The past year brought us strobing kits, the desire to turn our hair prematurely grey, all things Korean, and the birth of the hun (the half-up, half-down bun, if that trend passed you by).
As always, in the transient world of style, some trends will stick around, and some we’ll wave goodbye to. But we won’t feel their loss for a moment, with a host of new styles to inspire our beauty habits in 2016.
So what do we have in store? Convenience is key for the year ahead – think kits that bring everything we need into one giant palette, mess-free foundation cushions, and the perfect manicure with a quick spray of a can. In addition, Nobel Prize-winning scientific research brings us some exciting advances in skincare, while Pantone’s colours of the year will inspire make-up hues that give everything a pretty, sugar-coated tint.
Most of what’s trending is already available to buy in the UAE, while others are so new to the market that we’ll have to wait for some time to get our manicured mitts on them. Either way, the beauty world is all aglow with its new stars, and aficionados will be reaching as high as necessary to get hold of them…
1. Giant palettes
After a year of learning how to contour and strobe in the comfort of our own homes, we all fancy ourselves as make-up artists – and that is precisely why mega palettes are going to be big beauty news this year. Blurring the lines between professional and amateur artistry, they are packed with different colours and textures to allow ultimate creativity. Take your pick from contouring kits, giant eyeshadow sets, and palettes featuring everything you need to create your look in one mega collection.
Sephora Color Wonderland Dh350
Urban Decay Vice4 Palette Dh330
2. Pastel hues
When colour authority Pantone decrees that the colours of the year will be rose quartz (a tone of pale pink) and serenity (a shade of powder blue), you know that pastels are going to be bang on trend for the season ahead. And it’s easy to pull off too. From nail polishes to eyeshadows, we can expect to see beauty counters turning softer, lighter, and prettier for 2016.
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Duo in Summer Hue Dh203
Ciaté Paint Pots in Hoopla and Ferris Wheel Dh70 each
3. DNA skincare
If you haven’t yet heard about DNA Skincare, this is the year you will. Based on research by scientists into DNA Repair Enzymes (which won them the 2015 Nobel Prize for chemistry, no less), the tech is set to be used extensively in both skincare and the prevention of cancer over the coming months and years.
What are DNA Repair Enzymes? Found in cells, they are the skin’s first line of defence, cutting out damage and patching up holes with healthy DNA. But as we age, the levels in our skin begin to deplete. DNA skincare aims to undo the damage and kick-start cellular regeneration. And when used in sun cream, research shows that it will be much more effective at protecting against skin cancer.
The technology is not currently available on UAE shores, but CultBeauty.co.uk ships here (both standard and with FedEx) and carries the respected brand DNA Renewal – try the Night Renewal lotion, £82 (Dh450, with shipping starting at Dh38).
4. Lip liner
We have reality starlet Kylie Jenner to thank for this trend, which is set to be big throughout 2016. Turning her back on traditional lipstick in place of liner over her entire pout, the young star has turned beauty rules on their head and sparked a new interest in a tool that hasn’t been big in decades. Sister Kim Kardashian recently commented on Kylie’s famous pout, saying: ‘She draws her lip, and it looks amazing. And I go into her room and I’m like “What liner do you wear?” because she only wears a lip liner and fills it in, she doesn’t wear a lipstick or a lip gloss. But she’s so good at make-up, every event she does it herself.’
So whether you are lining lips in a matching colour to your lipstick, over-lining to create a bigger pout, or retiring your lipstick completely and using liner alone, this is one beauty tool you need now!
Shiseido Smoothing Lip Pencil Dh121
5. Skin steaming
Another skincare trend that will be big this year is steaming at home with plant-infused products. Promising a gentler way to cleanse and exfoliate skin, plant essences are carried deep into pores without aggravating skin. They also plump, moisturise, and open pores naturally, ready for serum and moisturiser to seal them again. We’ll see a plethora of such products arriving on shelves throughout the year, making it possible to steam conveniently and effectively at home on a weekly or twice-weekly basis.
Dr Hauschka Facial Steam Bath Dh112 at Basharacare.com
You can also create your own facial steam at home by boiling half-a-litre of water and adding your choice of herbs or essential oils – try tea tree oil, lemon, or mint for oily skin, chamomile or lavender for sensitive skin, or rose oil or green tea for dry skin. Once you’ve selected your ingredients, let them seep in the water for 1-2 minutes, before placing your face over the bowl with a towel over your head to trap the steam. Stay there for 10-20 minutes, breathe deeply, and relax.
6. Foundation cushions
Remember when we first heard about BB Creams and CC Creams? The ever-innovative Korean beauty industry has done it again with the arrival of Air Cushions; multifunctional compacts that look like liquid foundation soaked in a sponge, but contain sun protection and moisturiser too.
We’ll be seeing more and more of these cushions on beauty shelves over the year, with a lot of the top brands set to launch their own versions in the market. The base feels very light on the skin, making it ideal for warmer climates like the UAE, while the coverage is light to medium, making it the perfect base for those who prefer a natural finish.
IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish SPF50 Dh325 at TheBBCreamGirl.com
7. Spray-on nail polishes
UK brand Nails Inc announced the launch of its innovative Paint Can Spray Nail Polish back in November to universal excitement. Founder of the company, Thea Green, says: ‘After years in the making, I am incredibly excited to be launching the Paint Can. Our customers have been screaming out for ways to reduce dry time and for quick, easy ways to apply colour when on the go. So voilà, the Paint Can innovation was born!’ The brand claims the product will be the world’s fastest manicure – you simply need to shake the can and spray it like graffiti over your fingertips to paint your nails.
The inevitable mess on skin can then be washed off with warm water, leaving the perfect result on nails.
Spray-on nail polishes aren’t currently available in the UAE, but we predict brands will follow in Nails Inc’s footsteps over the coming year, so watch this space. In the meantime, speed up your home manicure with OPI Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops (Dh69), so you can paint, apply, and carry on with your day as usual.