So, time to put my neck on the line and predict the future of beauty for 2016. One thing I can be absolutely sure of is that it’s going to be an exciting year for both beauty businesses and for consumers.

Quick Trigger Trends:

Bearing in mind that the big cosmetic houses work at least a couple of years in advance (and often to a 5 year plan), trends are already set in stone. It’s only the smaller, independent brands that can react quickly to emerging trends, so in a way, that’s a trend in itself: immediate reaction to make up moments. Remember how fashion suddenly became fast? Expect that from indie beauty brands.

Hyper Strobing:

MAC Strobe Backstage
MAC Strobe Backstage

Largely based on MAC’s backstage presence with their make-up artists trialling potential products, the brand is taking strobing in a whole new direction with ‘colour’ strobes. It’s not clear yet which colour (from three being trialled) which will make it market, but my money is on pink. Expect new strobing textures – balms, for example.

Anti Pollution:

Most of the skincare brands are banking on us buying into ‘anti-pollution’ products. We’re just on the tip of the trend now, but watch out for being scared witless throughout 2016 as you discover that pollution not only pollutes you, but your future generations (yes, that’s via you).

Nude Gloss:

Nude glosses, stains and lipsticks are definitely on the come-back unless the Kardashians or Kylie Jenner suddenly decide to go pink. In which case, everybody panic. Think rich toffee and café latte colours. NARS is kicking off the nude spring with their Hot Sands collection. Above, Rosecliff Lipstick.

Latex In Your Lipstick:

To be fair, you’re more likely to find rubber and latex as trend ingredients in skincare than make-up – it’s currently being heavily researched in Thailand as a potential wonder worker with products any time soon. Latex really will happen in lipstick eventually.

Sheet Masks:

Sheet Masks

These aren’t going away any time soon – most of the major beauty brands are banking on this trend to grow and grow. Expect to see the sheet experience expand into characters (cats, pandas, tigers) and flowers.

Age Irrelevance:

Most skin care brands are turning themselves inside out trying to think of words to describe anti-ageing without alienating the very lucrative market they’re trying to attract. Expect to see brands waxing lyrical about the beauty of ‘older’ women and enjoy the ride while they try not to mention age while still somehow urging us to look younger.

Re-Shapeable Hair Products:

L'Oreal L'incroyable

I think you can tell from the outset that it’s L’Oreal leading the way here; never mind hair, this is a brand that can re-shape words like no other. I wish there was a L’Oreal dictionary. The product I have in mind is Kerastase L’Incroyable Blowdry launching in February. Using heat reactive microwax micro-particles (I know, sorry), in theory you will be able to reactivate the micro-particles to change your hair’s shape without having to reapply the product. I really can’t wait for this!

High Streets At Dawn:

I’ve mentioned the rise of stand-alone beauty stores, but we ain’t seen nothing yet. Kiko and NYX are leading the cross-country shopping centre race but look out for a new brand heading into the UK in 2016 as a direct Kiko competitor. It looks like Boots has snapped up Sleek MakeUP which can only be to work as direct competition to their competitors in that price category. Seriously, 2016 will be the beauty battle of all time. Also, watch out for nail brands bringing full make-up ranges to the table.

splash mask

K Beauty:

With everything from peelable lipstains to ‘glass’ nails, Korean beauty is where the whole word is focussed. Look out for Splash Masks (syrupy textures that splash off in the shower) aka Patting Waters (because you need to pat them into your skin!), Pressed Serums and All In One Ampoules (containing serum, moisturiser, toner and essence).

MSM Supplements:

Although skincare brand, Oskia, already extol the virtues of MSM supplements, I think this is a beauty supplement trend that will really take off this year. MSM is methylsulfohylmethane; an organic sulphur compound with collagen boosting properties.


Instamorphia is going be a huge focus this year. Thinning apps, contouring apps, de-wrinkling apps, and ‘flawless’ apps will all contribute to the growing and destructive trend on presenting as perfect. The difference for 2016 is that casual, not even thinking twice about altering images beyond all reasonable recognition, will turn from being desirable to destructive. Young women with ‘instamorphia’, unable to ever present their true image will fill the psychiatrists’ chairs.  I think 2016 will be the tipping point for casual instamorphia and brands will be called into question for exacerbating the trend in the same way that fashion brands have had to explain themselves over super skinny young models.

Marc Jacobs Mania:

Marc Jacobs

Expect to see hysteria as Marc Jacobs Beauty (the full line) hits Harrods in early 2016.


Ulluzang is literally translated from Korean as ‘best face’ but it’s morphed into a cute or pretty beauty ‘look’. Key pointers to get the look are straight brows (flatten out those arches), big, baby-like eyes and gradient lips.

Dry Conditioner:

drybar dry conditioner

If you thought that dry shampoo was the best thing ever invented, hold onto your hats for Dry Conditioner. US brand Drybar has this launching in March 2016.

Mascara Melt Brushes:

Mascara melt

Look out for Two Faced Mascara Melt Off – a mascara looking brush and tube that contains conditioning mascara removing oil.

Transparency Disclosure

All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.