What is the future of beauty post-Covid?

What will be the eye candy of tomorrow? In our March 2021 Style Issue dedicated Beauty & Grooming pages, we look to beauty in a brave new world, favouring unexpected colour combinations and avant-garde application

girl with short black and grey hair with big white eyelashes and white eyebrows
(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

The ubiquity of mask-wearing and increased time indoors has created a new cosmetic landscape, rife with experimentation and playful manifestations of colour and form. Here, we take a future-facing look at the role of beauty in our post-pandemic world.

To help us execute this vision, we turn to the latest launches from some of the biggest names in beauty, including HermèsChanel, and Gucci. Expressed through the make-up artistry of Kristina Ralph Andrews and hair by Teiji Utsumi, these looks are captured through the lens of Chieska Fortune Smith for a singular portrayal of contemporary cosmetics.


girl with graphic green, purple, and yellow eyeshadow and glossy pink lips

Prismatic eyeshadow in Touchstone, Chlorine, Larger and Convertible, £77; Colour Stick in Sauce and Destroyer, £26; Lipstick in Earth Dust, £35; Mascara in Space Black, £35, all by Byredo

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

The launch of Byredo’s make-up line last year saw the brand’s idiosyncratic ethos translated into a line of cosmetics that favoured unexpected colour combinations and avant-garde application. Byredo’s latest product is an 18-colour eyeshadow palette that includes some of its most exuberant shades. We’ve combined a selection of those colours for a new take on the graphic 1980s style, creating a thoroughly modern cosmetic look at a time when the eyes are of the utmost importance.



girl with short black and grey hair with big white eyelashes and white eyebrows

Ultra Le Teint Fluide foundation in BD01, £40; Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow in Bouquet Ambré, £44; Fleurs de Printemps blush and highlighter, £52, all by Chanel. Gossamer Lashes lash extensions in Silver, $15, by Lashify

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

Blanched features are highlighted by the subtle crimson hues of Chanel’s S/S21 offering. The brand’s global creative make-up and colour director Lucia Pica displays her mastery of the colour red with a range that plays on the natural textures and tones of flushed skin. The collection’s limited-edition Fleurs de Printemps blush creates a subtle tint of life among ultra-matte, white-out features. 



girl with pulled back hair with curls escaping and blue graphic eyeshadow

Eye Tint eyeshadow in Prussian Blue, £27; Rouge d’Armani matte lipstick in Venezia, £32, both by Giorgio Armani

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

The geometric lines and bold precision of Armani couture take cosmetic form with Eye Tint, the brand’s liquid eyeshadow. The futuristic, graphic swirls of metallic ultramarine are echoed in the delicate curls of the hair, which are evocative of the up-dos seen on ancient Roman busts. The end result is a look that mixes elements of past and future for beauty that is entirely of the present. 



close up shot of lower half of girls face covered in gloss

Fluide de Beauté Fini Naturel foundation in 140W, £46; Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière gel face gloss, £18; Rouge à Lèvres Mat lipstick in The Painted Veil, £35, all by Gucci

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

Here, the dewy texture of healthy skin is amplified. First, Gucci’s Fluide de Beauté foundation creates a flawless, even-toned base. This is then coated in the brand’s ultrashiny gel face gloss for an exaggerated interpretation of clean skin, before being finished off with a matte nude lipstick for extra emphasis. It’s an aesthetic that suits Gucci’s characteristically bold take on beauty. 


Tom Ford 

close up shot of girl with green and orange eyeshadow and black line of eyebrow

Eye Colour Quad eyeshadow in Leopard Sun, £68; Shadow Extreme eyeshadow in TFX1 Silver, £32; Emotionproof eyeliner in Dominateur, £35, all by Tom Ford

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

The high-octane glamour of Tom Ford is given a painterly edge in this rendering of the brand’s most flamboyant eye colour shades. The loose application of olive and burnt orange is offset by the dramatic linearity of the eyebrow, creating eye make-up that’s as bold as the graphic geometries of the previous images.



Girl with blond bob hair titling head backwards to show pink Hermes lipstick

Rouge Hermès satin lipstick in Rose Oasis, £58, by Hermès

(Image credit: Chieska Fortune Smith)

Hermès has added three vibrant pink shades to its Rouge Hermès lipstick range, which comes in refillable tubes designed by Pierre Hardy. We have playfully inverted the refinement of the lipsticks with a slightly smudged application, a sort of tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the often-unintended appearance of lip make-up under masks.



A version of this article originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Wallpaper* (W*263)

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.