As with everything in life, it’s no secret that beauty trends ebb and flow. So while glazed doughnut skin and ‘clean girl’ dominated TikTok beauty trends in 2022, this season’s sweeter and more playful direction isn’t a complete mystery.
Indeed, the spring/summer 2023 runways were awash with soft and bright displays of pastel make-up and hair. Designers offering masterclasses in candy sweet hues included Halpern, Badgley Mischka, Prabal Gurung and Thom Browne, and ranged from pistachio pouts and rose-washed gazes to lilac graphic eyes and mint-coloured locks.
With pop icons such as Rina Sawayama, Lizzo and Dua Lipa tending towards pastel application, and series Bridgerton and Enid Sinclair from Wednesday also providing crayon colour inspiration, the appeal isn’t hard to understand for make-up artist Kenneth Chia. “Pastels are playful mood lifters that are more versatile than people think. Cornflower blue can evoke ’60s and ’90s starlets, while delicate pinks are more romantic,” Chia shares.
Even better? To pull off pastels vis-à-vis the eyeshadow draping technique also spotted at shows. Etro, Genny, Mabille and Kiko Kostadinov are among the brands embracing the extension of sugary tones beyond the typical eye area. Follow suit by washing clouds of pastel powder from your eyes to the high points of your cheeks and nose bridge.
Make-up artist Kat Zhang explains: “Eyeshadow draping with pastels draws attention to the eyes without overpowering your features. It’s like painting—you can create endless shapes to flatter your desired area.”
Chia and Zhang recommend building up coats of your chosen pastel colour for added depth and texture, while noting softer shades are ideal for beginners and can create amore natural-looking ‘flushed’ effect.
With January’s haute couture shows in Paris only providing further evidence that both trends are on the rise, now’s the time to evoke an inspired artist with pastel beauty and unconventional placement. Apply as sheer or boldly as you desire.