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Life Imitates Art: The Influencer Age of Beauty

Now more than ever, we look to digital influencers that remind us most of ourselves.

In December, one influencer started a Renaissance portrait trend that would soon take over TikTok. Using a filter feature, as well as some external editing apps, you could pose as though you were inside a grandiose work of art like Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. The short-lived craze temporarily took us back to where we began this month at BWB: historical paintings of iconic and beautiful women. Art has always been a medium through which we have attempted to grasp at beauty and immortalize it. In the US, we continue to fear aging as a bandit of our beauty. And yet — in the influencer age of content creation, we no longer seem to turn to paintings or red carpets or magazines nearly as much. Instead, we turn on our phones to watch people who remind us most of ourselves.

In other words, you don’t need an Oscar or a contract with IMG Models for people to trust your skincare routine.

The rise of social media and beauty blogging, beginning most notably with YouTube beauty influencers like Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota, has lowered the barrier of entry for beauty gurus. In other words, you don’t need an Oscar or a contract with IMG Models for people to trust your skincare routine. All you need is a camera, a laptop, a social media platform and maybe, a ring light. More and more, internet users are becoming dissatisfied with Photoshop overuse and posed social media content. As a result, beauty trends come in all shapes and sizes — and things we used to hide are now being celebrated.

Curls & Natural Hair

The European aesthetic has long pervaded the global consciousness of beauty. As a result, many women have erased their curl patterns and suffered years of heat damage to achieve straight hair — especially women of color. After a curl routine went viral on TikTok, all kinds of people began embracing their curls, including people who never noticed that their natural hair was curly at all. The secret formula included Aussie’s Miracle Curls Shampoo & Conditioner, Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream, a wide-tooth comb and a cotton t-shirt. After scrunching your hair with curl cream, you wrap the hair up in a cotton t-shirt. Leave it for an hour or more et voilà!

Eyebags: The New Accessory

I have had purple discoloration around my eyes for most of my life. When I was a child, I understood it as something that I would cover up when I got older. Little did I know, eyebags would soon become a trend on the internet. Many people point to model & influencer Sara Carstens as the originator of this trend. After she posted a video swiping a nude lipstick underneath her eyes, more and more creators hopped on the trend. Instead of concealers, I’ve seen content creators using creamy nude and mauve products under their eyes to accentuate pigment. A multipurpose product like the Axiology’s 3 in 1 balmies or Milk’s Lip + Cheek perk works perfectly for this kind of application.

The Rosier, The Better

Amongst other imperfections that are now trendy is excessive rosiness. As someone who has sensitive, rosacea-prone skin, I have long perceived this as another thing I needed to cover up. Instead, celebrities like Doja Cat and content creators like Peach have popularized excessive rosiness. Rosy cheeks, rosy noses, rosy eyes — in other words, blush is a product to use everywhere now. Perfect products to achieve this allover rosy look include Westman Atelier’s Blush Stick and Jillian Dempsey’s Cheek and Lip Tint.

Beauty Marks Are Beautiful Again

Freckles & beauty marks disappeared in 2010 when makeup routines got heavier. For example, reality TV influencer Kim Kardashian popularized thick foundation bases with sculpted contouring and highlighting. Ten years later, online creators are opting for lighter products like tinted moisturizers (Beautycounter & Ilia) to maintain the look of their real skin. In addition, beauty lovers are adding freckles to their routines, whether they have them or not. We love Freck Beauty’s OG freckle make-up for creating natural-looking freckles across the nose and cheeks.

Embracing Curves

The body positivity movement has been growing on the internet for the past decade. Celebrities like Lizzo and Ashley Graham are joining independent creators on TikTok like Remi Jo and Kendra Austin to embrace bodies of all shapes and break stereotypes. In addition to Lizzo’s popularization of nature’s cereal (@natures_food), clothing trends that accentuate curves have made waves across the app. For example, butt-accentuating leggings sold out on Amazon and Aerie’s crossover leggings flew off the shelves.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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