An over-the-shoulder analysis of the looks that have infiltrated runways and social feeds in recent months allows for a predictive peek at what’s to come, the better to prepare our individual takes. And it’s a good thing too: With trends, this offbeat, staying one step ahead is necessary for maintaining one’s aesthetic balance.
From ethereal ornamentation to glow-up highlighter, 2023’s beauty mood is defined by all things visionary, both in terms of application and final effect. Here, the nine biggest beauty trends to look out for in 2023.
The shimmery, futuristic, and ever-so-slightly affected era that was Y2K will continue its refractive reign in 2023, the aesthetic modernized as a study in a soft-though-playful palette. “I feel that the way the younger generation is reinterpreting the era is through its colors and textures: metallics, glitter, and an array of pastels you see reflecting off of a CD,” says make-up artist Marcelo Gutierrez. Look for holographic shadows, metallics, and frosted details.
Warmed-up hair colors
The shades you love are getting warmer. From blonde to brunette, trending hair color shades are veering rich and toasty – think Bella Hadid’s Aspen blonde and Kim Kardashian’s honeyed lengths. These dimensional colors are marked by a natural feel – even peroxide will take personal tones into account for a flattering effect.
Retro flash makeup
Skin is going to be lit in 2023. To accompany immaculate and well-tended complexions, washes of radiance, thoughtfully applied, offer an out-of-this-world glow that feels like the main-effect finish, rather than a brightening afterthought. For an example, look to Gucci’s spring/summer 2023 runway and the accompanying “Old Hollywood Flash” highlighter, dreamed up by make-up artist Thomas De Kluyver to mimic the effects of retro flash photography.
Face and body jewelry
Embellishments continued to find (exaggerated) favor in 2022, and 2023 is slated to see even more temporary adornments that help transform face and body into living art. Whether you favor a freckle-like jewel placement, gem-encrusted brows like those shown at Peter Do, the sort of third-eye jewels applied by Isamaya for Giambattista Valli, or the myriad surrealist additions showcased at Puppets and Puppets (butterflies! stars! crystals!), extras are bound to evolve even further in the coming months. And should your standard makeup skew more minimalist, test the 3D trend out on your nails.
Lots of liner
Eyeliner application is experiencing an abundance of innovation. While extended feline flicks are here to stay, the new year’s eyeliner will continue to warrant double takes, whether continued at the inner corners à la TikTok’s siren eyes trend, or liberally pulled and finished with an unexpected detail, as with Peter Philips’s crisscross liner for Dior. Ample liner is in step with the resurgence of romantic goth and grunge sleaze that is currently dominating social. Plus, according to the pros, new technologies are helping to ensure that liner is easy to apply – and difficult to destroy once the desired look is achieved.
Less brows, more fun
Slim (or silenced) statement-making brows are now part of our regular rotation. This year marked the return of skinny Y2K brows (the swing back from brushed-up brows was to be expected), and bleached arches, and the latter trend’s presence on recent runways means that the less-is-more approach is slated to stick. Spring saw Marc Jacobs sending bleached brows down the runway, a move echoed this fall by Givenchy, with make-up artist Lucia Pieroni honoring a theme of transparency with barely-there brows. Doja Cat took things a step further, shaving off her brows entirely in favor of a look that’s at first unsettling, then breathtaking.
Skincare as makeup
A natural complexion is the new make-up. Both Khaite and Gabriela Hearst’s spring 2023 shows showcased the effects of Tata Harper’s masks and treatments, while Brandon Maxwell and Proenza Schouler focused no-make-up make-up that allowed fresh skin to take centre stage. At Fendi and Altuzarra, would-be naked skin was enhanced by highlighter and pulls of brush or bronzer to sculpt and define, with dewy lips rounding out the looks. In all cases, the lesson was clear: there’s no replacement for a perfected skincare routine.
Never has a mullet been less controversial. While modern beauty means that any cut is fair game, the throwback shag is seeing a stylized (and entirely contemporary) evolution. The refreshed iterations of the classic mullet shag have been blowing up on social, with styles like the choppy, wolf cut and the grown-out (and more femme) octopus cut inspiring those who favor short hair to get creative in their execution.
Gems, glitter, and other embellishments may abound, but 2023’s ultimate note in nails is a pretty and polished manicure. In the words of Tom Bachik, the nail artist behind Jennifer Lopez’s cult manis, there’s nothing worse than a pitch-perfect color wasted on ungroomed nails. “Focus on proper prep before ever reaching for the polish,” he says.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk