2020 Beauty Retrospective: All the Things We Learned (and Money We Saved) This Year

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how the pandemic changed beauty
Photo: Courtesy of @chantellekemkemian

This year will go down in history for a lot of things – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as senior royals, the global Black Lives Matter protests, Kamala Harris‘s election as the first female Vice President of the United States, the tragic Beirut explosion, and the list goes on.

The pandemic, however, will unfortunately overshadow everything for the way it drastically altered the lives of billions of people. If you’ve ever turned a page or two of a fashion history book, you’re no stranger to the fact that wars, illnesses, and even technology have historically altered the courses of both fashion and beauty. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. While comfort took precedence in the fashion world, health and wellbeing reigned supreme in the beauty universe. Salon appointments were quickly replaced by Youtube tutorials and long, cleansing baths took up the time previously allotted to our makeup routines. As the year comes to an end, we take a look back at all the things we learned and the beauty lessons that we are taking into 2021. 


Dyeing Our Own Hair

Remember the time when people the world over were collectively baking banana bread and dipping their locks in saturated hues? Hair dyes were among one of the many things that disappeared off shelves – both online and in stores – (almost) overnight.

Where at-home root touch-ups were a necessity for some, for others, the lockdowns made the perfect excuse to carry out the wildest hair experiments. While we’ve been able to wash off the last remaining traces of our Dua Lipa-inspired bright orange hairdo, the memory of us awkwardly crouching over the bathroom sink is still fresh. It might have taken a few attempts, but most of us have now mastered the art of at-home hair dyeing. The only thing missing? The plush salon chair, of course.

beauty lessons
Photo: Courtesy of Yahoo Life

Cutting Our Own Bangs

From laughing at disastrous DIY haircut compilations to Googling ‘how to cut bangs at home,’ the lockdowns gave us the courage to face our worst hairstyling fears. Who was going to see us anyway? A few bold decisions and some seriously questionable bangs later, we look none the better but are a tad bit wiser in the hairstyling department. Take it from us; when it comes to chopping your locks, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Especially bangs.

Audrey Hepburn Bangs Beauty Lessons
GIF: Courtesy of Giphy

(Over)Plucking Our Own Eyebrows

Untamed, unruly, and shapeless brows are what beauty nightmares are made of. Thanks to the lockdowns, we came really close to experiencing the eyebrow horror story. From not allowing anybody but our designated eyebrow stylist to so much as touch our brows to putting their fate in our own inexperienced hands, 2020 has been a beauty gamechanger. After a few failed endeavors of over plucking, accidental pinching, and making our brows go from twins to distant cousins, we’ve finally got the hang of it. Lesson learned: practice makes perfect eyebrows.

Princess Diaries Eyebrows Beauty Lessons
GIF: Courtesy of Giphy

Doing Our Own Nails

Albeit time-consuming, this is undoubtedly the easiest of the beauty lessons we were forced to take. Let’s face it; an at-home manicure session does take you down memory lane. Remember back in high school when you and your BFF painted each other’s nails? Thankfully, it’s still kind of the same, except now she’s rambling away on Zoom while you file your nails to perfection.

While at-home manicures are easy to perfect, it’s a whole other story when it came to pedicures. One which we learned about as we struggled to find a mop, our feet still soaked in foot cream, after we accidentally knocked over the hot water bowl. Our verdict? Be extra careful when giving yourself a pedicure.

Katharine Hepburn Beauty Lessons
GIF: Courtesy of Giphy

Waxing Our Own... Everything

A couple of decades ago, Monica and Phoebe warned us about the horrors – or should we say the excruciating pain – of at-home waxing. If only we’d listened. Let’s just say we found out the hard way.

Monica and Phoebe Waxing Beauty Lessons
GIF: Courtesy of Giphy
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