• Kali Ah Yuen

How the Pandemic Has Changed Standards of Beauty

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

We are experiencing beauty in a new manner in the face of a pandemic. When the shelter in place went into effect, the lack of beauty maintenance surfaced. There was less time to focus on what we looked like and more time to focus on our perception of this new lifestyle. 

It’s no surprise that with the Stay-at-Home orders came the urge to be comfortable. It’s a safe haven, which is why wearing no pants on Zoom calls and not thinking twice about putting on makeup (or bras) were results of this. We've become accustomed to connecting behind a screen instead of on the scene. And after months of staying home, this became our new reality.

Let’s be honest, this is the first time in who knows how long that we finally get a break from the pressure of beauty standards.

At the beginning of the pandemic, memes and comical content about what women would look like coming out of quarantine took the internet by storm. It was a humorous start to women realizing that at the end of the day the roots of our hair are going to grow out, it’s natural to have hair growth, and eyelash extensions don’t last forever. In other words, a truly humbled beginning to the new standards of beauty. 

Taking a look at recent years, this shift is intriguing moving from the takeover of the beauty industry in 2019 that blew up to a $532 billion dollar industry. It was hard to go anywhere without hearing about a new pallet launch, influencer collaboration, or criticism of beauty brands. Now, it almost seems as if these conversations have been muted with the exception of clean or minimalist beauty. This shift also comes from the source we consume most of our news: social media.

With how connected we are to trends and influencers on social media, we tend to get our inspiration from ‘Hollywood’, in other words, the entertainment industry. Remember when Kylie Cosmetics blew up? Or the hype over James Charles’ first Morphe pallet? Many people get inspiration from their favorite celebrities and tend to replicate what they see. For the first time, we are seeing these celebrities for what they are - human. COVID-19 does not discriminate, which means while the rest of the world is taking a pause, so is ‘Hollywood’. We are now finding inspiration from celebrities in how they choose to use their voice versus what they decided to wear making us see that true beauty is really what is on the inside. 

So, this leaves us with one important question: what does the future of beauty look like?

Although it is unsure what is in store for us after the pandemic, we can only hope that beauty will now be in our hands. Businesses will see that you can close a deal without needing to wear a pantsuit, relationships will be created based on your heart and not how much work you have had done to your face, and it will be your choice whether you choose to take on a beauty regime or not. 

Ultimately, you’ll also see a lot of brands taking notice of this and thus shifting their product/service offerings. Retailers like Ulta are taking more skincare initiatives focusing on the long-term effects of beauty versus the short term, where makeup would fall into. Many others are offering deep discounts or added purchase bonuses as incentives, which is the business blueprint that many brands must shift to if they seek to keep their loyal customers and grow with the current climate.

On the other side of the spectrum, fashion will move towards trends that were similar after the second world war within the U.S. and Europe. This goes beyond just the braless approach and will take over wardrobes globally. Minimalist and leisure styles will start appearing within the industry. With the current economic status and an election year in mind, people are looking for clothes that are practical and high quality, in soft, comfortable materials. 

Keep in mind that these are just some of the trends we found while conducting research. Similar to when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, we do not truly know what the future holds. But, if there’s one thing that stays true, it’s that beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder.

How have you been living during the pandemic - have you still been dressing up and doing a full beauty regime, or are you going for the au natural with little to no makeup look? Let us know in the comments below!

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