For the next 12 months, the beauty community is reverting to clean and simple. Natural brows, sunkissed bronzing, barely-there lip stains and a throwback to the '90s is the sum of 2023. We'll help you get ahead of the curve with this guide, so that your makeup is future-proof, no matter where you jet off to.
The majority of the up-and-coming makeup trends this year are leaning towards late 20th-century grunge and old Hollywood. Our Dubai-based beauty experts predict what's going to create buzz, and how to get the look with their recommended products. Make sure you've subscribed to Prime for free, fast delivery on some of these items.
1. Vintage lip contour
According to pros, we'll continue to rock a vintage lip, reminiscent of '90s magazine models. Gaelle Hanna, a Dubai-based Lebanese makeup artist, tells us to restock our dark lip liners and lip oils. "A makeup trend we're seeing again, but in a slightly updated way, is the vintage lip contour, and it only consists of two steps," she said. Pull off a dark lip with Hanna's recommended Mac Lip Pencil in the brown shade Cork or our alternative by Charlotte Tilbury. Outline your lips and coat them liberally with a tinted lip oil or gloss in red. We've picked Clarins' popular lip oil in Raspberry, for its plant-oil formula and fatty acids, as well as a budget option by Moira that's cruelty-free with a pop of colour.
2. Bronzing for sunkissed skin
Going hand in hand with the minimalism trend, another pro makeup artist points out the declining popularity of face sculpting or contouring. Deepa Yadav, a Dubai-based expert in editorial makeup, having worked on magazine sets, fashion shows, TV commercials and more, says we prefer bronzing, instead. "It's far more natural-looking, since bronzing goes along with your skin for a seamless application, and anyone can do it. The result is a sunkissed face," explained Yadav. There's less of heavy shading involved - you can achieve the look with Yadav's picks: Charlotte Tilbury's Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer and her go-to Benefit's Hoola Matte Bronzer. "Go around the cheekbones with a light hand. Bronzing is not specific to the face shape," she advised. Make sure you've picked a shade for your skin tone. We've added Anastasia Beverly Hills' powder bronzer, which has six shades you can pick from.
3. Graphic eyeliners continue to dominate
Hold on to your eyeliners, because we're not done with 'Euphoria'-inspired looks just yet. Yadav predicts the winged eyeliner (à la '90s movies) will make a comeback. "Instead of creating doe eyes, we're looking at siren eyes that are lifted at the corners," she said. "Gen Zs have been into graphic eyeliners for a while now; they're really effective for elevating looks." Our expert loves the pen eyeliner by Faces Canada for the sturdy felt tip. Her other picks include Kiko Milano's pot gel eyeliner and 3INA's beautifully pigmented colour eyeliners.
4. Keep the brows natural
The era of carefully drawn eyebrows is over. Like with everything else on the face, the brows are best maintained as they are, with a brush and added strokes for some light filling in, says Yadav. It's no wonder, then, that cosmetic procedures like microblading picked up in 2022. You might recall the viral 'soap brow' trend, too, an affordable hack to the fuller, natural brow lamination technique. Instead of soap, opt for Yadav's favourite grooming products for the brows to enhance your natural arch. Pick Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Freeze wax or Got2B Glue's brow gel. For natural-looking hair strokes, add Kiko Milano's eyebrow pencil to your cart. You can also go for the popular Benefit Precisely Brow Pencil.
5. Higher blush placements
Experimental blush placements are probably the easiest of the trends to follow for beginners. Not until long ago, the beauty community was obsessed with highlighting the apples of their cheeks and nose for a sunburnt look. Now, Yadav says the concentrated flushed look has lifted to the temples and the eyes. Try dabbing the product around the eyes and blending it in with your base makeup. "Avoid a pink shade, if you have a brown skin tone, since yellow undertones will make the blush look grey. Opt for a mauve colour," she added. Yadav suggests Rare Beauty's portable liquid blush and stick forms, which are great for reapplication when you're out and about.
6. Bright, highlighted under eyes
The signature 'Kim K' bright under eyes are coming back. Yadav says American media personality Kim Kardashian's luminous under-eye makeup has the power to elevate the entire face. "It might come across as heavy, but the technique gives off a very good effect in pictures," she explained. "If you're over 30, this will help with getting rid of under-eye lines, too." Just as with baking, the final step of your makeup routine, leave the powder on for a few minutes and then dust it off. Our expert picks banana powder, a yellow-toned setting powder, by Huda Beauty and Laura Mercier's baking powder. We've added Dermablend Professional's illuminating banana powder that locks in makeup for 16 hours and is tested for sensitive skin.
7. Subtle lip stains
K-beauty keeps inspiring us, from multi balm sticks to lip masks, adding convenience to our makeup kits and routines. Yadav has been seeing more of lip tints and stains, a staple in the Korean beauty community. "The Korean style of makeup is in right now among Gen Zs - it's always fresh and different. Lip stains are trending because they can go on the cheeks and eyelids, besides the lips," she said. This all-in-one wonder item stains the pout with a skin-like texture and can be topped with a gloss, if needed. A good example is the Benefit watery Benetint for staining the lips and the cheeks. For a thicker formula, check out Etude House's Fixing Tint, which has full-coverage pigment but retains the weightless texture.
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