New words entered our vocabulary – lockdown, quarantine, social distancing. We became faux health experts, telling our mates about antibodies, T cells and dexamethasone.
Overnight, commutes and office banter became a thing of the past for many of us, while for almost everyone, international travel and IRL social lives completely disappeared.
2020 began like any other year: with the buying of diary planners and the sharing of memes that ‘this is going to be my year’. Within months, life as we knew it had changed drastically, scaled down to the size of a computer screen.
Now, as the year comes to an end, we’re taking stock of this crazy new pandemic world. Which Covid habits have changed our lives forever? What are we leaving firmly behind?
We never could have predicted that the eternal makeup question (lips or eyes?) would be firmly answered this year – by Boris Johnson of all people. Once the government made face masks compulsory on public transport and in indoor public settings during the summer, we all shed a little tear for our lipstick collections.
Yes, our beauty editors did track down some genius lip products that don’t smudge under your mask, but we mourn the days when we could top off our beauty looks with that perfect shade of berry – lined and glossed to perfection, obvs – and proudly show it off to the world.
Nowadays, we’re making do with matte-only finish that only sees the light of day when we whip off our masks to eat. But until our lower faces are set free again, check out our guide to nailing that smokey eye. Aaaaaand, smize.
Perhaps the biggest liberation of 2020 was the end of underwire. The sudden disappearance of any reason to get properly dressed meant we embraced comfort over style, and the first casualty was wired bras. After a few weeks’ of the blissful freedom of soft and comfy wireless bras, looking back at our former, underwire-adhering selves was like getting a glimpse of a bygone time of internal organ-constricting corsets and unwieldy bustles. Our reaction?
Complete bafflement and horror that we spent so much of our lives allowing ourselves to be restricted like that. So as 2020 comes to an end we’re declaring that just like Coronavirus, underwire can get in the bin.
You hit it off with Amy over a mutual love of Mariah Carey at a work karaoke party in 2017. Shots were downed, high notes were screeched and you made drunken plans to go on the pull together the following weekend. Which you did each Saturday night for the rest of that summer. She was your go-to wingwoman for post-break-up drinks, friendship drama ranting drinks, new job celebration drinks – you both spoke the same language and it was pinot grigio.
When the pandemic hit you scheduled a few Zooms, but the banter just wasn’t the same as IRL, and now you haven’t spoken to her since she roped you into her ‘hilarious’ friend’s virtual hen do in May. Oh Amy, where are you now? See also: all the women you’ve ever bonded with in the nightclub loos. We miss you.
Speaking of feeling constricted, remember when jeans were considered a completely normal day-to-day outfit choice? After a year of tiers and lockdowns, where dressing from the waist up ruled, we’re not sure we even remember how to do the zip and button combo (or whether they’d still close after all that lockdown baking). Our love of loungewear means our jeans are languishing at the back of the wardrobe and we slouch around in drawstring sweatpants that are giving us the comfort we crave in this crazy world.
The ability to watch crowd scenes on TV
Joining our hit-list of tone-deaf broadcasting this year (alongside non-diverse casting and Bechdel test fails) is the crowd scene. It has now become physically impossible to watch movies or TV containing large, non-socially distanced groups of people without experiencing a jolt of pure horror, screaming at the screen to plead with them to hand sanitise, shedding a tear for more carefree times past, or all three.
Even watching a simple hug feels obscene – look at them flagrantly swapping their germs with no fear of the health risks! Any minute now there’ll be a campaign to give handshake scenes and R rating. *Reaches for the anti-bac*
Waxing, shaving and epilating fell well down our list of priorities in in the face of lockdowns, zero social engagements and 24/7 sweatpants. Call it the effects of Covid shutting salons, or maybe an awakening to the fact that it’s 2020 and so-called beauty ‘norms’ no longer apply, but we’re feeling a lot fuzzier than we were last year and we don’t hate it. Just us? Definitely not. Enter our epic November digital coverstar Emma Corrin, whose chic-AF, underarm-hair-baring pose made us all love her even more.
She stole the show as People’s Princess Diana in The Crown, and also stole our hearts with her refreshing take on the issue of body hair. Speaking to Entertainment Director Josh Smith, Emma said: “I’ve been meaning to grow it for quite a few years, but I’m recently single. I haven’t done it before because I’ve been in a relationship and I guess I had been programmed to think that I should probably shave for the benefit of both parties. But f*ck it – I don’t really want to shave!” I realised, ‘why did I ever bother?’ It’s been quite an underwhelming realisation of, there’s no drama in it. It’s just there. I’m hoping it’s on the path to becoming normal and it never has to be a thing you notice.” Amen.