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The 2010s: The Biggest Beauty Trends That Defined The Past Decade

From K-Beauty to the golden age of skincare, the 2010s sure gave us an avalanche of beauty trends to bring with us into the new year

I remember the time when beauty trends only ever meant what my classmates were wearing after school hours—and that usually just consisted of pressed face powder, tinted lip balm, and a little blush. Gone are the days of innocence, and fast forward to many years later, I am bombarded with 'the next best thing' like glass skin or gradient lips every couple of days on Insta. 

The runways at fashion capitals used to dictate what beauty trends were going to be big in the coming season, but in this day and age of digital perma-connectivity, some of the biggest trends that exploded into the mainstream the past decade were care of what we saw online, and what was hashtagged to death.

As I look back at the past decade of beauty, I am filled with much nostalgia, but at the same time am excited for what the future holds for us beauty fans—because if the past were to define what's to come, then looking back at the 2010s' biggest beauty trends only means the best is yet to come. 


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Ahead, a summary of the top 10 biggest beauty trends that have ruled our pages on Metro magazine, here on Metro.Style, our Instagram feeds, and practically everything we looked at and did the past few years. From the Korean Beauty craze to the golden age of skincare, the past decade surely gave us much to reminisce about, and carry with us into the new year and beyond! Enjoy!

Kylie Cosmetics Kylie Cosmetics singlehandedly made matte lips a thing. | Kylie Cosmetics

1. The Lip Kit by Kylie Cosmetics

We've all had our fair share of purchasing this cult favorite 'lip kit' by beauty mogul and reality TV star Kylie Jenner—even back when it was still hard to find on our shores! Kylie created Instagram makeup—posting selfie after selfie of perfectly done makeup, with a focus on her iconic lips, done with precision care of her first product, the Matte Liquid Lipstick and Lip Liner. The beauty brand has since then grown to much bigger proportions, carrying a full line of makeup and skincare, making Jenner one of the richest self-made women of her time. This product also signaled the introduction of other matte liquid lipstick products from other brands, eventually trickling down to all of our vanity kits.

Youtube stars like Pony, a Korean makeup artist extraordinaire, is just one of the facets of the years-long Korean Beauty craze that has taken over our lives. Youtube stars like Pony, a Korean makeup artist extraordinaire, is just one of the facets of the years-long Korean Beauty craze that has taken over our lives. | Pony

2. The Korean Beauty Craze

I have personally never been to Korea yet, but somehow, I feel like their culture has been cemented into our own the past couple of years. There is no shortage of samgyupsal restaurants in the metro, and practically everyone I know has seen or is still into K-Drama and K-Pop. Surely, the South Koreans have taken over our lives, and in a good way!

A couple of years ago, the K-Beauty scene exploded into the mainstream with brands like Laneige, Tony Moly, Etude House, The Face Shop, to name a few, started to become some of the most sought-after cosmetics brands in the market, taking over our makeup kits in a big way. K-Beauty brought to light some of the prettiest beauty trends we've seen: glass skin, the 10-step skincare routine, gradient lips, and straight brows, giving us fresh options from the usual looks we've been so used to.

Picks from Club Clio Picks from Club Clio | Club Clio Official

We were introduced to cushion compacts, mousse lipsticks, and brow tattoos—innovative and undeniably flattering even to Filipinas like us. And while Koreans are known for having porcelain skin, that didn't stop us morenas from enjoying what the K-Beauty world had to offer. Apart from makeup, they also gave way to a brand new era of skincare: sheet masks, serums, and lots more that made us rethink our existing skincare routines. Were we doing enough? Their 10-step Korean skincare routine made us do more, and buy more for sure! K-Beauty is here to stay, with product innovations arriving on our doorstep faster than we could say 'kamsahamnida'.

Sheet Masks became the DIY facial du jour Sheet Masks became the DIY facial du jour | Oh Lolly
3. Sheet Masks

If you're anything like us—then your beauty shelf or your fridge is stocked with sheet masks waiting to be torn open at any given time. This revolutionary product took the world by storm a couple of years ago, with Korean brands like Mediheal introducing DIY facials via this sheet mask made of cotton fibers or gel-type materials. It's a one-time use product, specifically targeting different skin issues such as anti-aging, moisturizing, anti-acne, brightening, and more. You apply the mask on your face for 10-15 minutes, and discard it promptly after, leaving your skin rejuvenated and refreshed. Western brands have followed suit, introducing their versions of the bestselling product, still available at almost all beauty counters today.


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Contouring - the magic behind Kim Kardashian's chiseled-to-perfection looks Contouring - the magic behind Kim Kardashian's chiseled-to-perfection looks | KKW Beauty

4. Contouring

Ever wonder how the Kardashians get that chiseled-to-perfection look? It's not just Photoshop. It's the expert makeup technique called contouring—a way of defining and enhancing parts of your face to achieve your desired structure. This technique uses cosmetics such as creams, powders, and brushes to blend and chisel the face, and even certain parts of the body to create depth and definition to an otherwise flat base. Kim Kardashian loved the concept so much that she launched her own Contour Kit via KKW Beauty—and in true Kardashian fashion, it was sold out on its first release.

The KKW Beauty Contour Kit The KKW Beauty Contour Kit | @kkwbeauty


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Creams, serums, oils—what's your skincare product of choice? Creams, serums, oils—what's your skincare product of choice? | @intothegloss

5. The Golden Age of Skincare 

Over the past few years, we've taken matters into our own hands and delved deep into experimenting with skincare products more than we ever have before. What used to be the classic routine of cleanse-tone-moisturize has now evolved into either the 10-step Korean skincare regimen, the LED-light routine, the sheet mask routine, or the beauty oils routine. Whatever skincare trend you got obsessed with—one thing was certain: skincare was and still is king.

While going to the pros is still the best thing you can opt for in terms of treating one's skin, the amount of skincare products out in the market today is enough to make anyone a skilled beauty guru—with the right amount of research and practice. Brands like The Ordinary have introduced pure, potent products that allow one to experiment with ingredients like Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid like a scientist, offering them a firsthand account of what works and what doesn't. This really is the age of hyper-customization and gone are the days of 'one-size-fits-all'. 

Sheet masks, beauty oils and elixirs, anti-aging creams and potions are a dime a dozen, and with diligence on your part, you are bound to find your skincare soulmate. There's really no excuse to have bad skin anymore, with the sheer amount of available information and products out there for the taking. Because what use is makeup, if your base isn't in tip top shape? 

Choose your skincare arsenal from The Ordinary Choose your skincare arsenal from The Ordinary | @deciem


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6. #Shelfies 

There are selfies, and then there are shelfies. Those carefully curated bathroom cabinet Instagram posts of what's latest and prettiest in your beauty collection became a thing on the Insta-verse in the past years, and we surely took notice. Displaying what's in your beauty arsenal was the thing du jour, and so packaging became such a vital part of our shopping. You weren't allowed to have messy, dirty makeup kits anymore—because you're only as cool as your last beauty #shelfie or flatlay.

Curated bathroom shelf, anyone? Curated bathroom shelf, anyone? | @intothegloss


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Cara Delevingne, the poster child for bushy brows. Cara Delevingne, the poster child for bushy brows. | @caradelevingne

7. Bushy Brows 

We're thankful that one-line, super thin Latina-ish brows are a thing of the past, and bushy, full brows are the way to go. This trend took flight when it girls and super models like Cara Delevingne embraced their natural looks—making power brows the look to achieve. While not everyone is blessed with full brows, a ton of groundbreaking brow products have been introduced into the market, with powerhouse brands like Benefit creating a full range of cosmetics especially dedicated to achieving your best brows ever. Some have even gone as far as trying microblading, to create the illusion of perfect, effortless brows. 

The Benefit Brow Collection The Benefit Brow Collection | Benefit Cosmetics


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Glossier, the brand that defined the millennial beauty market Glossier, the brand that defined the millennial beauty market | @glossier

8. Glossier and its Millennial Pink Packaging

Glossier, the Insta-famous beauty brand and the brainchild of Emily Weiss, former Teen Vogue intern who has then ventured into entrepreneurship. Glossier was able to tap into the millennial brand of beauty—uncomplicated, simple, effortless—in millennial pink packaging that soon became the benchmark of what Instagrammable packaging is.

These days, the brand's cult favorite products Balm Dotcom, Cloud Paint, and Haloscope have become mainstays in our kits, having friends and family from abroad hoard for us whenever we have the chance. Whenever we got the chance to visit their boutiques in the States, we'd make sure to snap our very own Insta-worthy content, while we got our beauty fix. Local and international brands alike have followed suit in creating similar beauty brands, all with the minimalist millennial aesthetic we've all become obsessed with for years. Wonder what Gen Z has up their beauty sleeve....

Fenty Beauty caters to more than just a couple of skin tones Fenty Beauty caters to more than just a couple of skin tones | The Zoe Report

9. Inclusivity

We thankfully live in the day and age of inclusivity—a time when your skin tone is celebrated, and not criticized. Wherever you're from, however you look like, you have a space in this world, and you have a right to your choice of beauty products. Brands like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty introduced a foundation collection that caters to a bevy of skin tones, making sure everyone is included in the lineup. Locally, brands like blk Cosmetics have launched their 'Universal' collection, products that cater to both men and women, and different skin tones as well. These days, everyone can have their own beauty moment, whatever that means to them, and however that fits their reality.

Dewy skin > matte skin Dewy skin > matte skin | @intothegloss

10. The Glow

Getting that coveted glow has become an obsession for years, with highlighters, skincare products, and the like popping up nonstop in order for a natural glow to be achieved. We've come to know the importance of highlighters in our makeup routine, making sure that the high points of our face are accentuated by these powders and creams, to create a lit-from-within glow. On the other hand, skincare plays a big role in this trend, as dewy skin can only be achieved with flawless skin—made possible with a diligent skincare regimen. Gone are the days when matte skin was the prettiest look there is; these days, as with other Korean influences, dewy skin trumps matte skin any day. 


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Lead photos via Teen Vogue, @ponysmakeup, and Oh Lolly.