Connected: The makeup trends that went global

International appeal

  • 07.12.2021
  • By Emily Heng

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All things considered, it is ridiculously short-sighted to deem connectivity as a buzzword in 2021. In fact, the concept of staying interconnected is the foundation of our lives in present-day, where the Internet and social media has facilitated the growth and sustaining of a variety of relationships — whether it be with media, art, or other individuals worldwide.

Think about it: A Korean drama topped the Netflix most-watched charts this year; a China-originated video app took over our screens (see: TikTok); while American superstars in the vein of Selena Gomez and Christina Aguilera ventured into the Spanish music industry. There is no fad or meme deemed too hyper-specific to a country or culture; a sentiment of which is exhibited through the bevy of biggest beauty trends in 2021.

From thin, pencilled-in eyebrows to cherry-red eyeshadow, we delve into the origins of said styles and observe how they’ve adapted or changed in other global markets of today. Get the goss, below.

Thin brows
If the visual of drawn-in, barely-there brows brings to mind American movie stars such as Jean Harlow and Clara Bow, well, you’re not wrong. Said celebrities did popularise the look in the 1920s — though it seems they were first inspired by the aristocrats of the Elizabethan times. This was done to create the illusion of a high forehead; a mark of wealth and good tidings back in the day. Today, the trend has made its way to international waters and even to Asian countries.

We’re talking K-Pop bigwigs that have been opting for a sparse arch as of late, with a bold few even bleaching ‘em off entirely. Power couple, Hyuna and Hyojong serve as a prime example, with the pair foregoing soaped-up caterpillars for non-existent eyebrows.

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Red eye makeup
While America and Singapore has #BeautyTok, the China equivalent is dubbed xiao hong shu; a term that loosely translates to the Little Red Book. Many notable beauty looks were first conceived within the space, including the utilisation of red eyeshadow and liner — a look once thought to be impractical as it could create the impression of sickly, swollen peepers. The trend began to pick up traction when US-based e-girls realised how it gave off the impression of vulnerability; a key component of the aesthetic. And so, it soon made its way to Hollywood, too, becoming a mainstay for many an influential figure.

Eye jewellery
To be fair, this trend largely stemmed from American-based TV series, Euphoria, and took off from there. Still, there’s no denying the impact the show has had on the beauty sphere. Eye accents in the form of sequins, appliqués, and sparkles have been permeating our feed, particularly from South-East Asian users. It has also since made appearances on European runways via Milan Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and the like.

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Gradient lip
The Korean beauty look has made it way to UK, US, and South-East Asian soil; a trend so popular that there are even dedicated products catered towards users striving to achieve this look. It has since become a symbol of youthful exuberance in American TV shows, where teenaged characters sport gradient pouts as opposed to matte or glossy variants.

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