What got the attention of media and Instagrammers of the world this NYFW, is a beauty trend that finds its roots in tribal face-adorning traditions: pearl makeup.
Is there really anything that can still impress our self-streaming society during fashion week and give us a trend we can actually endorse in real life? Perhaps only makeup can, being the only desired and most accessible element that copycats can re-enact in the comfort of their homes.
Following the success of HBO’s Euphoria this year, there has been a surge in interest in makeup that goes beyond the eyelids and painted lips, and draws inspiration from underground culture, finding solid ground in the need to shout one’s non-conformity to traditional societal values of self-expression.
What got the attention of media and Instagrammers of the world this NYFW, is a beauty trend that finds its roots in tribal face-adorning traditions: pearl makeup. A resplendent picture flooded Instagram feeds: Miss J Alexander walking the MRHUA MRSHUA fashion show sporting a rather simple but eye-catching pearl composition on her face. Much more than the eccentric looks served by the Chinese designer, face pearls have generated a loud reaction among fashion insiders.
From the excessive use of glitter and pulp through pop shades of fluo colours, to sparkling candelabra-like earrings glued all over models’ faces, there doesn’t appear to be any space left for subtlety, with sensationalism and aesthetic boldness leading the way.
New York is the epicentre of underground culture and street style, and through the years, it imposed itself as the city where anything can happen, where judgement is not contemplated and where edgy, loud looks are finally elevated to fashion statements.
There is a reason why this look stood out from other attention-seeking creations, a reason that leaves us in no doubt that we’ll see more of it in the coming seasons and everywhere on the streets of New York and London. At present time, face pearls fit perfectly as a makeup trend, as they translate that sense of extra and need for attention but with a 'keep it classy' attitude that might attract even the most conventional consumer.
If it is true that fashion has evolved towards its maximalist climax in these past years, a rediscovery of a more minimalist inclination and a “less is more” attitude is slightly paving its way back in the fashion system.
Makeup certainly plays a fundamental role in creating the 'wow' factor designers crave: often to enhance a collection and add some extra storytelling spark. At other times it serves the sole purpose of matching the needs of an audience that has simply seen it all. and become impossible to impress.
Written by Beatrice Buschittari
Graphics by Aamir Potrick