The best beauty and fashion moments of 2020
The Spell Magazine team round up the year with the biggest trends and highlights in the beauty and fashion industries.
For many of us, 2020 has delivered some great highs and terrible lows. So as we wave goodbye to the year that transformed all of our lives, we salute the brands that brightened up our days and made the past 12 months a little prettier.
While 2020 turned into the year of protective styling and lived-in up-dos, it started out on a larger-than-life scale with super-sized hair accessories. Pearl clips, chained sliders and massive faux leather scrunchies had the hair pundits talking (and us stalking social feeds for endless inspo). Award-winning hairdresser Michelle Thompson tells us: “This year has been about comebacks, but with a twist. Headbands and scrunchies were reimagined in a way we’d never have guessed.” Kitsch’s collab with celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan in March was on the money.
What a year it’s been for multifaceted mogul Rihanna. Kicking off the year with a slew of accessory launches from her fashion label Fenty (turn to page 22 for the latest instalment), she also added the Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara to her beauty line-up. The fat-to-flat brush feature put the mascara in a league of its own and received rave reviews. “It’s a permanent edition to my make-up bag,” says Spell editor Jemima Cousins. Of course, we can’t fail to mention the release of Fenty Skin, another standout highlight to our year. Thank you RiRi!
In June, GB swimmer Alice Dearing partnered with SoulCap in a campaign to break down barriers for BAME swimmers. “Growing up, I was blessed to have had so much support as I worked my way up to swimming for Great Britain,” she said. “But I know that swimming as a sport hasn’t always been seen as accessible to people from minority communities. Increasing diversity in the water is a huge passion of mine, so with SoulCap we hope we can start to dispel those barriers.” To date the brand has sold over 30,000 of its Afro-friendly swimming caps.
Debuting its first collection in July 2020, black-British label Farai London has already started to make major waves in the fashion industry. In its first month of business, its Gaia signature dress was worn by Kylie Jenner for an Instagram post that went viral. Also seen on celebrities Mulatto and Jourdan Dunn, the label’s colourful cut-out mini dress was in high-demand this summer. Inspired by tropical beaches and early 00’s style, designer MaryAnn Msengi is on a mission to create clothes that empower women of all ages to embrace their femininity.
The Feme Collection Ponytail
DIY lockdown hair was at the top of the agenda this year and coming to the rescue was the launch of The Feme Collection Ponytail. A classic ponytail never fails to look fashionable, while keeping natural tresses tucked away. From silkystraight strands to loose waves and tight curls, the range features an array of stunning styles in long lengths up to 36 inches. What’s more, the wraparound attachment piece is perfect for superspeedy application.
In October, Sleek MakeUp revamped its iconic i-Divine eyeshadow palette and launched an inspiring film, I Am Divine, featuring influential black-British creatives and changemakers. Its purpose was to uncover why beauty is a form of bold selfexpression and activism in these unprecedented times. BET presenter and stylist Darkwah spoke out to say: “Make-up and activism go hand in hand for me. They’ve both helped me feel better and more confident in myself.” We always love make-up with a meaningful message!
British make-up artist Joy Adenuga didn’t rest on her laurels during lockdown. With the release of her debut lash collection Lashes by Joy earlier this year, the follow-up to her growing cosmetics empire is (drum roll, please)… Brushes by Joy. “While designing my brushes, I wanted to create tools that could be used for different types of make-up applications that were as multi-purpose as possible,” says Joy. All five brushes are formulated with highgrade synthetic hair and are 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free.
The internet claims to have many so-called beauty destinations, but one worth knowing about for its tech prowess is Yutybazar. Black-owned and allinclusive, the AI driven shopping site implements algorithms to seek out and suggest haircare and skincare products that are suitable for you. Founder Simi Lindgren says: “Shopping for beauty products can be inefficient and expensive when you are not catered for.” Thanks to Simi and her tech team, it has developed a platform that will take us well in to the future.