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The 10 Biggest Beauty Trends for 2019

From innovative new ingredients to a buzzy new workout for your face, here's what to expect in beauty this year.

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Grey – or Silver – Hair

Named as one of the top beauty trends for 2019 in the annual Pinterest 100, grey hair is ready for its moment. Pinterest reports that searches for “going gray” have increased by 879 percent. (Lilac hair also made the cut as one of 2019’s top beauty trends.)

L’Oreal Paris has given grey hair a slightly more glamourous moniker, naming silver the hair colour of the year. Hair expert Brennen Demelo recommends L’Oreal’s new Age Perfect in Touch of Pearl (available January 22), a formula specifically developed for grey hair. “There are women who want to colour their hair but they don’t want to lose the silver in it; they don’t want to lose their ‘grey.’ This product is perfect because it helps neutralize yellow tones, while enhancing your greys for a more natural look,” he says.

Ready to ditch the dye and embrace your grey hair? Here’s how to treat and care for your grey hair texture. And, if you really don’t want to embrace the trend, there may be a way to prevent grey hair.

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Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom SerumPhoto Credit: Volition Beauty

Mushrooms in Skin Care

Mushrooms are now found in more than just your fave carbonara dish. Medicinal mushrooms are one of the top food trends for 2019 with fungi like Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, and Reishi now added to smoothies, teas and coffee beverages – but it doesn’t stop there. Beauty brands have taped mushrooms for their detoxifying, hydrating and brightening effects. Find the fungi in products like Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum, Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom line and Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum ($78 at sephora.ca). This last one is a new-to-Canada brand that launched at Sephora in late 2018. The concept behind Volition Beauty’s product development process is unique with a consumer-driven submission process. Each product idea comes from real people like you, referred to by Volition as the “Innovators,” who earn royalties on their product’s profits. Get the product you want and potentially earn some cash? Win-win!

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facial acupuncturePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Facial Fitness

Thanks to the arrival of Face Gym, a hugely popular facial-workout-meets-spa-treatment originally from the UK, facial fitness is now on our radar. The first North American Face Gym location opened at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, with a second location in the city’s NoHo neighbourhood on Bond Street. While there are not yet any plans for a Canadian location of Face Gym, the facial fitness trend is surely here in other ways.

For example, cosmetic acupuncture is gaining steam as a less invasive, non-surgical way to achieve glowing skin, while many spas are offering facial massage as a component to their facial treatment services. (Read about our writer’s experience here.)

And when was the last time your beauty routine didn’t involve some sort of tool? While rose quartz and jade crystal rollers were the favourite in 2018, other tools like dry brushes, gua sha crystals and derma rollers were also in heavy rotation. Many of these tools or techniques are not necessarily new, but have become more popular recently thanks to our interest in ancient facial therapies (many of which come from Traditional Chinese Medicine). And, of course, crystals and other pretty tools are ideal Insta props.

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Photo Credit: Ole Henricksen

Natural Retinol Alternatives

Bakuchiol is gaining steam as a natural, plant-derived alternative to retinoids, which are a class of chemical compounds derived from Vitamin A. Retinoids, or retinols, are known to be one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients out there (second to sun protection, of course). The appeal of these emerging retinol alternatives is because they are still highly effective at reducing the look of lines and wrinkles, but without the irritation or sensitivity that’s usually associated with retinols. Look for retinol alternatives like bakuchiol in products like Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum ($78 at sephora.ca) and Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum ($70 at sephora.ca) and Sleeping Cream ($66 at sephora.ca).

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Herbivore beautyPhoto Credit: Herbivore

Cannabis Infused Products

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, attitudes surrounding the drug are changing, and the beauty industry has taken notice. Currently, the majority of cannabis-infused beauty products contain Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in both cannabis and industrial hemp. Milk Makeup, Herbivore, and Nannette de Gaspé are just a few of the brands who’ve released products infused with cannabis oil. It’s safe to say we can expect more launches in 2019.

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Herbal Essences and Pantene Pro-VPhoto Credit: Herbal Essences/Pantene Pro-V

Scalp Health

Could a healthy scalp be the key to great hair? Signs are pointing to yes. (Vogue says so.) In fact, you may even want to go as far as to treat your scalp the same way you treat your skin: Keep you scalp healthy and clean, use products with skin healthy-boosting ingredients – and don’t forget to exfoliate.

For example, skin care trends like charcoal and micellar water have made their way to hair care with product launches like Herbal Essences Detox & Replenish Charcoal System and Pantene Pro-V Micellar Collection.

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Abyssinian oilPhoto Credit: Crambé

New Oils like Abyssinian

First there was argan oil and coconut oil, quickly followed by marula oil and moringa oil. Next up is abyssinian oil.

Abysinnian oil is extracted from the seeds of the abyssinica plant, which is a member of the mustard family. The plant is native to Ethiopia but it also grows in Canada on Prince Edward Island. Rich in omega fatty acids and vitamin E, abyssinian oil is lightweight but still super hydrating. In fact, it’s such a great hydrator that two Canadian brands have launched with abyssinian oil as the star (or only!) ingredient: Céla by Celine Tadrissi, and Crambé Skincare.

Celine Tadrissi chose the oil as an ingredient for Céla due to its ability to provide intense hydration without leaving skin greasy. Likewise, Daniel MacKinnon, one of Crambé’s co-founders, was impressed with abyssinian oil’s hydrating benefits but says it was its sustainability that really intrigued him. “I was wowed at how sustainable it was compared to argan oil,” he says. While production of argan oil is known to have sustainability issues (thanks to concerns about supply and risk of deforestation), the process of harvesting and extracting oil from abyssinian seeds leaves behind little to no waste. The husk that surrounds the abyssinian seed is used as livestock feed, while the remaining plant (which is part of a rotational crop) is ploughed back into the ground to fertilize the soil, explains MacKinnon.

Get your hands on 100 percent natural abyssinian oil with Crambé’s Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil ($59 at crambeskincare.com).

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Photo Credit: Clinique

Personalized Skin Care

With much thanks to advances in technology, brands are delivering more personalized skin care treatments. The latest of these is Clinique iD (available January in Canada), a completely customizable skincare regimen where consumers can create a custom-blend hydration system specific for their skin type and primary skin concern. The Clinique iD system features three bases for the popular Dramatically Different Moisturizer (Hydrating Jelly, Moisturizing Lotion+ or Oil-Free Gel) and five different Active Cartridge Concentrates (Irritation, Pores & Uneven Texture, Uneven Skin Tone, Fatigue, and Lines & Wrinkles). Simply choose the Active Cartridge Concentrate ($18 each) based on your primary skin concern and insert into the Moisturizer ($29) of your choice to create a custom-blend.

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Fenty FoundationPhoto Credit: Fenty Beauty

Inclusive Shade Ranges

Thanks to Rihanna and Fenty Beauty’s diverse range of foundation shades (aka the “Fenty 40”), there’s a new standard and beauty brands are realizing that they need to offer a more inclusive variety if they’re going to stay in the game.

In 2018, brands like CoverGirl, Estée Lauder, and Smashbox launched expanded shade ranges, with many hitting that 40 mark. Other brands saw backlash for failing to meet the grade. Beautyblender launched its Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation with 32 shades but was criticized for not having enough diversity.

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healthy woman outside in the city poluutionphoto credit: shutterstock

Anti-Pollution Everything


Pollution is quickly becoming known as one of the major contributors to premature aging. Similar to UV damage, pollution causes oxidative stress, whereby damaging free radicals prevent the skin from properly repairing itself. In her 2018 book, Beyond Soap, Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, a dermatologist and founder of Toronto’s Bay Dermatology Centre, wrote: “Dermatologists like me have spent the last 20 years talking about how harmful ultraviolet exposure can be for the skin.” She speculates that airborne pollutants are what dermatologists will spend the next 20 years talking about. Here’s more on how to protect your skin from the damaging effects of pollution. And, pretty soon, you’ll also be looking to protect your hair from pollution.

Looking for more 2019 predictions? Don’t miss our reports on the top 10 fitness trends and the top 10 diet trends.