In between the complex dance routines, drool-worthy food recipes, and hilarious pranks on TikTok, there’s also makeup TikTok. In this corner of the app, you’ll find beauty products going viral or users participating in fun challenges. Speaking of the latter, the latest to reach our feeds is the 2016 vs. 2021 Makeup Comparison challenge, which is making us a bit nostalgic.
For this trend, TikTokers are creating side-by-side comparisons of makeup looks from both 2016 and 2021 — and you can definitely see the differences. Trends we know all too well, like the infamous blocky Instagram eyebrow and super-stark contour, make their appearances in some videos. Others showcase beauty enthusiasts’ personal makeup preferences that may not have been trendy at the time but are still cute, regardless.
That being said, of course, we had to round up our favorite looks. Below, enjoy some of the best 2016 vs. 2021 makeup challenge looks to come across our For You page. You might even recognize a few techniques you love today — or some that have already retired.
Though side-by-side comparisons of trends from different years aren’t new, TikToker Klaudia Sydor was one of the first to kick off this challenge back in February of this year. In fact, many of the subsequent videos actually replicate her routine. You’ll notice Sydor traded in matte lipstick for lip liner and gloss, harsh contour for softer bronzer, and went from no blush to packing it on heavily.
Gary Thompson’s cheekbones alone will have you mesmerized in this tutorial. Like a few others, he abandoned full-coverage foundation for a lighter, dewier finish. His 2016 makeup was categorized by baking, blinding powder highlighter, and colorful eye makeup, while 2021 has a more subtle approach with soft-glam eye makeup and liquid highlighter.
But, Thompson admits on his Instagram that he enjoys both and likes to mix the techniques from the two years.
Ling.KT‘s 2016 makeup routine begins with her blending a few hefty drops of shimmery liquid bronzer before applying foundation, lots of concealer, and contour. She finishes off with a neutral cut crease and flesh-toned matte lipstick.