24 October 2017Last updated

Beauty | Grooming

2016’s biggest beauty moments

In the fleeting world of glamour, these eight events proved to be game changers. Louise Emma Clarke suggests how you too can stay on trend

Louise Emma Clarke
28 Dec 2016 | 02:33 pm
  • Source:iStock

Beauty fans and aficionados love flicking through magazines and heading online to get their fix. But occasionally something happens in the beauty world that makes headlines across the globe. 
We round up the moments, events and launches that got people talking over the past 12 months, from bleached-out brows at the Met Gala to a UAE-based beauty star who launched a lipstick line that sold out in a matter of hours…

When eyebrows were bleached at the Met Gala


When both Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian West turned up to the Met Ball in May with entirely bleached-out eyebrows, a new trend was born. ‘I just dyed my brows about 
45 minutes ago,’ Katy told journalists. ‘My stylist Leslie was having a panic attack – she was like “What are you doing?!” I’m like “trust me, trust me, trust me!”’ Beauty aficionados referred to the trend as the ‘anti brow’ – and where the red carpet left off, the catwalk followed, with bleached brows featuring at Marc Jacobs, Ashley Williams and Givenchy’s A/W shows.

Get the look: Want the style, but don’t want to go to the extreme of bleaching brows? Use make-up instead. Start by applying two coats of your usual concealer to brows using a clean mascara wand, brushing against the grain (the opposite way the hair lies).


Clarins Instant Concealer (Dh151, counters nationwide) has a great texture and vast colour spectrum to match your skin tone.


Then set with a translucent powder, such as Estée Lauder Matte Oil-Control Pressed Powder (Dh221,

When Huda launched Liquid Matte Lipsticks

When Dubai-based beauty blogger Huda Kattan launched her line of Liquid Matte Lipsticks at the end of July, all eyes were on the Middle East. Not just because she has such a vast following worldwide (16 million followers on Instagram alone at time of going to press), but because the product is seriously good. The lipsticks flew off shelves at lightning speed – and within just a few hours, every single shade in the collection of 16 had sold out. News of the launch hit newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world, prompting such demand for the product that several stores limited the number customers could buy.


Get the look: With the launch of Sephora’s online portal just a few weeks ago, we can now get our hands on Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick (Dh100, without having to leave our sofa.

When Alicia Keys went make-up free


In May, singer Alicia Keys decided to go make-up free in a movement she hoped would challenge society’s standards of beauty. She’s been fresh-faced ever since, including magazine covers, TV appearances, and red carpet events like the Bet Awards in June and the MTV Music Awards in August. Alicia explains: ‘We put so many limitations on ourselves. I think we put limitations on each other. Society puts limitations on us. And in a lot of ways, I’m sick of it. Over it, to be honest. It would be so amazing to just embrace each other how we are. I think the most important thing is you do what feels good for you.’

A few weeks back, the Pirelli calendar followed suit, featuring a host of actresses wearing no make-up in unretouched photos – the likes of Nicole Kidman. As with any movement, there’s been a backlash, with critics saying Alicia is in a position to spend time and money on a skincare routine that gives her a make-up-free glow few mortals can easily achieve.


Get the look: Want to join the #NoMakeup movement? Introduce salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid to your skincare regime. This will exfoliate your skin, leaving complexion clear, toned and glowing. Get Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads (Dh99,

When Lady Gaga channelled old Hollywood glamour at the Golden Globes


We’ve become accustomed to Lady Gaga rocking up to red carpet events in all kinds of weird and wonderful ensembles – so when she arrived at the Golden Globes in January with a look inspired by old Hollywood glamour, we all had to do a double take. Wearing an Atelier Versace black velvet dress with padded hips, she wore her platinum locks in a retro bob, her eyes lined with a thick black flick, her lashes extended, her brows perfectly defined, and her famous pout swathed in a nude, matte lipstick.

Get the look: Focus on your eyes. Start with thick, liquid liner in black or navy on upper lids, finishing in a Sophia Loren-esque trademark flick.


We love Givenchy Parad’Eyes Liner (Dh150,, which allows you to move from fine to thick lines effortlessly.


After extending your lashes with a volumising mascara, such as Benefit They’re Real Mascara (Dh125, counters nationwide), apply false lashes for some serious glamour.


Make Up For Ever Lash Show in Cat Eye (Dh75, will do the trick.

When Simone Biles brought style to the Olympics


When we switched on our TV sets to watch Rio 2016, we expected some pretty impressive performances – but we didn’t expect to be inspired in our beauty routines. When US gymnast Simone Biles made her way into the arena, however, that’s exactly what happened. From sparkly red and blue eyeliner to glitter in her hair to intricate nail art designs, it wasn’t just her moves that captured the world’s attention.


Get the look: Glitter isn’t just for the festive season – but now is the perfect time to try it out for size. Copy Simone’s style by lining your top lids with a silver or gold glitter liquid liner, such as Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner (Dh99,

When Kerry Washington wore her hair naturally at the Emmys


When American actress Kerry Washington walked the red carpet at the Emmys in September, it wasn’t just her blossoming baby bump and black Brandon Maxwell maternity dress that got people talking. At an event that is usually dominated by sleek, straight styles and plenty of up-dos, she decided to wear her hair down in its full, natural, and beautiful glory. And while the world reeled from news that a group of girls in the Bahamas had been suspended from school for wearing their hair naturally (prompting the #SupportThePuff movement across the globe), Kerry lent her support at exactly the right time.


Get the look: African hair is prone to breakage, so it’s important to add moisture to your hair daily to keep it healthy. Phyto 9 Daily Nourishing Cream (Dh65, is designed for curly hair, deeply hydrating locks with macadamia oil, soybean, calendula, burdock and plant extracts.

When foundation cushions launched

Foundation took a new turn in 2016, when air cushions made waves in the beauty world. Hailing from Korea, the multifunctional compacts started appearing on shelves early in the year – and by the end, most premium beauty brands had versions on their counters. From Clinique to L’Oréal, Lancôme to Givenchy to Sephora, it was one of the most exciting moments in foundation innovation for years.

‘It’s basically everything people love about a BB and a CC cream, but with more perks,’ explains Pauline Maynard from L’Oréal. ‘It doesn’t cake because it’s super thin and light – and because you don’t swipe the product on traditionally, it reinforces that the cushion compact has a cooling effect that’s more breathable than other foundations. Plus, most of them have really high SPF – 50 or higher – while most BBs only have 30.’


Get the look: Sephora Wonderful Cushion Foundation (Dh115) comes in an array of colours to match every skin tone and is praised for its long-lasting formula and lightweight, dewy finish.

When nails got wacky at Libertine


When Libertine sent models down the runway at its New York Fashion Week A/W 2016 show in February with faux fur adorning their nails, it definitely got people talking. It was all down to the work of the nail team at Creative Nail Design (CND). And while it didn’t prompt the world to wear fluffy nails overnight, it did inspire nail art and products to take on ever more innovative forms – and nobody was arguing with that.


Get the look: Sephora makes a range of nail art kits – we love My Cosmic Sneaker (Dh49, for space-inspired chic. If you prefer visiting the salon (and we don’t blame you on that front), head to The Nail Spa (Dh15-20 per nail, Several locations have an art bar, described as ‘an innovative lab for nail design’ where you can choose from a range of fun embellishments and sparkly jewels to adorn your manicure.

What was everyone fighting to get their mitts on in 2016? We round up the products that made waves


Nars Velvet Lip Glide (Dh145,


Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trophy Wife (Dh100,


Nails Inc Paint Can Spray On Polish (Dh60,


Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (Dh99,


Lancôme Miracle Cushion (Dh270, counters nationwide)


Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum (from Dh415, Paris Gallery)


Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (Dh125, counters nationwide)


Tom Ford Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum (from Dh475, Harvey Nichols)


Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (Dh210,


Real Technique Brushes (from Dh71,

Louise Emma Clarke

Louise Emma Clarke