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8 Of 2021’s Best Beauty Trends And Products



The year 2021 was quite a time for beauty. Most notably, the notion of “the best in beauty” is better understood by a more nuanced notion: what’s best for you.

You don’t have to be a beauty influencer, expert or insider to have feelings about what had a cultural moment beauty-wise in 2021, but since these folks have access to more products and trends than most of us, HuffPost tapped beauty experts about the buzziest beauty of 2021 and what those trends mean for 2022.

1. At-home salon care

When the pandemic shuttered salons and spas, many people were forced to adjust how they kept up their beauty regimens. And as we opened back up, we noticed that people continued the at-home salon trend thanks to a slew of professional-grade yet user-friendly products.

“Realistically, most people in today’s world don’t have time to style their hair in a salon every day,” said Suzzie Monroe, founder of Luxbae, a boutique salon in West Hollywood, California. “For at-home styling, having an expert-recommended blow dryer, curling iron wand or flat iron is key. And with some practice, you can get pretty good at styling your own hair.”

Score amazing waves at home with Drybar’s The Beach Bender: For people who struggle with a curling iron, this tool creates easy beachy waves, and its ionic technology prevents you from over-styling and frying your hair.

Another at-home trend that continued into 2021 was DIY hair color, with some caveats. “I often give a custom mix of take-home toner to my clients so they can freshen up their color in between their appointments,” Monroe explained. “But I absolutely wouldn’t recommend dyeing your hair at home with box dye! These are also formulated much differently than professional hair dyes and are remarkably hard to reverse or change in-salon later on.”

Get great color at home with Aura’s personalized hair care color-enhancing pigments: Salon-grade, color-enhancing pigments are a gentler way to dye, and you can personalize your formula based on hair type and lifestyle. They can be added to a masque or conditioner.

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2. At-home IPL hair removal

In line with the at-home spa, the market saw a deluge of high-tech beauty devices designed to enhance at-home procedures. One of the biggest trends was the at-home IPL (intense pulsed light) designed to zap away unwanted hair.

“Laser hair removal devices work by damaging the hair follicles during an active cycle of hair growth. Therefore, it takes multiple treatments, about a month apart, to completely stop hair from regrowing as hair grows in cycles,” cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, who performs laser hair removal at her New York office, told HuffPost. At-home zapping is surprisingly easy, but it’s critical to heed instructions. “For any product you wish to use at home, it is important to use precaution, follow the directions listed on the product carefully. Always be sure to read the directions.”

Try it at home with this SmoothSkin Pure IPL laser device: So easy to use, this FDA-cleared device assesses your skin tone and dials up the correct flash to ensure a safe and effective treatment. Expect to see results within 12 weeks when you perform the treatment once weekly.

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3. Clean beauty at the drugstore

Clean and sustainable beauty has become a standard for people who want products that are free of toxic chemicals. The year 2021 saw the expansion of clean beauty into the mainstream market and even onto drugstore shelves.

A product that took off in popularity was Odele’s line of clean hair care and body washes at Target:

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Versed is another brand available at Target ― it’s “Climate Neutral certified,” vegan, cruelty-free skin care brand with environmentally friendly packaging, and everything under $25:

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4. Skin care for menopause

Prior to 2021, beauty bloggers, brand ambassadors and editors rarely addressed menopause, despite the many skin care concerns this life stage ushers in. This changed in 2021 as more beauty brands tailored products specifically to the needs of women experiencing perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. “There’s a million pregnancy skin care products on the market,” Janet, a New Yorker in tech, told HuffPost, “but when it comes to menopause, up until recently, there was a real dearth. But women don’t stop buying skin care at a certain age. In fact, we kind of double down, and we shouldn’t have to do so in the shadows.”

Deborah Kilgore, the global director of skin care knowledge for Paula’s Choice, explained that “when estrogen levels drop, the once-strong signals that stimulate collagen, proteins, elastin, hyaluronic acid and other substances begin to weaken. As these signals fade, important messages become muddled, and skin can appear to age virtually overnight.” She noted that this does not “imply that you should use ‘stronger’ versions of products or ingredients that you already use.” Instead, Kilgore recommends switching up your routine to add “ingredients such as plant-based phytoestrogens, which have been shown to target the effects of estrogen deficiency and, as a result, complement your other anti-aging treatments.”

Get Womaness The Works smoothing body lotion from Target for $19.99: A luxe drugstore brand specifically created for the 40-plus crowd.

Get Hum Nutrition Fan Club for $40: A beauty ingestible formulated for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause.

Get Indeed Me-no-pause Cooling Mist for $20: An ultra-cooling facial mist designed to plump skin and relieve flushing.

5. All eyes on the brows

From barely there ’90s brows to glitter-enhanced disco brows, it’s been quite a year for the eyebrow. “Brows bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes,” Benefit’s global brow expert, Jared Bailey, told HuffPost.

Hollywood makeup artist Stevi Christine has thoughts on pulling off a great everyday brow look. “For everyday brows,” she said, “trends are a no!”

Christine recommended a technique called brow mapping to create the brow look that best suits your face. “We do a simple brow mapping to enhance your eyes and face. I’ll usually use a spoolie to map it out to see if one brow is a bit higher. I’m into a fluffy, accentuated ‘undone but done’-looking brow. Brows that give you confidence when you walk in somewhere, not that overpower your face.”

To get a great natural brow, try Merit Brow 1980, a volumizing pomade that adds a hint of color to help define arches.

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6. Celeb-touted brands

From Jennifer Aniston’s LolaVie to Alicia Keys’ Soulcare, 2021 saw many celebrity-helmed beauty brands arrive. Although these are not a new trend, celeb-touted brands are being held to a higher standard than ever before. Super-influencer Jackie Aina, who launched Forvr Mood, a luxe self-care line, told HuffPost that celeb brands today have to be “interactive with their fans and customer base” to be successful. “Right now I’m loving Fenty [by Rihanna] and Rare Beauty [by Selena Gomez]! I feel like initially when Rare Beauty came out after Fenty, they were quickly looked at as competition, but I think they’ve both proven in the beauty space that they have their own voice, their own brand identity and they focus on different types of products. Even if there is any crossover, like let’s just say they both came out with a line of blush, they are both very different and stand on their own.”

If you want to give it a try, go for Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch liquid blush trio. This limited-edition set by Selena Gomez includes a dewy and matte variety, including a “Selena favorite.”

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7. Sheer foundation

Skinamalism trended hard in 2021, which meant that full-coverage foundation went the way of the dodo. Cosmetic dermatologist Dendy Engelman explained the benefits of sheer foundation, formulated with ingredients like “antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to actually improve the health of your skin barrier while you wear them. Sheer foundation is a smart option for those with mature skin, as it won’t get trapped in fine lines and create creasing. People with dry and oily skin types can also benefit from sheer foundations that work to hydrate and nourish the skin barrier all day long.” She told HuffPost this “no-makeup makeup look” is overall a healthier option for skin.

Try Saie’s Slip Tint, a tinted SPF that glides on with a dewy finish. The standout feature here is the color-matching service that allows users to send in a selfie to get a custom shade recommendation.

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8. Extra lashes

Peeking out behind our masks and framing our faces when a bold lip was not possible, 2021 was all about the eyes and, in particular, extra lashes.

Style influencer Erika de la Cruz told HuffPost, “Lashes were huge this year because not only do they instantly elevate your complete look, but they’re often the only things needed on casual days.”

To get the look, try LoveSeen’s Troi false lashes. Jenna Lyons’ luxe lash line continues to sell well, with a variety of lashes for different eye shapes, skin tones, hair textures and style preferences.

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Ask Amy: Readers offer their own advice



Dear Amy: I was troubled by your response to Cathy S., who told her family to leave all their old hurts and issues at home for the holidays.

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20 Best New Year’s Eve Movies of All Time




The spirit of reflection and resolution is a popular theme when it comes to a lot of Hollywood classics. So it’s no surprise that a holiday marked by such sentiments has been featured across so many films. Perhaps your resolution this New Year’s resembles the hero’s journey: a call to action and commitment to change against all odds. Maybe you’re more of the rom-com type, just focused on securing that midnight kiss with the one that got away.

Either way, if you’re already imagining the trailer of the coming year, or reminiscing on the highlight reel of years past, there’s a perfect New Year’s movie out there for you. Whether you’re looking for some festive film to play post-ball drop during your New Year’s Eve celebrations, or scrolling for some hungover inspiration on New Year’s Day, the possibilities are endless. So, grab your champagne (or Pedialyte) and ring in the new year with these New Year’s movies.

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Phantom Thread

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as an acclaimed London dressmaker who must tailor his lifestyle to fit in his newfound muse. One of the most gorgeous sequences of the film occurs amidst the aftermath of a wild New Year’s Eve party.

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The Godfather II (1974)

It’s at a New Year’s Eve party in Cuba that Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone plants the kiss of death on Fredo and tells him: “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

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Trading Places (1983)

Two brothers who run a commodities brokerage in Philadelphia try some light social engineering when they switch the identities of their employee, Louis Winthorpe III, played by Dan Aykroyd, and a hustler, Billy Ray Valentine, played by Eddie Murphy. Jamie Lee Curtis is there to help them sort it out and get even. Undeniably a classic comedy, this is also a holiday movie, because one of the film’s most crucial scenes takes place at a New Year’s Eve party aboard a train.

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If its lead lovers meeting during December can make Carol a Christmas movie, then surely their first kiss happening on December 31st can make it a New Year’s Eve film. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 romance novel Salt, Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women in 1950s New York who become enveloped in a forbidden love affair.

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Sleepless in Seattle

Few arcs capture the holiday’s spirit of hope quite like Sam Baldwin transitioning from a heartbreaking scene about talking to his deceased wife on New Year’s Eve to seeking new love on Valentine’s Day. This classic rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will have you running to the Empire State Building to profess your feelings for the one you love.

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About Time

When 21-year-old Tim Lake, played by Domhnall Gleeson, learns that he has inherited the ability to time travel and can do anything so long as it doesn’t alter history, his plan is simple: Get the girl. Of course, winning the heart of the love of his life, played by Rachel McAdams, proves to be the last of his worries as time unfolds.

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The Gold Rush

Sure, watching Charlie Chaplin get stood up on New Year’s Eve is one aspect of The Gold Rush, but the slapstick charm of this classic silent film is perfect for reflecting on how times have changed. Not to mention, its silent nature makes for perfect background for a New Year’s Eve gathering.

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When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Probably the greatest romantic comedy of all time, When Harry Met Sally… defined the genre for a generation to come. The dialogue is whip smart; New York shines; Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal charm and delight. The New Year’s connection comes at the end during a New Year’s Eve party.

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The Apartment (1960)

Jack Lemmon is a young man on the make who lets his company’s executives use his apartment for extra-marital affairs. After an office Christmas party, he finds his boss’s mistress, a young woman played by Shirley MacLaine, whom he knows from the office, at his apartment, where she’s tried to overdose on pills. They strike up a complicated relationship with multiple entanglements, both professional and personal. It’s a remarkable movie (and a Best Picture winner) that ends on New Year’s Eve.

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Snowpiercer (2013)

This isn’t just one of the great New Year’s movies, this is one of the best dystopian thrillers in years. Forced to live on a train that circles the world in an endless loop, the back half of the carts, who live in squalor, decide to rise up under Chris Evans’s leadership and take down the wealthy upperclass who’re toasting to another year of splendor.

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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The ’70s were a golden age for disaster films, and not just for the high stakes either. This Gene Hackman-led drama about a luxury cruise liner that capsizes during a New Year’s Eve party is pure adrenaline.

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Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

In this romantic comedy, Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones keeps a diary of a year of romantic misadventures. The movie begins and ends on New Year’s Eve, and it’s delightful as hell.

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An Affair to Remember (1957)

A weepy romance classic featuring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr begins on New Year’s Eve, where the two main characters, engaged to others, promise to meet up in six months atop the Empire State Building. (If you decide to watch this one, considering following it up with Sleepless in Seattle, which references the movie.)

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Ghostbusters II (1989)

It’s a far cry from Ghostbusters, but when the movie came out in 1989—five years after the first one—audiences delighted in seeing Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston back in action. The movie reaches its conclusion on New Year’s Eve, with a chorus of New Yorkers singing “Auld Lang Syne” in an attempt to defeat an evil spirit terrorizing the city.

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Highball (1997)

The writer and director of this film—in which a group of friends meet at three different parties: on Halloween, a birthday, and New Year’s Eve—is Noah Baumbach, who made Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and others. It’s one of his earliest films and, as such, it’s rough and feels as low budget as it is. But the movie captures the rhythms and dialogue of young adults simply hanging out.


Ocean’s 11 (1960)

For a time in the 1960s, the Rat Pack could have released a two-hour film of themselves sleeping and it would’ve made money. Ocean’s 11, which inspired the 2000 remake, is better than that (the team’s 1964 effort, Robin and the 7 Hoods, is not) but it’s not a great film. This is a fun movie, however, with some of the 20th century’s greatest performers clearly having a great time—especially, you can tell, when the cameras aren’t rolling.

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Four Rooms (1995)

A bellhop goes into four different rooms on New Year’s Eve, and each room becomes its own short film, with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez directing. The stories themselves are based loosely on Roald Dahl’s adult fiction.

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200 Cigarettes (1999)

In this 1999 comedy, a group of people make their way to a New Year’s Eve party in New York in 1981. The best part of the movie—which features an ensemble cast, including Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Gaby Hoffmann, and Christina Ricci—is the setting: New York in the early ‘80s. That’s worth the price of admission.

This movie is not available to stream.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986)

Charlie Brown frets over a book report, a New Year’s Eve party, and a red-headed girl. And unlike A Charlie Brown Christmas, in the end, nothing turns out well for Charlie Brown in this 30-minute special.


New Year’s Eve (2011)

In the pantheon of Gary Marshall films, it may not be his best, but there’s something about ending the year with a feel good movie that features an ensemble cast.

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Wallice, an Indie Pop Sensation from Los Angeles



Name: Wallice

Age: 23

Hometown: Los Angeles

Currently Lives: In a three-bedroom bungalow house in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles with her longtime boyfriend, Callaghan Kevany, and a friend.

Claim to Fame: Wallice (whose full name is Wallice Hana Watanabe) is a singer-songwriter best known for “Punching Bag,” a song about self-deception in toxic relationships; her follow-up hit, “23,” about the perils of living with her mother during the pandemic, has had three million streams on Spotify. Sample lyric: “I’m terrified of the future/ Scared that I’ll still be a loser.”

“I credit the pandemic to be able to find an audience, because I think a lot of people had time to listen to music and find new artists,” Wallice said.

Big Break: In 2020, shortly after Wallice released “Punching Bag,” Spotify decided to feature the song on its Lorem playlist — an influential list that showcases new artists and now has more than 900,000 followers.

“A lot of my friends are indie artists that are coming up in the scene,” she said. “They kept reposting the song, and that’s how I got Spotify’s attention.” The song took off from there and has been streamed more than four million times.

Latest Project: In October, Wallice signed with Dirty Hit, an independent record label in London that’s also home to the 1975, an English boy band. In November she released the single “Wisdom Tooth,” a bubbly pop tune that was written the night before she went to the dentist. “I was so nervous,” she said. “I had a recording session that day and was like, ‘There’s no way I can write about anything else.’”

Next Thing: In the new year, she’ll join the band Still Woozy on tour. “I’m really excited about going on tour, especially since my bandmates are my best friends,” she said. “My boyfriend is our guitar player, and my bass player I’ve known forever.”

What’s in a Name?: Wallice went without a name at birth because her parents thought they were having a boy. A few days later, her father named her after Wallis Simpson, the American socialite who later became the wife of Prince Edward, after he abdicated the British throne to marry her. “I really like my name, and I love how it is unique,” Wallice said.

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