Social Media and Makeup Trends

The Bratz Doll makeup look is the newest beauty trend rising on social media. It was recently made popular by YouTube makeup guru NikkieTutorials back at the end of January and now every day a new YouTuber is churning out their own Bratz inspired look. This is just one example of how social media stars aspire and inspire others to achieve bolder makeup looks. Social media has highlighted the artistry that is the skill of makeup and reminded us all that makeup isn’t about blending in but standing out. 


Over the years, makeup has encouraged the celebration of unique facial features like thick eyebrows and beauty marks. Freckles which were once a thing consistently hidden under foundation and concealer are now being brought to the surface by those with natural freckles and even those without. Faux freckles have come back time and time again as different iterations from a very natural look simply using brown eyeshadow to dramatic glitter freckles.  


The most recent comeback is using henna ink to create semi-permanent freckles under the skin. The process uses ordinary brown henna ink applied using a henna cone, which resembles a small piping bag, directly to the face. The ink is left to set for approximately two hours before it can be washed off hopefully leaving you with beautifully natural looking freckles. However, due care needs to be exercised before trying this as it has not worked out for everybody such as German YouTuber Naomi Jon who was left with red and burning skin after the application. 


Social media has also encouraged makeup artistry to step out of the comfort of the realm of naturalness. Somewhat gone are the days of ‘no makeup, makeup looks’ as Instagram and YouTube makeup gurus push their viewers towards more unorthodox creations. 


Matte makeup looks are rarely seen anymore as products such as highlighter and setting spray became popularised by social media to create glowy and dewy looks. Holographic makeup was a major trend back in 2017 and encouraged the rise of iridescent looks. James Charles is a leading guru in the glowy makeup trend with many of his looks incorporating some element of shimmer pigments or glitter. 


Another reason for the boundaries of makeup being pushed is the increasing representation of the drag community on social media platforms. RuPaul’s Drag Race has given increased attention to drag queens, many of whom have become leading influencers on Instagram. Drag makeup gives a completely new and theatrical twist to makeup and is being adopted by traditional gurus on the platform. For instance, there are many elements of the current Bratz makeup trend which draw inspiration from drag looks such as the emphasised eyes and lips.  


Social media is a key medium through which makeup can be acknowledged as an art form. Trends, as they come and go, are pivotal moments for makeup artists to show off their talent and encourage the freedom of colour and design in the wider world.