It’s not exactly an anniversary anyone wants to celebrate, but as we mark a year since lockdown restrictions began, it’s fascinating to consider how different our lives are compared with this time last year.
And it’s not all bad news. When it comes to cosmetics, we’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to look after our skin and hair, and as much as we’re desperate to get back to the salon for a cut and color, we’ll certainly be continuing with some of our DIY rituals in the post-lockdown world.
As face coverings became mandatory, adorning our lips became a waste of time, because who wants a smudged pout and a load of lippy smeared on the inside of your mask?
One positive of the pandemic is that many people who would previously not have left the house without a full face of makeup learned to embrace the bare-faced look while working from home, or opted for tinted moisturizers and BB creams instead of heavy foundation.
More Eye Makeup
As lippie became obsolete, makeup mavens took the opportunity to emphasize their peepers instead, and #maskmakeup started trending on Instagram.
The False Lash Effect
With beauty salons closed for months and eyelash extensions off the menu, sales of falsies soared, with Primark reporting it sold nearly 800,000 pairs in the month after stores reopened in summer 2020.
Washing Hair Less Frequently
One of the many benefits of working from home? It’s easier to disguise greasy hair on Zoom calls, which means we haven’t had to wash our locks as often. Saving time and leading to healthier hair, it’s a win-win.
Cutting Down on Heat Styling
Less shampooing meant less blow-drying, curling, and straightening; another hair-boosting benefit.
Hoarding Hand Cream
To counteract all that hand washing and sanitizing, hand cream has become a pandemic essential in order to prevent flaky fingers and parched palms.
An unfortunate side effect of wearing face masks, ‘maskne’ outbreaks saw adults of all ages suffering from spots for the first time in years.
According to Boots, sales of medicated skincare have risen by 39% since July 2020, which is several months after face coverings became mandatory in public.
DIY Dye Jobs
As the weeks turned to months and salons remained shut, sales of box dye went through the roof.
While some people mastered the at-home approach (and realized they can save a fortune in the future), hairdressers reported they had to fix many a DIY disaster when they reopened for business.
Clippers and scissors also flew off the shelves as kitchens and bathrooms throughout the land were transformed into makeshift hair salons.
If you were lucky, a quick trim at the hands of your partner, parent, or housemate tidied up your overgrown tresses, but there were also plenty of home haircut disasters too.
Worrying About Wrinkles
After an extremely stressful year, one during which we’ve had to stare at our faces on video calls for countless hours, is it any wonder we’re worried about aging?
Research from Boots found more than 55% of women believe their skin has aged by up to five years during the pandemic, with sales of anti-aging products up as shoppers try to erase their ‘lockdown lines’.
While make-up brands have struggled during the pandemic, skincare has been a huge hit, as consumers took advantage of having more time on their hands to indulge in things like double cleansing, sheet masks, and multi-step routines.
Similarly, pandemic pampering sessions focused on repairing damaged hair. Olaplex, a potent two-step treatment loves by celebs, became one of the bestselling products of 2020 at Space NK.