Beauty trends 2022: skincare meets make-up

As preferences change from excessive routines to ‘skinimalism’, demand is rising for products that serve as part-care, part-cosmetic

More brands are coming up with hybrid products that protect the skin even while beautifying it. Photo: Radu Florin / Unsplash
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Make-up trends come and go, but a glowing complexion never goes out of style. Exactly how you can achieve radiant skin – and the lengths you’re willing to go to get it – is much more subject to change, though. And if the 2010s were all about elaborate skincare routines, multi-masking and high-tech gadgets, then what does 2022 and the decade ahead have in store? Enter the hybrid skincare era.

Skin health takes precedence

“I feel like we [the modern beauty consumer] all want the same thing – healthy skin that we can show off and be proud of,” says Tiffany Masterson, founder and chief creative officer of Drunk Elephant, a skincare company that’s beloved for its simple yet effective products and no-nonsense ingredients list. However, the brand’s latest product can be qualified as part-skincare, part-make-up.

O-Bloos Rosi Drops not only supports the skin’s health with a formula that combines omega oils, essential fatty acids and free-radical-fighting antioxidants such as white tea, grapeseed and cocoa extract, but also gives it an instant cosmetic pick-me-up with a rosy peachy-pink hue courtesy of vegan pigment sappanwood bark. Masterson explains that O-Bloos “puts the health and wellness of the skin first”. Crucially, it’s a prime example of the direction the industry is moving in.

Case in point, beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s GloWish MultiDew Skin Tint that, claims a Huda Beauty Instagram post, is at once tinted, long-lasting, moisturising and full of skin-loving ingredients such as beta-carotene-rich red bell pepper, Damascus rose oil and plant-derived squalene.

“If I don’t want to full glam, why is the only option no glam … [rather than] that is the perfect in between and actually works for your skin,” Kattan wrote in a post announcing the launch.

Skinimalism and stripped-down routines

“One of the most profound changes [in the past decade within the cosmetics industry] has been an interest in skincare,” says Amanda Bell, global director of education and artistry at Pixi Beauty.

Launched in September 1999 by fellow make-up artist Petra Strand, it's a brand that's always been passionate about formulating multipurpose products that achieve more with less, but that shift has certainly moved in the direction of care over cosmetics in more recent years.

Instead of more beauty-centric products, Pixi Beauty H20 Skin Tint – a tinted face gel that evens out skin tone and takes no-make-up make-up to the extreme – is now one of the brand’s bestsellers, for example.

Bell calls this shift “radical”, as “years ago, if people had redness/a rash/breakouts, etc, they would go shopping for a heavier foundation and concealer to cover it up. Now people will seek out skincare and improve the health of the skin.”

The pandemic, too, has contributed to consumers continuing to follow the skin-first movement, but without spending to much time, money or resources – as demonstrated by Pinterest’s biggest beauty trend of 2021: skin minimalism or “skinimalism”.

“Say goodbye to the 12-step beauty routine,” the image-led social media site declared in its end-of-year report. It advised brands to help consumers to “streamline their regimens ... discover clean products and share tips on how to create a dewy, natural beauty look that will look great on camera and video calls”. Evidently, then, people are looking to simplify their lives, including their beauty routines, while still looking fresh-faced on camera.

And it’s not all just social media talk, as the stats show we’re walking the walk when it comes to our skincare trends, too. According to a report by global market research company Mintel, nearly half of French consumers have simplified their skincare routines over the past year. The pandemic might have propelled the movement, but its growth is about much more than looking effortlessly glowy on Zoom calls.

Clean living and clutter-free cupboards

It can seem obvious why hybrid cosmetic and skincare products that can minimise our routines are the future of beauty – they just make more sense for our wallet, watches and washroom cabinets, after all. But the real drive behind growing consumer trends is not just skin-deep.

According to the Mintel report, when it came to minimising the number of products they needed in their everyday routine, one of the main concerns of consumers was the impact their previous product line-up had on the environment. The modern, more eco-conscious consumer doesn’t want long ingredient lists, extracts that aren’t ethically sourced or packaging that’s excessive. Skinimalism means a beauty routine with minimal impact – making more room for hybrid products that work harder.

“[People want] improvements in technology with regards to how we can create the next evolution of products, where the efficacy is paramount and completely results-driven,” says Bell.

While multipurpose products have been at the core of Pixi Beauty since its inception, she notes how more consumers are now looking for key ingredients that are ethically sourced, vegan beauty brands and/or a commitment from brands to use fully recyclable packaging. The statistics show that consumers increasingly sought out sustainable beauty products in 2021, a trend that’s hardly likely to change direction.

Catering to the growing demand, beauty brands are being born that inherently blur the lines between skincare and cosmetics (think Milk or Glossier) and that boast potent but cruelty-free ingredients (such as Drunk Elephant). Tellingly, even big-house names (think L'Oreal) are creating new lines to market to such an audience.

Three hybrid skincare products to try

Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops

Blush has made an epic comeback in the past two years, with beauty TikTokers even applying “nose blush” and mastering “underpainting”. Trends aside, you can go back to basics by simply creating a natural flush with the aid of Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops. With the texture and complexion-boosting benefits of a serum – such as supporting the skin barrier with an omega-rich formula – but a peachy-pink hue, it's ideal for helping to create that natural-looking glow in short and long-term.

Pixi +C Vit Brightening Perfector

Pixi Beauty expertly brings together skin-boosting ingredients with effective cosmetics across its range, but recent launches have focused on amplifying the benefits of vitamin C to our complexion. Take the mysteriously named Pixi +C Vit Brightening Perfector. Is it a lotion? Primer? Serum? Whichever way, users can expect blurred imperfections, colour correction and a radiance complexion. According to the brand’s founder Strand, “no foundation is needed” when using this.

Milk Makeup Sunshine Under Eye Tint + Brighten

It's hard to hide the effects a bad night’s sleep has on your skin, but many make the mistake of caking over dark circles in heavy-setting formulas. After your next late-night, opt for this three-in-one brightener instead. The concealer by New York-born beauty brand Milk comes complete with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and caffeine to tackle root dark circles, while a range of hues means you can find the right shade to disguise those puffy eyes in the short term, too.

Updated: April 16, 2024, 9:11 AM