What Does Beauty Means to You in 2021? 8 Beauty Experts Share

At the start of the pandemic, when makeup, hairstyling, and nail polish felt inconsequential in the face of a global crisis, we thought for sure that beauty trends would go on hold. Then, a short couple of months later, it became clear: those exact things offered a sense of escape and hope amid the tough times.

Beauty played a very important role in 2020, the "how" depending on who you asked. It brought people joy and comfort; it gave them a creative outlet and an excuse to put time back into themselves when self-care was needed most. Even though we had nowhere to go, many of us did our hair, or put on some mascara, or painted our nails because it made us feel good, which is what beauty is really all about.

As we look ahead to the new year, we can't help but wonder what's in store for beauty in 2021 and how this past year's events will play a role. To get an idea, we asked a handful of beauty experts what beauty means to them in 2021. Keep scrolling to read their responses.

Annagjid "Kee" Taylor

"Beauty to me has nothing to do with the exterior, whatsoever. It's all about the heart, spirit, and having good energy. You can be the baddest on the outside but if your inner is ugly then that's not beautiful at all. Beauty to me is how you carry yourself, how great of a person you are, and how kind you are to others." - Annagjid "Kee" Taylor, celebrity hairstylist and author of All Hair Is Good Hair

Erin Parsons

"For me, beauty in 2021 means embracing uniqueness, originality, and art. After a heavy year, we're looking for visual stimulation and inspiration. Because people are wearing masks, we all look alike at this moment, so the only way to stand out is by over-expressing unique style." — Erin Parsons, Sessions makeup artist

Dr. David Shafer

"The events of 2020 have shifted focus to a more holistic concept of health and beauty. People are paying attention to their inner wellness, family, mental health, and taking care of themselves. While beauty tended to be manufactured and programmed in the media, the new Zoom revolution is giving people a behind the scenes look into people's lives unguarded and unperfected while also giving people hours of screen time each day to self-analyze. The new beauty is not focused on looking like someone else or emulating a celebrity, but more improving one's own features, looking natural, feeling healthy, not sweating the little things and staying positive." - David Shafer, MD, double board-certified plastic surgeon at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue

Tina Outen

"Beauty in 2021 is coming from the inside of each individual. People's spirits will shine through, people will be empowered with self-belief and freedom to express their personal identity however they choose without fear. Beauty in 2021 is hope." — Tina Outen, Session hairstylist

Allan Avendaño

"My definition of beauty has always been the same, but it is even more important to me in 2021. It comes in the form of kindness, confidence, peace, understanding, and respect. When possessing these characteristics, it shows through your entire being and your beauty is undeniable to everyone." — Allan Avendaño, celebrity makeup artist

Joy Adenuga

"Growing up, I typically believed beauty involved just physical appearances. But growing older, getting so many life experiences up until 2021 . . . my views on this word have totally changed. Beauty to me is being comfortable and confident in your own skin." — Joy Adenuga, makeup artist

Andrew Fitzsimons

"Now, more than ever, beauty is one's own perspective and relationship to themselves. In the past we have seen beauty standards being dictated to us, and we are now moving in a positive direction where people can take ownership of their own relationship with their bodies and how they present themselves to the world. We are part of a movement where we're taking back our image into our own hands and applying it to our lives through self-care for the very first time. What an exciting time to be part of the beauty industry." — Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist

Neil Scibelli

"For me, beauty is a feeling. When it comes to personal beauty, it's an elevated mood and energy that comes from putting those extra steps into self-care. Beauty is accepting yourself, and being kind to yourself, which then radiates outside of us. Beauty is all around us: in nature, in people, in art. It's up to us to slow down to really see it all." - Neil Scibelli, celebrity makeup artist