Beauty hits in 2017: Pastel eye liners, feathery brows

Last year, cosmetic junkies saw the rise of cobalt-blue eye liners, defined Instagram-worthy brows and highlighters that made the skin reflect light. Melissa Heng speaks to insiders to uncover five main beauty trends and make-up looks for the new year

1) Glowing skin
Germaine Chng
3) Feathery brows
3) Feathery browsPHOTOS: DESMOND WEE, DIOR
4) Multi-tone lips
4) Multi-tone lipsPHOTOS: DESMOND WEE, DIOR


Highlighters and contouring were big trends in the make-up world last year, but this year heralds a cleaner, fresher and more natural look.

Both French fashion houses Chloe and Dior featured models with almost bare faces on their spring/summer 2017 runways. The pared down look complemented the clean lines and blocks of basic colour in their collections.

Dior's assistant make-up training manager, Mr Chew Toong Han, 40, says the focus this year is on natural beauty.

"Complexion is the key to this look. The look focuses on fresh, luminous and matte skin."

Freelance make-up artist Beno Lim, 47, says the best way to achieve a healthy glowing look is to apply foundation that is sheer and natural.

"The trend for skin is moving away from foundation that is too powdery and thick. The effect should look like real skin, natural and touchable or breathable."


Spring/summer 2017 runways saw collections that featured earth tones and muted colour. From French fashion house Balmain to American rapper Kanye West's Yeezy, shades such as beige, olive and light pink took centre stage.

Beauty fan Germaine Chng (pictured) thinks a soft and feminine pastel eyeliner or shadow will match the look perfectly.

"A pale pink called Pale Dogwood was included in this year's Top 10 Pantone colours for Spring 2017," says the 26-year-old campaign executive.

Pantone, an authority on colour, releases its top 10 colours every season. Apart from Pale Dogwood, other pastel shades on the list include Island Paradise, a sky blue, and Primrose Yellow, a light yellow.

Popular make-up label Kat Von D also recently released a pastel eyeshadow palette, which has eight shades including pastel yellow, lilac and green.


The no-make-up make-up look, sparked by celebrities such as singers Alicia Keys, Beyonce and Adele, looks set to continue into 2017.

Ms Germaine Chng says brows should have a more natural look, rather than the sharper and squarish look popularised by reality television stars the Kardashians.

"Softer, more feathery-looking brows create a more natural look. They can be bushy and fresh, rather than structured and defined."

The look can be created by applying a brow pencil in light strokes to produce natural-looking brows.


Bold red lips or natural nude lips are an easy choice, but Dior's Mr Chew Toong Han says it is time to be more adventurous with lip colours.

"I think a lot of women are still very conservative about lip colours. They should be more adventurous, unique and stand out."

A bold lip look is also easier to create than a daring eye look. Applying lip colour can be more straightforward.

"You can mix two or three colours and create your own shade."

Wearing one shade on the upper lip and a different colour on the lower lip is also a way to stand out.

Wearing a darker shade on the outer corners of the lips that blends into a lighter shade towards the middle is another option to visually make your lips plumper in 2017, he says.


Coloured mascara hit the fashion circuit last year, with celebrities such as singer Katy Perry rocking the look at the Met Gala and a slew of beauty magazines featuring alternative hues.

This year, coloured lashes will continue to be a trend, but only in shades that are more subtle.

Freelance make-up artist Beno Limthinks burgundy is on the mark as the deep wine colour "looks natural, without a heavy feel".

Burgundy mascara gives a subtle twist to one's style without looking too flamboyant, making it wearable day and night.

"If you are afraid of looking too red around the eyes, apply brown mascara first, then coat burgundy mascara over. The effect is a darker formula," says Mr Lim.

Correction Note: This article has been edited for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2017, with the headline '5 beauty trends for 2017'. Print Edition | Subscribe