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Bright eyes and short colourful hair to dominate 2021 beauty agenda

Gaelle Walker
25 January 2021

Consumer demand for bright, bold and colourful hair and makeup is set to lead the beauty trends charge in 2021, with searches for “neon eyeliner”, “pastel eyeliner” and colourful hair dye all having experienced significant growth in recent months, new research from The Body Shop reveals.

UK searches for “pastel eyeliner” grew “by 735% in the year to September 2020, while the neon eyeliner trend saw a 1,014% increase in searches since 2016, The Body Shop study of Google search data from 64 countries, including the UK, found.

“Red lipstick” also emerged as the 10th most popular makeup trend searched for globally in 2020, while in the UK, despite the requirement for face-coverings in most indoor public settings, “red lipstick” was in fifth place.

UK searches for pink, green and blue hair dye also increased by more than 200% in the year to September 2020, with pink leading the charge; “so expect to see plenty of colourful locks in 2021 as we look ahead to more brighter days,” the study said.

When it comes to hair-styling, short hair is expected to dominate the agenda in 2021, with “short hair styles” currently topping the list of most searched beauty terms in the UK, with an average of 165,000 searches each month.

The short hair trend is also major news globally, with over 1.4m Google searches a month.

Full, thick and defined eyebrows also look set to shine in 2021, with “microblading” having emerged as the second most popular beauty search term in the UK in 2020, while searches for “brow lamination” saw the biggest increase in popularity, with a 1,495% rise in searches since 2019.

Similarly, the term “soap brows,” (the act of using bar soap instead of eyebrow gel) saw a rise of 381%.

The research also highlighted the UK’s continued admiration for more natural beauty looks, with the term “natural makeup looks” having received 114,200 searches in the UK in 2020, up 56% on 2019 and 122% since 2016.

Terms such as “fake freckles makeup” also rose by 180% in the last year.

When it comes to men, hair trends accounted for the most popular beauty trend searches, with “short haircuts for men,” “long hairstyles for men” and “hair dye for men” taking the top three spots respectively.

The trend of “long hairstyles for men” saw the second highest increase with 154% more searches in 2020 than in 2019, followed by “skincare for men” with a 120% rise in popularity.

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