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The Tik Tok 2016 VS 2020 Makeup Challenge & The Trend Away From The Full Face Makeup Look

You would have to be living under a digital rock to have not heard of the Tik Tok 2016 VS 2020 Makeup Challenge. 2020 saw the start of a trend which is gaining steam in 2021 for the no-makeup makeup look. Well, maybe “ a no makeup look” is a bit of a stretch, but the trend for less done-up, less extreme, makeup is as they say, going viral. There is a movement away from the social media Instagram dominated look of the all-in, intense, full-face of makeup, to a more subtle and more natural, and much less in-your-face look.

Now the trends come straight from the end user thanks to access to platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube.

I spoke about this in my makeup trends video and the difference I saw between influencer/social media makeup and what I was seeing on the runways and editorials. In the past makeup trends were predominantly set by the movie industry and magazines. Now the trends come straight from the end user thanks to access to platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube. I think the whole over the top makeup trend which had its roots in social media, started because of the makeup tutorial; with everyone trying to out do one another for the most extreme transformation, I am looking at you Jeffree Star. Techniques like contouring, and extreme highlighting known as strobing were favored along with sunset eyes, false lashes, matte well defined lips and multi-colored heavily shadowed eyes.

Blame it on pandemic fatigue and too much screen time, but perhaps we have all seen one too many of these twenty step makeup tutorials and the novelty has warn off. Or it could just be the fickle nature of fashion and beauty, but what ever the case maybe there is change on the horizon. Personally I was never huge fan of the these extreme trends when it came to doing my own makeup.  As much as I enjoyed and still enjoy watching these extreme transformations, for my own looks I preferred a much more pared down approach; and when I did go for a more dramatic look I would play up one feature as opposed to doing a full face of dramatic lips and eyes.

And freckles faux or au-natural are a thing, along with glass skin, glossy lips, and one color
shadowed eyes

I also preferred a more dewy complexion as my skin is naturally on the dry side. So I am super on board with the natural healthy glowing skin look which is a distinct move away from the matte full coverage foundation looks of the last few seasons. And freckles faux or au-natural are a thing, along with glass skin, glossy lips, and one color shadowed eyes. Creme shadows and all-in-one tints are becoming must have beauty items, and micro tipped brow pencils for creating hair like strokes, and laminating brow gels are selling out both online and in stores, as the look for brows is now less arched and bushier, with an emphasis on the hairs themselves and not just the shape, which is now more straight.

And much of these trends still come from social media with influencers starting their own makeup brands like Huda Beauty and Refy as well as professional makeup artists who also went viral on social media such as Denessa Myricks and the French makeup artist Violette. Huda Beauty (BombBrows) and Refy (Brow Pencil) created in demand micro-tipped brow pencils, with Refry offering a brow package that also includes a “freezing” brow gel. 

Think the double “G”s here: glossy and glowing.

While Denessa and Violette’s lines feature cream shadows (Yeax Paint) meant to be worn alone or combined with one other color, and all-in-one tints (Colorfix Foils) that can be used on eyes, lips or cheeks. Think the double “G”s here: glossy and glowing.

Even brands like Morphe have addressed this trend starting (Morphe 2) which they say is aimed at the generation set to push millennials out of the spotlight, and is all about a clean fresh looking face. What say you? Are you on board with this trend? What aspects of these trends appeals to you if any? 

First image via PopSugar Headliner via Refy.


  1. I don’t have the makeup skills or products to do a perfectly made up look so it’s nice the trend is coming back around to be more natural! I don’t wear makeup unless I’m in the office though – tinted sunscreen or a bare face depending on what I’m doing that day is my staple! Sunscreen is definitely a must have whenever I spend any significant time outside here.

    Hope that you had a good weekend! It’s a nice relaxing long weekend for us.

  2. Very similar!!

    Curated By Jennifer

  3. Wow this is so interesting! I like the more natural look but the full face is beautiful as well.

    xx- Nina

  4. I don’t wear any makeup on on regular days.. so I am on board with the natural look.

  5. I think it’s a really cool trend. I’m not a big makeup person, so I’m probably a little bias on this note. But I’ve always thought that sometimes women feel as though they have to hide behind a heavy makeup look for them to be seen or felt as “pretty.” That’s of course not true, but I love that it seems that women are embracing a more natural look. I use minimal makeup, and truly feel better that way. But I also think it’s completely okay as long as it truly makes you happy to wear any amount of makeup. 🙂

    Make Life Marvelous

    1. Yes I agree I do think this is the case sometimes. Social media plays a role too

  6. These trends are cool and at the same time it’s hard to believe how much has changed. I’m loving my makeup to be minimal and natural.

  7. Hello Allie, I hope you’re doing well!

    Such a fantastic way to talk about social media through the beauty filter and how these trends are facing a lot of changes if we compare them to the classic media.

    I do not know a lot about make up, but I love to see that right now the range of option is wider and you can spot the natural look. Now with the face maks and the filter, the definition of a trendy make up is changing, but I have noticed that many people on IG is using filters and I don’t know if that’s the best idea to approach beauty haha, actually some countries in Europe are banning them haha. So I like the TIKTOK approach!


    1. Oh wow banning filters?? That is a bit extreme unless it involves impersonating someone.

  8. I love this trend! It’s feels weird to put on a full blown makeup look when I’m staying home most of the time and running errands. I still feel weird not wearing any makeup though so this almost natural look is perfect.


  9. Oh dear, it me…I’ve been living under a rock lol. But thank you for bringing these new beauty trends to my attention. I definitely prefer a little bit less makeup, especially now with the pandemic fatigue and masks…so over full blown all over face makeup.

    House of Illusions

  10. This trend of the less is more makeup approach is definitely one I’m all about- even though I’m not at the office just yet, I don’t think my makeup routine will go back to full-face once I am. I love soap brows! I’ve been doing my brows this way and it feels really fresh.

    Le Stylo Rouge

  11. So interesting. Love it friend.

  12. Glossy and Glowing is definitely my vibe too with my dryer skin type. Interesting power of TikTok – I have yet to hop on board with that.

    XX Angelica

  13. Loved reading this post! My makeup routine has definitely changed a lot recently, so I’m glad to see the less-is-more trend being so popular!

    Molly xx

    1. Me too!!

      1. I have been creating more natural makeup looks, but I miss creating more glam and colorful looks.

        1. Oh yes glam is super fun too!!

  14. I like this trend a lot. I have been really wearing the most minimal make-up. Just blush, eyebrow pencil, lipstick and a highlighter.


  15. Totally on board! I stopped using foundation and I’m quite happy with how my skin reacted to that. Full makeup (especially for events) can get heavy and not pretty. I’m glad this is a thing 🙂


    1. Me too!! I so want to try out some of Violette’s looks

  16. It is so interesting to see makeup or even fashion challenges between time. Definitely a big difference when I saw the 2005 v 2021 trend too. I’ve seen the trend of eyebrows changing over the years. This is definitely a generational shift too. I found myself wanting to go more towards the natural makeup look versus the dolled up look these days. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

  17. So similar 🙂

  18. This is really interesting,
    I never took the time to learn contouring. I’m just too lazy to spend that many times in the bathroom haha.
    And I absolutely love the cream eyeshadows trends. It’s beautiful.
    And it’s such a good idea to highlight the eyes right now since we have to cover half of our face.

  19. I think it’s so interesting how the popularity of apps like TikTok grow and influence people. My girlfriend is actually writing a dissertation on the effect of social media and the content we consume though it – with a big focus on TikTok. So this is super interesting!

  20. I love this new worldwide trend of being natural, that sees makeup only as a way to enhance parts of our face and not to totally change them as in the past. At the base there is a rediscovery of our own value and our own beauty. Thanks for this nice post 🙂

    xx Dasynka

  21. I’m definitely on board with these trends. I practically don’t wear make up and even when I do I prefer a more natural look.

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