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Top makeup trends for 2016

Contouring isn’t going anywhere. Thanks Kim K.

Zombies, aliens, cover girls and slasher victims mingled recently when the world’s most talented makeup artists — from special effects to bridal brands — convened to put their best faces forward. The International Makeup Artist Trade Show, produced by Make-Up Artist magazine, is the largest event of its kind, with thousands attending annual meetups in six cities worldwide.

Professionals and brands come to sell discount wares, show off their latest lines and trade techniques. Special guests include blood-and-gore masters, as well as glamour pros like Lancome’s Lisa Eldridge (this year’s keynote speaker). IMATS touches on every shade of “makeup,” from prosthetics and body paint to mink eyelashes and manicures. We immersed ourselves to learn which trends we’re going to be seeing more of in 2016.

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Bold is beautiful
Thanks, Kardashians. One beauty pro we spoke to blames Kim and her kin for the biggest trend of the year: contouring and bold everything. Wingtip eyeliner, sculpted cheekbones and brows you can see from a mile away — it’s all part of a trickle-down from media to the mainstream. And with bold looks comes a bold lip. Black, purple, glitter, dark daytime lips — heavily lined and dramatically reshaped — say we’re not stepping away from the lipsticks, glosses and liners anytime soon.


Hair gets cheeky
Skin gets a lot of attention in the makeup world. But professionals are now looking at how they can apply their skills to the realm that’s usually dictated by stylists: the hair. From big, bold brows to rainbow eyelashes, not to mention the biggest men’s makeup trend — glitter beards — this year will take us from mundane hair dyes to extreme makeup for all of your body hair (yes, all of it).

Simply the best
Today’s consumer is choosier than ever before. Makeup connoisseurs are seeking the very best products that are also good for the environment, from organic paints to vegan brushes. Plus, the rise of try-before-you-buy makeup stores over the past decade has contributed to everyday makeup buyers being wise about what to expect in terms of quality and performance.

Natural beauty
Many of today’s beauty trends are dictated to us by Instagram and YouTube. But trying to mimic perfection that’s only seen through a screen is a recipe for defeat. While the bold-all-over looks are hot right now, insiders predict that 2016 will show us a slow move toward naturalism as people relax their overly filtered standards and prove they don’t need as much cover-up to be their most beautiful selves.

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