AAFW 2021: The makeup trends you need to know

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2021 was the perfect opportunity to learn all about the makeup and hair trends set to dominate the beauty world over the next year.

Throughout most every Resort '22 show, surprising new must-have trends emerged, others re-appeared, and some from previous years even took a back-seat in favour of bold looks we weren’t previously accustomed to.

Below, we round up some of the top makeup trends from Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2021.


Grunge beauty was back in a big way at AAFW 2021. Rebecca Valance’s Resort ‘22 show was just one that opted for kohl-rimmed eyeliner that was tight-lined through the waterline and on the upper lash line, reminiscent of Kate Moss circa '90s.

GET THE LOOK: To keep it cool rather than classic, the trick was to forgo the wing in favour of an imperfect join. The liner was then drawn almost as thick on the bottom lash line as it was on the top. 

TRY: Eylure Line & Lash, Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner and Models Prefer Infinite Colour Eye Pencil.


Forget sticking to one colour – Romance Was Born embraced every eyeshadow colour under the sun, from violet and fuschia to lime and aqua, and everything in between.

GET THE LOOK: The shades were applied right up to the brow bone, down the sides of the nose and over the entire lid, finishing the look with sparkling silver gems. Shades were even blended out as far as the temples and onto the temples for a more dramatic look.

Ginger & Smart also embraced statement colours, focusing specifically on the eyes. Face paint was mixed with eye serum to “create an element of artistic approach to the makeup beauty look,” while opting for a smudged, grungy, cool, artistic look.

TRY: Mellow Cosmetics Treasure Chest Paletteessence Rose Edition Eyeshadow Palette and Elizabeth Arden Eye Shadow Trio.


While bold looks were all the rage when it came to the eyes and some hair looks, skin remained mostly untouched at AAFW 2021. Foundation was sacrificed in favour of a more natural look, instead choosing to use concealer to cover blemishes and imperfections at shows such as Ginger & Smart and KITX.

GET THE LOOK: Ginger & Smart went completely foundation-free and only used three products: moisturiser, concealer and setting spray. Meanwhile, KITX stripped the makeup back, uses a translucent powder and finished with a shine applied with a layer of ombré bronzer and blush, as well as a healthy layer of lip gloss for added sheen.

TRY: Lycogel® Breathable Concealerbenecos Concealer and NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray - Matte.


While foundation may have taken a back seat this year, the ‘less is more’ approach didn’t necessarily apply to other areas of the face. Both Beare Park and IXIAH were all about luminous, flushed cheeks with plenty of colour.

GET THE LOOK: Beare Park, for instance, enhanced cheeks with flushed warm peachy tones. Colour moved around the face to create a healthy, sculpted and luxe look. Each look was tailored to the model's face, with NUDESTIX being used to create a moving veil of colour over the cheeks, bridge of the nose and up around the eyes and temples of the face.

IXIAH also focused on flushed cheeks and perfected skin, with a little smattering of faux freckles across the nose and a gloss on the lid to help achieve the idea of a “pretty, gorgeous, luminous girl walking down the runway.”

TRY: Chi Chi Viva la Diva Blush Palette – Dancing in Berlin, jane iredale Glow Time™ Highlighter Stick and Natio Cream Blush - Dusk.

Imagery credit: @gettyimages