2.2 Current trends

As you have seen already, the makeup industry is always evolving, and there are new techniques, products and styles that are continually being introduced. As a professional MUA, it is essential that you are aware of and incorporate the latest fashion trends, styles and products in your service offerings!

Catwalk trends are a main source of influence when it comes to determining what looks are ‘in’ for a particular season. Fashion designers can draw inspiration from anywhere; however, once these trends have made their way onto a fashion week runway, we tend to see them toned down and made wearable by the everyday woman. Here are a few examples of makeup trends we have seen on the catwalks during 2020:

Zimmerman @ New York Fashion Week 2020

Zimmerman bought a coastal vibe to New York, going for simple makeup looks and textured beach hair. Makeup was created backstage by Bobbie Brown, who went for dewy, almost wet-looking skin, cream blushed cheeks and pink stained lips.

Tom Ford @ Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021

Tom Fords Spring/Summer makeup looks were all about colour! “I opted for vivid makeup as an expression of joy,” said the designer, who served up a frosted eye and vinyl hot-pink lip.

Dior @ Spring 2021 Fashion Week in Paris

With dewy skin and nude lips making this kohl-lined eyeliner the feature, you could be forgiven to think it was a tribute to the 2000’s eyeliner trend; however, makeup creative director Peter Philips was inspired by the setting – Tuileries Garden in Paris. “When you look at the venue, it’s a black box with beautiful stained windows — like in a gothic church, cathedral,” he says. “The stained glass was done by a collage artist, and the eye makeup is like one element from a stained glass collage. You take the eye, and you frame it like the leadwork.””[It’s] an eyeliner that framed the eyes, almost like a piece of art,” he shares. “Same thickness of eyeliner all around the eye.”

MUAs who do not keep up to date with the trends will quickly see themselves and their sales fall behind the competition! In this course, we will look at a range of techniques, products and styles that will ensure you can confidently provide your services in line with the latest industry trends. No one has a crystal ball, and much like any trend in fashion, some are short-lived, and others stand the test of time! The table below provides a snapshot of current trends that are likely to be the focus for the next few years:

Let’s take a look at some other cultures and their use of body art and makeup:

Faux freckles

Freckles have certainly made a comeback in the last few years, with emphasis on natural beauty really taking centre stage in fashion and editorial campaigns. You can create this look with many different techniques.

Cut crease

With the rise of Instagram, makeup influencers came the familiar cut crease – whether executed with subtle bronze tones or daring rainbow colours, the cut crease has become one of the most requested looks for MUAs over the last couple of years.


In the past, a heavy contour was used for stage and screen and daring drag makeup; however, thanks to the Kardashians, contouring has made a huge impact on the everyday makeup scene. Whether cream or powder, the art of creating a subtle contour for everyday wear is an important part of being an MUA in current times.

Soap brows

Soap brows and brow lamination have become huge trends over the past few years to create full and fluffy brows. What started on the catwalk has made its way into the homes of the everyday woman, with brow lamination becoming a popular add on to brow sculpting. Get that brow lamination to look in your makeup chair by brushing soap through the brow.


Henna is a small flowering shrub that has been used for centuries for many cultural applications. Many cultures use henna to dye hair and apply temporary body art known as ‘henna tattooing’. Henna tattooing is simply a marketing term – no needles are used! In recent times, henna has been used to apply faux freckles, and the ‘henna brow’ is rising in popularity.

Much like the evolution of application techniques and styles, the tools and products we use are also continually evolving. Nowadays, there are numerous styles of makeup brushes, sponges, applicators, and so many different products with various formulations.

Fun fact: In 1872, French perfumer-entrepreneur Eugène Rimmel invented the world’s first commercially available mascara. His lash-plumping formula was simple: petroleum jelly and coal dust.

Given the industry is continually evolving, you can keep up to date by:

  • Conducting research online
  • Watching online tutorials
  • Attending industry events
  • Networking
  • Attending professional development workshops and training sessions

Another excellent way to keep up to date and to test your skills is to enter MUA competitions! There are numerous competitions in Australia and globally that MUAs enter to compete at a professional level. Whether competing or attending these competitions, you are guaranteed to be exposed to the latest trends, techniques and products available.

To learn more about previous competitions that have been held and to better understand the sorts of skills and techniques you can showcase, click on the links provided:

In addition to our own videos and content, throughout this course, you will see that we will provide a wide variety of links to external articles, videos and websites. Exposure to a range of sources and approaches is critical for you to build extensive skills and knowledge base. Because approaches, styles and techniques are continually evolving, it is good for you to have the ability to research and familiarise yourself with other professionals in the industry.

YouTube is an excellent source for inspiration, product reviews and guidance. There are many ways to perfect certain looks, and you may find some beauty influencers who have a similar style and vibe to you. A good tip for your own makeup application is to find an influencer with a similar skin tone and features to you – that way, you can see what products and looks will likely work with your features. If you are ever struggling with something as an MUA, you can pretty much guarantee other MUAs are as well! Engage online, join industry groups, watch other MUAs on YouTube and contribute by sharing your own knowledge and expertise.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.