The beauty industry has had a glorious year full of innovation, cultural change and more than enough make-up and skincare to satiate our hearts. Here are the top trends that got us hooked:

1. Inclusive make-up:

Rihanna's Fenty Beauty make-up line

It’s sad that this concept wasn’t a part of the beauty industry from the very start and gained the kind of popularity it did only this year. Of course, people had been talking about the lack of representation for ages, but 2018 was the year that gave brands the sharp kick in the shin it needed. Part of it was thanks to none other than pop star Rihanna and her gamechanging brand Fenty Beauty. After the release of 40 shades of foundation, any brand that didn’t make an effort to develop as rounded and inclusive a line of beauty products ran the risk of being called out by an increasingly woke population. As far as trends go, this one runs more than skin deep.

2. Clean beauty:

Drunk Elephant

Whether or not you believe the hype, clean beauty came, saw and conquered 2018. There is a lot of misinformation out there about things like ‘chemicals’ (everything is a chemical, people!) and claims that natural is always better. Some brands tap into people’s apprehension to market their products, but there are some such as Indie Lee, ILIA Beauty and Drunk Elephant that are simply creating effective skincare and make-up with a focus of sustainability, using fewer irritants and harnessing the power of plants and herbs. In an increasingly polluted world, many people have embraced clean beauty and turned it into a giant industry that’s only going to get bigger. There are even ‘clean’ toothpastes, deodorants, perfumes and nail polish, if a totally clean lifestyle is what you’re after.

3. Keeping it real:

Keeping it real
Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The world of beauty is known for its smoke and mirrors (read: Photoshop). Things changed this year and it has become more than acceptable to let it all hang out. Facial fuzz? Totally cool. Acne scars? No big deal. Stretch marks? We all have them, honey. It’s so refreshing to see the industry let go of ridiculous standards of beauty, even if it’s just a little bit, and showcase a diverse range of skin textures. We can only imagine the positive impact it will have on young people in the prime of ‘pimpleyness’ to see that this is all normal, and it’s not the end of the world to not have perfect skin.

4. Gloss and glitter:

Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

History repeated itself in 2018; out went the mattes, and in came the bubble gum scented lip glosses and chunky, colourful glitters that harked back to the early 2000s. It often times merged into glittery lip glosses — not my cup of tea, but especially popular in the festive months. Nostalgia probably played a big role in getting them both to this level of popularity, as which young beauty enthusiast didn’t have fond memories of Lancome Juicy Tubes or roll-on body glitter?

5. Dewy foundation:


This was the year of the ‘dewy dumpling’, the anti-thesis of matte skin. The term, coined by popular make-up artist Nam Vo, is used to describe the supple, heavily highlighted and wet-look skin that she’s popular on Instagram for. Vo is not the only one championing this style and it’s easy to see why it has been THE look of 2018. It’s fresh, feminine and looks like your skin but better. We’re curious to see if super matte skin will bounce back in 2019, but for now we’re all about that glow.