Welcome to 2021. Here’s some beauty news that kept the interwebs buzzing this past week that I think you should know about.

Try before you buy

Google implemented AR (augmented reality) to allow us to virtually try on makeup before buying. They’re working with brands like L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics and Charlotte Tilbury to allow consumers to try on makeup across a range of models with various skin tones or on themselves using their front-facing cameras. How does it work? Think of the way you look when you use certain Instagram and SnapChat filters. None of us are stoked on leaving our houses during the pandemic and trying on makeup is a serious TBD in the age of COVID. This is a smart move.

The Dame

Legendary makeup artist and brand owner Pat McGrath was named Dame on Queen Elizabeth’s New Year 2021 Honours List, recognized for her “services to the Fashion and Beauty Industry and Diversity.” She made history as the first makeup artist to be named a dame of the British empire.

The Easter eggs 

Both Lady Gaga and Tracee Ellis Ross hinted that their brands, Haus Laboratories and Pattern Beauty, respectively, will be dropping skin care sometime in 2021. Singer-songwriter Halsey plans to drop a makeup line About-Face on Jan. 25, featuring highly-pigmented and ultra-colorful eyeshadow sticks, matte lip color, liquid highlighter and more. They’re available for pre-order now.

Coty, the beauty conglomerate that owns Marc Jacobs Fragrance, CoverGirl, Rimmel and more closed a $200M deal this week, acquiring 20% of Kim Kardashian West’s brand KKW Beauty. While the deal was originally unveiled in June, Coty noted it plans to bring KKW Beauty into new categories coming in 2022, including skin care. I’ve heard that Kim’s skin is naturally flawless, poreless and smooth so I am very excited about this skin care brand.

In more celebrity brand news …

Jennifer Lopez debuted JLo Beauty. Launched on New Year’s Day, the brand currently contains seven products including a serum, complexion booster, sheet mask, eye cream and cleanser on jlobeauty.com. J. Lo and Shakira broke the internet last year with their age-defying Super Bowl performance. The story I did on their rumored skin care routines actually made it into the most-read stories of the year on Access NEPA. Jenny is no dummy, y’all.

More newness I’m excited about…

 The Inkey List Succinic Acid Acne Treatment, a spot-tretment for pimples and with my LOVE, sulfur, which is great for shrinking breakouts; Drunk Elephant Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray, which looks like a face mist made with kombucha and sake to help keep your microbiome (the collection of tiny organisms that live on your skin) happy, healthy and balanced aka good-ass skin. Finally, I’m obsessed with Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream which looks ultra-hydrating (not greasy) and contains ceramides, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and brightening pineapple enzymes for even, bouncy healthy skin tone and texture. 

The Ordinary announced concealers (which will retail for $5.80 a pop) will launch on Jan. 19. This is the second foray into color makeup for the affordable, cult-favorite brand after launching foundation a few years ago. Excited for a concealer almost the same price as a coffee.

Aveda goes vegan

The hair care product maker said it will remove honey, beeswax and beeswax-derived ingredients from its products in a move to make its formulas 100% vegan. Moreover, Aveda intends to partner with Veganuary to encourage employees and customers to go vegan in 2021. More brands are stepping up their vegan offerings and this won’t be the last we’ll see of it this year.