Which is just another unforgettable beauty trend from the past decade. A great bold lipstick is something every woman should invest in. It’s so versatile and the best accessory to your LBD on date night. A strong lip look can also take you from work meeting, to holiday, to night out with the girls!

The best bold lip has to be a classic red lipstick! A red lippie is adaptable to any situation - a striking red for a date with your partner, a classic red for work... What I love most about a red lippie though, is that once applied, it's like magic/ An array of confidence showers over me and I’m ready for whatever the day has to bring. 

Throughout the years we've seen plenty of people rock a red lip. Celebrities on the red carpet, our co-worker on an important meeting day and our besties when they’re doing a full face. A red lipstick suits everyone and is a trend we love and want to stick around forever.

The L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Liquid Lipstick is my current go to! The angled applicator achieves professional precision and coats your lips in a sexy, long-lasting red shade. Crease and flake resistant, shade ‘Empowered’ will empower you all day!

The bold lip phase that wasn't the best? The bright orange lipstick that seemed to have a hot minute in the spotlight in 2013. Now, seven years later, this trend unfortunately did not catch on. Don't get me wrong, we all love a coral lippie on holiday, but bright orange?

Brow Trends

From bold lips to bold brows... And our brows have seen a lot of ups and downs. In 2014, when we had Vine - ‘viner’ Peaches Monroee went viral with her 'Eyebrows on Fleek' video. And from that point on, 'Eyebrows on Fleek' was coined as the term to describe the perfect brow. 

But what’s defined as the perfect brow? Well it’s changed over the past 10 years for sure. What brows trends did you try? The rainbow brow, the bleached brow, the Instagram brow? I know we all attempted to have brows like eyebrow Queen Cara Delevingne.

The award for worst brow trend from the last decade goes to the Squiggle Brow, for sure! The art of shaping your brows in squiggle lines, and then covering up the edges with concealer and powder -  I am happy to report this 2017 trend, never left 2017. And thank god!

The best brow trend to be born from the last 10 years has to be fluffy brows! Starting on the catwalks then eventually becoming mainstream, this styling technique gives you volume for fuller looking brows that arenatural and flawless! Gone are the days of the thick drawn on eyebrows.

The fluffy brow has more recently been coined, The Soap Brow - named after the brow styling technique. Soap Brow originally went viral on Instagram in 2016 and, thanks to Tik Tok, recently had a rebirth.

To create your own fluffy voluminous brows try West Barn Co Soap Brows®. Gently moisturising and giving you that impressive hold, this product will leave you with that feathery brow appearance. 

How To Use Your Brow Soap

  1. Take your spoolie and rub it into the brow soap, until you start to see a paste forming.
  2. Brush the spoolie through your eyebrows. Make sure you coat all your brow hairs - do this by brushing in different directions.
  3. Once all hairs are coated, start styling by using your spoolie to brush and set the brow to your suited look.

Eyeshadow Trends

How many eyeshadow palettes do you own? Me? Too many to count! The trend in eyeshadows constantly changes - from neutral looks, to colourful moments to being a shimmering goddess. Luckily a lot of palettes on the market today feature both neutral and colourful shades with mattes, metallics and shimmers. I own numerous eyeshadow brushes too. But do I use them all for their correct purpose? Probably not!

Looking back, eyeshadow trends have come and gone and then come back again. And now it's a free-for-all, do what you want! There's not an overly terrible trend that comes to mind but one trend that's likely seen its last days is single shadows shades. Eyeshadow palettes are all the rage and using one shadow shade doesn't cut it anymore. To stand out, you’ll need a transition shade, an inner corner highlighter and a darker outer corner shade. You can do cut creases and you’ll need a shimmer for your lid.

We have the freedom to create our own unique looks now and I'm here for it. So goodbye single eyeshadows, thank you for the memories.

The best eyeshadow trend to have its moment has to be the bold, bright, beautiful eye. The type of colourful looks that allow you to show off your creativity and personality. Using your favourite palette (with so many shades to choose from I’m sure), you can create your own unique look. And not only is the finished result gorgeous, but playing around with eyeshadows and colours is fun!

Expressing yourself through makeup and giving your eyes (which to me is every person's best feature!) their moment is the best trend to come out of the 2010s.Your eyes are the windows to your soul, so why not decorate those windows!

My current favourite colourful palette is the Revolution Pro Regeneration Palette - Trends Mischief Mattes. It has 18 soft, highly-pigmented and super blendable shades with a matte finish, meaning there will be so many different combinations to choose from! Every bright colour from the rainbow is here and if you use an eye primer, these mattes are vibrant AF!

The Baking Trend

When I first told my boyfriend I was baking, he asked where my whisk and apron were! "No, I'm baking my face!". When I say it out loud, yes it does sound strange, but this infamous technique of leaving powder under your eyes for five to 10 minutes, does leave your under eyes crease-free and flawless.

The Kardsahians helped this trend get its wings, as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race, where the Queens use this method on a weekly basis! The best thing to come from baking is the finished resultwhen done correctly. Your under eyes look stunning, your cheekbones are crafted and you end up with  an airbrushed finish.

The 'not so great' moment of baking was when we went through a phase of having too bright under eyes. Yes, we still want that now but the ‘too light for you’ concealer under your eye (all thanks to an uneducated choice of powder) is not a baking moment I want to relive. This is why I use the Maybelline Face Studio Loose Setting Powder Banana. This silky textured powder blurs and smooths to leave me with a flawless finish.

How To Bake

  1. Apply your concealer, then with a beauty sponge, press your baking powder under your eyes (and onto any other areas of your face you either want to set, mature or brighten).
  2. Leave for around three minutes, then gently dust off the powder with a fluffy brush.

The Contour Trend

Kim Kardashian brought contouring back to life in the 2010s with one simple Instagram post. Kim shared her contouring technique, using makeup to emphasise and enhance the angles on her face using different shades of makeup. And after this post, the trend shot to fame with thousands of replica posts, new hashtags and a surge in contour products from makeup brands.

The worst contour trend that came from Kim's post was too harsh contouring. Where we used the wrong shade of powder for our skin tone (not always on purpose, instead copying the shade Kim used thinking one shade fits all!) and created intense lines on our face. Instead of following the outline of our own cheekbones.

Another great trend from the past 10 years was the rise of bronzer for contouring. An easy to apply product that creates a sun-kissed glow and to make your skin look healthy and radiant. Bronzer is applied where contour goes (cheekbones, nose and jawline) but the difference is, instead of dramatic lines, we get a natural, subtle radiance. One of my 'hall of fame' bronzers is the Too Faced Soleil Bronzer in Chocolate. This award-winning, best-selling pressed bronzing powder, which is infused with 100% real cocoa powder, smells good enough to eat! It blends like a dream too and gives you eight hours sun kissed staying power.

The Highlighter Trend

Word : Strobing. Definition : "The new contouring".

In the year 2015, highlighter was all the rage and we welcomed a new word, ‘strobing’. The word for highlighting certain parts of your face where you know the light will focus on. The result? A healthy, illuminating glow.

If you didn't know, strobing was a four step process...

  1. Add highlighter to cheek bones.
  2. Add to bridge of your nose.
  3. Apply on your cupids bow (above the middle of your lips).
  4. And blend.

Highlighters now come in many different forms including powder, cream and liquid. It can feel overwhelming choosing your favourite, however all you need to worry about is remembering to always add liquid highlighter before you powder down your face!The worst highlighting trend from the 2010s - over highlighting! The chunky, glittery highlighters that didn't blend well and were only acceptable for festivals. Back when this was a thing, we added highlighter to any part of our face and were then inundated with tin man memes on the group chat!

Highlighting has fast become one of the best trends from the past 10 years and it’s evolved greatly during this time. We now highlight our brow bones, the tip of our nose and dot highlighter in our inner corners! We have body highlighters now too, adding shimmer to our shoulders and collarbones!

My go to highlighter is the PIXI Glow-y Powder in Cream-y Gold. This velvety powder highlighter flawlessly reflects light to brighten and add a gorgeous glow to your complexion. In a gorgeous, light golden shade, it’s perfect for any makeup look.

Skincare Trends

The last two years the beauty industry has gradually switched from full glam looks to the 'no makeup make up’ trend. And, alongside that, we've seen the popularisation of skincare, with brands creating skincare lines like Kylie, Fenty and of course us here at GLOSSYBOX! Overnight all your friends are posting 'self-care Sundays' selfies on Insta and sharing their in-depth skincare routines.

Want to know more about our GLOSSYBOX Skincare range? Well it's just turned one and we’ve already shared loads about why you’ll love our affordable and effective range so much!

One of the most popular skincare products to come out of this trend is, for sure, micellar water. Infused with surfactants that break down oils, micellar water features tiny little balls called 'micelles' that are brilliant at removing dirt. WhatI love most about micellar water is that it works for all skin types - dry, oily and combination, it’s perfect for all. It also promotes hydration and is ideal as a makeup remover and cleanser too.

My favourite micellar water cleanser is the GLOSSYBOX Daily Micellar Gel Cleanser. This light gel gently purifies, nourishes and softens skin, with ingredients such as blueberry seed oil and cactus stem extract which soothe and moisturise too.

How To Use The GLOSSYBOX Daily Micellar Gel Cleanser

Use this cleanser both morning and night. Massage an almond-sized amount of gel onto your damp skin to melt away your makeup and cleanse away dirt. And, if necessary, repeat to double cleanse.

Subscribe To GLOSSYBOX 

To stay up to date with all the newest beauty brands and products out there, subscribe to GLOSSYBOX. As a Glossy, you’ll receive five incredible beauty buys every month, that are delivered straight to your door! You’ll also get the opportunity to earn Glossy Credit (by filling out surveys and leaving product reviews) which you can spend on even more trending products on lookfantastic! 

Sophie Page
Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
View Sophie Page's profile
You know how people say putting on your favourite clothes can instantly boost or change your mood? Well that's how I feel when I put on my favourite makeup. Makeup isn't to cover up, it's to show off our personality - and I love how everyone does their makeup in their own unique way! I never leave the house without a tinted lip balm in hand, and just like everyone right now, I love a good dupe!