As we approach a new season, we’re starting to see that the beauty world is in a “go big, or go home” kinda mood. Perhaps it’s all down to the Euphoria effect — who could forget the sculpted diamanté-encrusted cat-eye à la Maddy Perez — the rise of Barbiecore, our renewed lust for all things 80s, and healthy addiction to the latest TikTok makeover sensations. Or maybe after a few years, hidden away in our sweats, we’re embracing dopamine fashion and beauty and yearning to make a big, bold, happy-hormone-inducing OTT statement.
Whatever the reason, a new era of extreme beauty looks and trends has been ushered in and we’re here for it. From skin so perfect it appears airbrushed, fantasy-inspired colorful and embellished, colorful cat eyes, bleached brows, and 3D manicures that will make your eyes water, anything and everything goes.
Meet the Experts
Deanna Hagan is a New York-based makeup artist whose work has Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.
Shania Ehrlich is a New-York based makeup artist who has worked with Vogue and Refinery29.
Mar y Sol Inzerillo is a celebrity manicurist and nail expert.
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Complexion perfection has gone to a whole new level, as we strive, in this digital-obsessed world to show off the kind of flawless skin that looks like it’s been put through an Instagram filter IRL or channel the plastic fantastic Barbie doll skin (Barbiecore is our latest style icon with 27.9 million and counting views on Tik Tok). So, it’s time to up the ante on our daily beauty routine with products designed to smooth, brighten, tighten and create a surreal-looking luminous veil. And as every beauty expert worth their vitamin C brightening serum will testify: This all begins (and ends) with skin health.
“Good skincare is underrated, as is the importance of choosing clean, science-based skincare with high-quality ingredients. Other factors to consider are the effects of sun, travel, stress, and your diet,” says Deanna Hagan. On that note, drink plenty of filtered purified water, apply SPF 30 sunscreen every day, eat a rainbow diet (plenty of colorful fruit and veggies) and relieve stress through exercise and holistic practices like yoga and meditation.
As for your skincare regime, cleanse day and night with a gentle plant-based cleanser that works to draw out impurities and minimize pores while boosting hydration and radiance. Next, apply a multi-tasking lactic acid treatment. Part of the AHA family, lactic acid is celebrated for its ability to exfoliate the dull surface of the skin to unearth an instant enviable radiant glow, unclog pores, reduce discoloration and dark spots while plumping lines and wrinkles. Also known for its anti-aging, antioxidant, brightening, and radiating powers is vitamin C so use a vitamin C-based serum, followed by a vitamin C-based moisturizer to firm, lift, and rejuvenate the skin and give you a glow to rival any supermodel. And don’t stop at your face, surreal skin also includes the body so slather it too in a vitamin C-infused shimmering body oil to sparkle (subtly) head to toe.
The Perfect Canvas
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The 80s are back — but that doesn’t mean so is that caked-on, chalky makeup look of old. True beauty is about revealing (with a little bit of natural enhancement) the real you. “You don’t have to apply foundation all over the face, or put concealer under the eyes, and steer clear of heavy powders, allowing the natural texture of your skin to shine through looks really fresh,” says Hagan. Follow her lead and just apply foundation or tinted moisturizer where you need it, generally on the chin, T-zone, and under your eyes to smooth things out. “I love a whipped foundation with light-reflecting properties like Shiseido Synchro Skin Reflecting Foundation as it’s sheerer and better mimics the texture of your skin while creating that luminous dewy glow. Or add a little face oil to your foundation for the same effect.” Hagan also advises steering clear of sponges as they are bacteria attractors and using your fingers or a brush like Shiseido Hasu Fude Foundation Brush, a flat-angled brush that mimics your fingers and allows for precision application.
Makeup To the Max
Surreal, airbrushed skin not only looks beautiful, but it’s also the perfect canvas “to have fun and create your own artistry,” according to Shania Ehrlich. Ehrlich sets the scene with a water-based foundation like MAC Studio Radiance for Face and Body as it has a sheer finish and is easily layered if you want to build more coverage. Then permission is granted to go crazy. “It’s a really interesting and refreshing time for beauty as women want to express themselves and be seen again through makeup,” says Ehrich who adds there is so much cool color to play with. In addition to fuelling our lust for doll-like skin, Barbiecore is bringing us bubby hot pink eyes, hair, and nails — teals, orange, and purple. Colored eyeliners, particularly in blue and pink, are a fun twist. “Metallics and glitter are also back which are a great way to dress up your skin, “ says Ehrlich who uses Dior’s Quad Backstage Glow Face Palette on the eyes, cupid’s bow, high points on the cheek, bridge of the nose, as a highlighter to add definition and give the face a sexy metallic shimmering wash. You will also radiate a glamorous glow with Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Light Wand in Pinkgasm.
As for those fantasy-inspired cat eyes, if you want just a hint of disco, sweep a Bodyography Glitter Pigment in the inner corner of your eye, instead of the entire lid. Or go all out and do a winged eye with wild abandon. “Look directly in the mirror and sketch it out in the shape you want with a light brown pencil first.” For a classic wing, draw a line from the outer corner of your eye up toward the end of your eyebrow, or use tape as a guide. Then layer on the colored liner (the pros love MAC Chromagraphic Pencils), eyeshadow, or embellish with bedazzled eye stickers. Euphoria’s makeup artist Donni Davy, turned to eye stickers and intricate decals to create the show’s most iconic looks — including Jules’ eye spikes and Rue’s zig-zag iridescent liner — and the trend took off in real life with Davy creating bespoke eye stickers with Face Lace. Stickers could be the future of makeup because they’re so accessible, instantaneously gratifying, and easy for anyone to use,” Davy said in an interview with Glossy.
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Don’t just stop at the eyes, lips are also having a moment and right now they run the gamut from paired down 90s nudes and taupes to mirror-like glittering glosses, strawberry kiss reds, and that neon Barbie-inspired pinks. Oh and lipliner is back, big time. “I love the Endless Cacoa Artist Pencil by Make Up For Ever. Use it to sculpt the lips and then apply lipstick or gloss over the top and smudge it to make them look more fuller. And Shideido’s Shimmer GelGloss is great if you want that hint of glitter, wear it alone with lip liner or apply lipstick underneath for extra dimension,” says Ehrlich. Or if you’re a fan of classic red or understated nude, Hagan loves Gucci Westman’s Lip Suede Palette which comes in Les Rogue or Les Nude that has four different shades that can be layered to customize.
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The mood for nails is equally dramatic with long, oval-shaped talons taking center stage and plenty of 3D textures, metallics, and every color and color combo of the rainbow. “Many brands are coming out with a hard gel that has the consistency of putty and manicurists are getting creative, with basket nails and 3D bones or ghosts as Halloween approaches,” says celebrity manicurist and nail expert Mar y Sol Inzerillo. “Another cool trend is aura nails which look as though they have been given an aura reading with the bright colors fading out or in to create a psychedelic effect that’s done with an airbrush or makeup sponge. You can also create a marble effect or do half-moon manicures.” For fall, rich chocolate tones in solids and metallic finishes are the new go-to, and manicurists are also applying an iridescent sheer with products like Isabella by Lights Lacquer over nail colors to create a sheeny chrome effect. Sol Inzerillo is also taking inspiration from fashion motifs. “Nail art is a great way to express your creativity, boost your confidence, and is like an accessory. I have this beautiful little strawberry print clutch by Marina Larroude and every time I wear it I wish I had little strawberries on my nails. So go to the salon with a photo of strawberries of your favorite pattern and ask them to do a cute graphic. And take advantage of Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest tutorials, and try doing nail art at home with press-on nails. Kiss USA makes these great clear and fantasy press-on nails that you can have fun experimenting with.”
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