What the future of beauty looks like in 2022

From semi-matte skin in Mumbai to facial piercings in Paris, six experts share makeup trend predictions for their cities and beyond.

by Frankie Dunn
08 February 2022, 11:55am

Images via @kritikagill and @porschepoon

As we continue to brutally propel ourselves through 2022, we ought to take a moment to pause and reflect. Should this be the year that we attempt to go “off grid”? How do we really feel about zaddy season? Is it time to switch up our go-to makeup look? And to the latter we say: yes, definitely. Change is good. 2021 might have brought the return of skinny brows, that weird rounded lip trend and Pleasing by Harry Styles, but what can we expect for the rest of 2022?

To get a clearer picture of what’s coming, we called on six beauty experts from across the globe to fill us in on the trends they’re seeing take off in their cities. Y2K nostalgia — all coloured lashes and bejewelled embellishments — is continuing to evolve. After all, the world is currently waist-deep in Euphoria season 2, a show whose aesthetic impact is proving to be deeper than Cassie Howard’s dependency on male validation. But we’re also drawing from K-pop, with more men than ever realising the benefits of contouring; and it looks like Paris girls might be branching out from natural beauty on a mission to have more fun with their faces.

Read on for all this and more insights from Paris, Monterrey, London, Mumbai, LA, New York and Shanghai – and learn how to get the looks at home.

Louisa Trapier, Paris

Who watched the video for Pharrell, Nigo and A$AP Rocky’s new track “ARYA” last week and thought, damn! The cast look incredible! Well, you know who made them look that good? 25-year-old Paris makeup artist Louisa Trapier, that’s who. When not dabbling in wild prosthetics or turning Oklou into a post-apocalptic warrior queen, she’s painting Euphoria High-worthy beauty looks all over her own face. Nous sommes obsédées, honestly.

What's a beauty trend you're predicting for 2022?      
I feel like here in Paris, in 2022, two trends are gonna be big: coloured false lashes and face piercings, which I hope are gonna make a comeback as well. 

Where do you think this trend comes from? 
I think it’s more a trend coming from the US because Parisian girls tend to be as natural as possible, but I love seeing people have fun with their appearance! I think these trends come from American influencers and also from pictures of Japanese girls from Y2K — overall it’s the Y2K aesthetic continuing to make a big comeback. 

Any advice for embracing coloured lashes? And even facial piercings?
My advice for the Parisian girls is to be daring and to do whatever they want, no matter what people think. Also, if you’d like to get pierced but you’re not ready to take the leap, you can always glue some rhinestones on your face with eyelash glue!

Amrita Mehta, New York & LA

Like many of us, Amrita Mehta discovered the joys of makeup on YouTube. But unlike most, the Bay Area-born, South Asian biology grad decided to pursue it as a career and didn’t back down. “I sent a million emails, reached out to anyone I could, flew to NY, snuck into numerous fashion week parties to network, and finally found a place for myself in the industry,” she explains. “I now spend most of my time between New York and Los Angeles, and am fortunate to work with some really incredible artists like Amber Mark, Raveena and Yaeji.” Describing her work as “pretty with a twist”, Amrita blurs the line between glam and weird – taking a classic look and throwing a more modern, experimental element at it.

What beauty trend are you predicting for 2022?
Embellishments! I think glueing things to your face is really having a moment. It seems like people are constantly looking for new materials to use to accentuate beauty. (I know I am!). The definition of makeup and beauty is constantly evolving and I am so here for it.

Do you think it's a trend that's specific to your cities?
I definitely think this is something that has taken off globally – it’s really interesting to see how trends spread worldwide and how each person/culture interprets them. Jewellery and adornments are such a large part of many cultures as it is, and I think this is just another type of facial ornamentation. 

Where do you think the inspiration behind the trend comes from?
I feel like a few industries play a role in this trend. Shows like Euphoria have really inspired people to embrace rhinestones and glitter and really just be open to trying something new. We’ve also been seeing bold pieces on the runway and even on social media (cc: Rihanna’s baby bump jewellery) – when used in makeup, the concept remains the same, just with a twist. Then of course, technologies like face scanning and 3D printing have really created a ton of customisable options, meaning the possibilities are endless. And when times are unpredictable and trying, if a rhinestone, a sticker or a bit of glitter can lift your spirits and make you feel a little more jazzy, why would you hesitate? 

Got any tips for embracing embellishment?
Don’t be scared! Embellish to your heart's desire. Whether it’s a tiny sticker on your cheeks or a full on bedazzled eye; there are so many options to play with and no right or wrong way of doing it, so you can definitely find something that you feel confident in. Pro-tip: Use eyelash glue as an adhesive. It’s face- and eye-safe, strong enough to hold but easy enough to remove at the end of the day. Just be cautious of which formula you use If you have a latex allergy.

Cecy Young, Monterrey

Not content with simply being a brilliant photographer (she’s shot for the likes of Vogue Japan, Ginza and i-D), five years ago Cecy Young teamed up with her sister to launch the very aesthetic beauty brand Momiji, of which she is creative director. What began as an e-commerce platform introducing a number of Korean beauty brands to Mexico, soon evolved into its own popular skincare and makeup brand with a flagship store in Cecy’s Monterrey hometown that even boasts its own (super cute) Momiji Cafe. A real beauty destination offering up a community for Mexican K-beauty fans.

What's a big beauty trend you're predicting for 2022? 
I think in recent years the trend was very focused on skincare and less on makeup. This year though, I think eye makeup is already having a strong comeback – a Y2K meets K-pop idol look in particular is a trend that we see coming and we are embracing at Momiji.  

How does the Y2K eye look present itself in Monterrey?
We see a lot of young people in the cafe wearing masks, but the eyes are very embellished with glitter and jewels. They also apply highlighter below the eyes which is a common practice in Asia. Recently I was doing research into app avatars, and I realised that the looks of the avatars are typically very K-pop idol meets Y2K too.

Where do you think the inspiration came from?
I think the K-wave is becoming stronger each year. Trends and nostalgia from the early 2000s are also mixing together in fashion, design and makeup. For the eyes, we also see a lot of shimmer, glitter and jewels in shows such as Euphoria

Got any tips for people hoping to embrace the Y2K K-pop look?
Just have fun and enjoy! Experiment with shine and colour – there are no mistakes in makeup. Also, age doesn’t matter!

Porsche Poon, London

Having spent eight years painting faces (and four of those assisting beauty guru Isamaya Ffrench), “full-time big cosmetic beauty hoe” Porsche Poon brings a wealth of experience to their boundary-pushing work. And it’s getting them noticed — the Hong Kong-born, London-based makeup artist was selected as one of the BFC’s New Wave Creatives for 2021. Whether working on Shygirl’s Burberry collaboration, MØ’s new music video or their own brilliantly distorted Self Love self-portrait series, Porche’s aim is to infuse both the process and the resulting look with as much fun as possible.

What beauty trend are you predicting for 2022?
I predict a trend based on what I am currently into doing in my work: a strong eyeliner look and use of diamanté. When it comes to skincare, as a proper skincare hoe, I feel that bakuchiol is going to be the next big hit ingredient brands are going to put in their products. It’s an ingredient that has almost the same effect as retinol, but has none of the irritation that retinol brings to our skin. 

Any tips for attempting to embrace your strong eyeliner look?
Such a cliché thing to say but with makeup it really is: practice makes perfect. 

Kritika Gill, Mumbai

Makeup artist and hair stylist Kritika Gill was bitten by the beauty bug while studying furniture design (is there anything she can’t do!). A quick career path pivot and a move to Mumbai saw her dive headfirst into the action by assisting a number of established artists. Rather than makeup itself, Kritika’s approach to beauty has always been much more focussed on skin. “I found that if the skin looks at its best, you don’t need much more embellishment because the person’s unique features will speak so much louder,” she explains. Kritika has collaborated with some of India’s best photographers, stylists and models for clients including Vogue and Chanel Beauty.

What beauty trend are you predicting for 2022?           
Since affordable skincare has brought such a big wave of information to everyone, at every age, I see people treating their skin with more kindness and becoming more minimal with makeup in general. We’re substituting a full face of foundation with little dots of concealer, and embracing the skin we were blessed with. The hyper glossy, “dewy” skin is taking a backseat to a fresher, demi-matte finish in makeup. 

Do you think it's a trend that's specific to Mumbai?
Even though we love uber juicy skin that makes you glow like goddess, the need for longevity in Mumbai’s year-round muggy, tropical weather is why, strategically, matte skin will gain popularity. I think that the 90s-inspired beauty trends globally are also pushing to embrace the semi-matte skin with a hint of sun kissed glow (the kind you only get from being outside). 

Got any tips for people hoping to recreate the semi-matte look?
Use a creamy liquid concealer under the eyes and on blemishes, patted outward gently with your fingers. Use your favourite cream blush for a youthful look to bring some colour and light into the face. The most important step is to use your powder of choice on a medium-sized fluffy brush and really work the powder into the brush. Tap off excess powder and blend into your forehead, under the eyes, around the nose and on your chin. This light dusting of powder will set the concealer but also matte out areas that would tend to get shiny through the day. The creamy blush will still show through and give the skin a subtle sheen. Pair with a softly blended bronzer around the face and on the eyes, with a coat of mascara on curled lashes and clear gloss on the lips for an effortlessly polished look.  

Yooyo Keong Ming, Shanghai

With an impressive 20 years of experience in the industry, Yooyo is a familiar face at fashion weeks and on sets across the world. The Malaysian makeup artist, who is based in Shanghai, has worked extensively with Chanel China, and collaborated with photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Ellen Von Unworth and Chen Man. He even has a TED talk!

What's a big beauty trend you're predicting for 2022?        
Makeup for men is getting more and more popular, particularly foundation, highlighter and contouring products. This is perhaps because Asian features can be flatter, and this makes them more 3D. This not only popular in Shanghai though, I believe it is also very popular in other countries where men are becoming more concerned about their grooming. They are getting more interested in nail polish too.

Where do you think increasing interest in makeup for men comes from?
Asian men are often inspired by K-pop stars — not only when it comes to their makeup, but also fashion trends.

Got any tips for men considering wearing makeup for the first time?
To enhance the look, get some sun tan before makeup.

Follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more beauty trends.