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The trend cycle can be a tricky one to follow, especially in beauty. Are we into seventies waves and eighties electro pops of color – or are we all supposed to be post-millennial, chromed-out Alien Superstars? Turns out, the top 2023 beauty trends span decades past and present, and speak to all taste levels. The name of the game across categories of makeup, hair, nails, and fragrance is this: maximalism. And with the following trends, as curated by some of the industry’s top experts, they’re totally meant to be seen (and sniffed).
As beauty becomes more accessible via apps like Tiktok, we find that the average consumer is open to trying new and different ways to approach makeup that might have been more rigid before,” editorial makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran says.
VAMP LIPSTICK, REVAMPED
Take a cue from Wednesday Addams and opt for a moody moment all year round. “Dark aubergine, burgundy, plum, and oxblood shades give bold lips a more dangerous and glamorous edge,” says Nick Barose, celebrity makeup artist to Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Basset, Danai Gurira, and more.
“A frosty, metallic finish gives lips a futuristic edge, especially in cool tones like silver and blue,” says Barose. If you’re intimidated by the trend, the artist suggests trying it in lipgloss form.
MATTE FOUNDATION MOMENT
Fresh, glowing skin will always be in, according to Barose. But for the fun, dramatic beauty looks that are dominating red carpets, runways, and our TikTok ‘For You’ page, Barose recommends a matte canvas. Be advised: matte does not mean dry. “The new matte is fresh and velvety. Not overly dry or opaque, which is the thing of the past.”
EVERYDAY EMBELLISHED LIDS
“As a Trinidad-bred artist, it makes me happy that embellishments are more commonplace in everyday makeup and on the red carpet as it was embedded into our culture,” says Jaikaran. “We will see this in many different forms like rhinestones, studs, and pearls.”
Dyes, chops, bangs, and mullets galore. The theme of the upcoming year’s biggest hair trends is life’s only constant: change.
RED HAIR IS TRENDING (AGAIN)
Prepare to continue riding the crimson wave. Per Lacy Redway, Unilever Stylist & Celebrity Hair Artist, “we will definitely see some cool girls experimenting and going lighter this year, but by next year it will catch on with everyone else.” Need proof? She’s already tried the trend on Tessa Thompson. “It was a nice switch up and really made her curls pop.”
However, if you’re not red-dy to go full-on crimson, then celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess, who works with Lucy Hale and Lauren Conrad, suggests a copper-gold tint. “It’s an easy thing for us to do at the shampoo bowl during the toning process. It’s nice because it fades out without having any negative impact on the overall health of our clients’ hair. Plus, a hint of copper always brings richness, and it’s something you can keep up at home through conditioners or glosses.”
“This trend is popular amongst those who like to experiment with different ways of self-expression,” says Redway. “This hairstyle is popular because we are headed into a grunge phase in fashion. This haircut is bold and will require much patience to grow out.”
LONG LAYERS AND CURTAIN BANGS
“It’s usually one or the other but people are really jonesing for both at one time right now,” says Ess. “It’s a very low-maintenance combo. The long layers also refresh very nicely the next day when you use a refresher spray, a light oil, or a little leave-in conditioner.” Expect to see a variety of bangs too, ranging from “really short, choppy… very edgy,” Redway predicts.
Look at your next set as a means of artistic expression. “People are always looking for new ways to wear nail art,” editorial nail artist Julie Kandalec says. The trends she sees always sprout up after a celebrity wears it, or, of course, if it goes viral on social media. If you’re trying to differentiate your look from the rest, explore decorating the underside of your nail, too. “It’s a whole new surface,” Kandalec continues, “and lends major wow factor to any set.”
ALL GLAZED EVERYTHING
“Mirrored and chrome looks are heavily requested in the salon,” says Rita Pinto, founder of Vanity Projects (with locations in New York City and Miami), giving a shoutout to Hailey Bieber’s viral glazed donut nails.
You can also “frost” your brights if you’re into a bolder feel, according to editorial nail artist Miss Pop. “Glazed bright colors were the genius idea of legendary stylist Carlyne Cerf de Deluze, and I’ve been ‘pearl-coating’ shades ever since.”
“Another huge ’90s trend homage,” says Pinto. The best way to amplify this moment is with some long Apres Gel-X nail extensions to see the art, nail gems, and chains pop!”
POP ART NAILS
“For me, every year is a celebration of pop art,” says the aptly-named Miss Pop. “From cartoon glare, like the simple art I did for a recent Jeremy Scott runway show, to colorful looks with black-and-white touches, pop art manis are guaranteed to be very popular in 2023.” To create the dimension of your dreams, try this Miss Pop trick: add a streak of faux shine to your nails by dragging a dotting tool dipped in white polish for an “easy and playful” touch.
The power of fragrance is one that can’t be denied, with the luxury fragrance market estimated to grow $4.2B between 2021 and 2025 according to Technavio, a market research firm. But the intent behind the perfumes that you pick has a deeper, emotional draw.
“Fragrance is a sensorial experience that anyone with a working nose can participate in,” says Maiya Nicole, founder of Black Girls Smell Good, a digital community with over 210,000 followers across platforms.
“With makeup, you need at least a bit of skill to participate. With fashion, you need to have style. But with fragrance, there is no barrier or learning curve. You only need to have curiosity and a sense of enjoyment. With the rise of self-care culture, fragrance has become the last and most important step in everyone’s daily routine.”
OUD, AMBER, SAFFRON AND RESIN NOTES
Crediting the virality of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, Nicole predicts that we’ll see these notes spring up in juices across brands – and genders.
GENDER NEUTRAL OFFERINGS
“We’ll see more brands move into gender-neutral marketing,” says Nicole. “Byredo, Le Labo, Escentric Molecules, and Snif have become wildly popular for their fully unisex collections. I believe traditional houses will take note of this and start to move away from gendered marketing and branding as a whole. I expect to see notes of soft woods, musk, citrus, and aroma chemicals like Iso E Super.”
Look for good-for-skin ingredients to be featured in spritzes, too — likely with a hero ingredient like hyaluronic acid for plumping or a milk base to soften.
According to Ron Robinson, cosmetic chemist of the skincare brand, BeautyStat, testing still needs to be done to confirm the efficacy of these ingredient additions. “A face or body moisturizer might be a better vehicle for a skincare ingredient that is spread on a larger surface area,” he says. “A spritz might cover a much smaller surface area.”
This is why Nicole expects an increase in perfume oils and solid perfumes. “It adds to the sensory experience to touch and physically warm something into your skin. With the current popularity of wellness and lifestyle, it makes total sense!”
With skin-loving ingredients in makeup, hair, nail products and in fragrance, it’s no surprise that the skin industry’s 2023 advancements are driven by science and proven by results.
SKIN-BOOSTING TREATMENTS & SERUMS
Need a boost? Dr. Jessie Cheung, based in both New York City and Illinois, predicts that mesotherapy will make a strong comeback in 2023. “Mesotherapy is the delivery of active ingredients through the skin with tiny needles,” she describes. Her favorite cocktail is hyaluronic acid, nucleotides, and polylactic acid. “This delivers instant glow and plumping from the hyaluronic acid and long-term collagen stimulation from the nucleotides and polylactic acid.”
CBD? NBD. The chemical compound, found in cannabis plants, still dominates the skincare and wellness spaces. But be on the lookout for more innovations featuring cannabigerol, CBD’s more potent cousin. “Cannabigerol outperforms CBD for the stimulation of collagen, elastin, and hydration,” Dr. Cheung says. “It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”