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From Hair To Makeup: These 13 Beauty Trends Defined The 2010s

From Hair To Makeup: These 13 Beauty Trends Defined The 2010s


I‍t was a beauty trendvaganza this past decade as the world of beauty evolved and transformed in unprecedented ways. Of course, social media made sure we didn’t miss a thing. While some of these beauty trends didn’t make so much of a big bang, others changed the global beauty scene forever.

YouTube and soon Instagram became the major riders on this wave, with everyone and their roommate becoming an expert on everything from contouring to lace front application.

As the 2010s unfolded, we watched eyebrows, eyelashes, baking and contouring take priority in the makeup world as wigs became the preferred form of protective hair styling for black women. The Nigerian market soon became one of the largest importers of human hair in the world. While the weather might be to blame for the popularity of wigs, its versatility is definitely another major factor.

Jackie Aina

Names like Patricia Bright, Jackie Aina and Jennie Jenkins started to become household names as black girls turned to familiar faces for inspiration on the new makeup order. As Nigerian makeup gurus in the diaspora found fame as global beauty influencers, the late 2010s will see the rise of Toke Makinwa as Nigeria’s queen of ‘beat face’ as the self-acclaimed “baby girl for life” seized every opportunity to “serve face” as they say on these makeup streets.

This decade choked up skinny brows, ordinary-looking lip gloss and synthetic weaves, paving the way for many hot and some not-so-hot beauty trends that are most likely going to slip into the 2020s.

Here are the beauty trends that defined the 2010s…


#1. Contouring

Although contouring has been around for a long time, in 2014 makeup artists gifted us with a more intense level of contouring. Kim Kardashian emerged as the queen of contouring as women around the world sought to replicate her kind of beauty.

The best part is that there are so many tutorials available you don’t have to be a makeup artist to pull it off anymore. Face sculpting using makeup became a major trend and even spread to other body parts like the breast – creating cleavage.

#2. Highlighting and Strobing

Anita Brows Studios

The days of just slapping on some foundation and concealer then heading out slowly faded away in the 2010s. There came highlighting and strobing. Highlighting enhances your face shape while strobing lights up your face making you “insta ready.” This duo revealed that makeup is truly an art.

#3. Baking

Drag queens have been on this for a while but the rest of us finally caught up these past few years. Baking is simply applying layers upon layers of powder under the eyes to extract facial oils. This helps makeup stay longer and avoid creasing. After lunch break, strike a pose girl – still looking perfecto!

#4. Eyebrows

Dimma Umeh

The eyebrow trend is arguably one of the most prominent makeup trends of the 2010s. By 2013, we finally let go of skinny brows and with utmost pleasure and ushered in big, bold and well-carved eyebrows. Big and bold brows remain a huge thing now and don’t seem to be heading out anytime soon.

There are numerous brow treatments like microblading, eyebrow extensions, waxing and threading are proof that bold eyebrows are a big deal. We’re crossing over to the next decade with our eyebrows on fleek. Say aye!

#5. Matte lipstick

Beverly Naya

When matte lipsticks made a strong statement in 2015, thanks to Kylie Jenner, we stopped worrying about staining our shirts and glass cups with lipstick stains. Since they last for hours, women loved that they no longer had to retouch after every meal or kissing session. Those with a busy day schedule gladly embraced this trend as it felt so good getting home after a hot day and still have your lips popping.

#6. Skin care

Idia Aisien

This decade saw the near-death of skin negligence. Hard scrubbing the face with a bathing sponge or applying your body cream to your face became a personal faux pas as prioritizing skincare became a thing. The 2010s welcomed the days of numerous anti-ageing creams, essential oils, eye, face and even lip masks. Scrubs, exfoliating and organic skincare products have also come to stay.

A visit to YouTube exposes you to tons of DIY skincare videos to choose from. Beauty starts with a great skincare routine; makeup can only complement. Skincare worked the magic this decade and for this beauty eye-opener, we’ll forever remain grateful.

#7. Lashes

Toke Makinwa

The 2010s came with a serious wave of lash evolution. Right now there are so many options available from individual lashes to strip lashes, magnetic lashes to lash lift. These methods add volume to your lashes and automatically highlight the eyes. Even without eye shadow and eyeliner, the right pair of lashes bring glamour to the eyes. This trend is definitely here to stay and we’re still rocking this in 2020.


#8. Wigs


In this hot climate, who wouldn’t embrace the hair that you can yank off once you step into the comfort of your home? No one. Wigs made a comeback and we hugged them and even invited them for dinner this time. Unlike our grandmas, wigs evolved to be more natural and stylish. Style and comfort are one combo that is not very popular in the beauty world but wigs provide both and it’s obvious that black women are hooked. Little wonder they fast became a trend and are going to be around for a long time.

#9. Frontals and Closure

Lola Oj

Sometimes when we bump into our old pictures, the weaves and especially the closures are cringeworthy. Human hair finally kicked synthetic hair into the trash can and we set fire on it. Frontals and closures on human hair are that intervention we didn’t know we needed. They give your hair that natural look when you part your hair. It looks like a real scalp and the hair is more relatable. A big win in the 2010s and it could only get better.

#10. Braided wigs

Sylvia Hair

No pain, no gain they said until braided wigs showed up on the scene. This innovative trend saved us the stress of spending hours sitting and having someone pick at our scalp and inevitably give us a headache. The braided wigs had a warm reception and is still going strong. These are lifesavers and are very welcomed.

#11. Colourful Hair

DJ Cuppy

By 2018 bright hair colour became a fast thing in the world of black hair and in 2019 it blossomed into a fashion statement to reckon with. To be one of the cool kids, rocking colourful hair became a code of acceptance. Countless celebs were spotted in it as pink hair became DJ Cuppy’s signature hair look.

#12. Natural hair

Nse Ikpe Etim

No decade has embraced self-acceptance and mental health like the 2010s. In times past, you were considered uncool if you didn’t apply relaxer to your natural hair. Riding on the natural hair trend, many women have learned to embrace their nappy roots as more natural hair products came alive to help black women maintain their hair – a welcomed development.

Celebrities like Omoni Oboli and Nse Ikpe Etim carry their natural hair with so much poise and grace making you want to chop your relaxed hair and go natural.


#13. Nails

Embed from Getty Images

We nailed it this decade with the nail flair. They went from just stick-on, acrylic or French tips to becoming art in every sense of it. New shapes like the stiletto, lipstick, and edge shapes made their way in. Nails have become a way to showcase creativity with different designs and stones encrusted on regular nails and acrylic tips then boom! They’re not so regular anymore.

Will these beauty trends all remain with us in the 2020s? Time will tell! As we inevitably move forward, we know there’ll be more one-hit wonders and more long-lasting mainstream beauty trends that might shove some of these aside but until then expect to see more human hair wigs and longer than life lashes.

Photo Credit: Instagram| As Captioned

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