A Year in Review: The Best of Beauty Trends in 2023

A Year in Review: The Best of Beauty Trends in 2023


This year has been a big year for beauty trends, with many micro-trends emerging to throw us all for a spin. While there were many misses, there were enough hits to revitalize anyone’s passion for makeup, nails, and hair. 2023 was also the year for celebrity-led trends. Hate it or love it, Hailey Bieber was the preeminent trendsetter to define what’s in. So, too, did Hollywood play a part, with films like Barbie and The Little Mermaid launching barbie-core and mermaid-core, all to encourage beauty enthusiasts of all ages to celebrate makeup and play around with their looks.

As the saying goes, trends are cyclical, so you’ll notice that some of the ones listed here are simply repackaged concepts vamped up to suit the modern taste. While not necessarily new, this cyclical pattern proves that some trends have the staying power to reemerge every generation.

Food-inspired beauty

Michelle Dee in latte makeup
Michelle Dee in latte makeup; Photo: MICHELLE DEE (via Instagram)

First and foremost, we can’t ignore the hold that food-inspired beauty had on us all this past year. To name a few, you have glazed donut skin setting off a new love for skinimalism, the blush-all-over strawberry girl makeup look paired with dewy skin, and the summer-favorite blueberry milk nails that divided the Internet. That said, we can only really name a few that were more than just a moment’s feast for the eyes. At the top of our list? Latte makeup. This makeup look relies on brown makeup and bronzer for a toned-down yet alluring finish. It’s easy to replicate, minimal, and an instant classic. Another drink of choice in the beauty sphere worth mentioning is cherry cola soda, a sultry update to the 90s brown lip liner trend. Someone has Cherry Cola lips if they wear brown lip liner to sharply contrast a red center.

RELATED: 5 Food-Inspired Lip Trends That Are Actually Wearable

Fantasy makeup

Siren eyes on Maris Racal
Siren eyes on Maris Racal; Photo: ANTHEA BUENO (via Instagram)

Makeup, this year, has been all about embracing the fantasy—from mythological goddesses to fantastical creatures. At the tail end of 2022, we observed vampire beauty rise and fall. Then, in the first quarter of 2023, we saw the emergence of mermaid-core beauty in tandem with the release of the live-action The Little Mermaid, marked by glimmering skin and glistening hair. Along with that came the enduring obsession with the smokey eye look, now dubbed the Siren Eyes, characterized by its elongated wing and charcoal tightline. Now comes a new fantasy-inspired makeup look in time for the holiday season, coined by Hailey Bieber as Sugarplum Fairy makeup. This latest edit is identifiable by its blushing pink cheeks, frosty highlights, and lacquered lips and lids.

Blue eyeshadow

Liza Soberano with blue eyeshadow
Liza Soberano with blue eyeshadow; Photo: LIZA SOBERANO (via Instagram)

Another makeup trend that came back in a big way this year was blue eyeshadow. Though seen as a 90s-era trend due to Christina Aguilera’s iconic fashion sense, icy blue eyeshadow actually rose to fame back in the 60s, in large part due to the original Barbie doll. With 2023 being the year of Barbie-core and joyful self-expression, we’ve seen an uptick of blue lids on the street, leaving editorial pages and runway shows. Blue eyeshadow really is the perfect swipe-and-go companion for an effortless maximalist look. For a true homage to the classics, you can opt for an all-over matte blue as Liza Soberano did. Alternatively, you can look the part of a Y2K popstar with baby blue from the lash line to the crease, surrounded by a silvery shimmer. The more modern edit, on the other hand, is a blue splash of color on the inner corner of your eyes.

90s-style frosted eyeshadow

Catriona Gray in pink frosted eyeshadow
Catriona Gray in pink frosted eyeshadow; Photo: JELLY EUGENIO (via Instagram)

It’s more than evident that 2023 beauty trends are marked by 90s to early Y2K nostalgia. With charcoal tightlines, brown lip liner, and blue eyeshadow, all that hasn’t been said yet is the iconic frosted eyeshadow. 90s-style frosted eyeshadow is distinguished by its pastel color, iridescent finish, and reflective shimmer from the lash line up to the brow bone, with some of the most notable wearers being Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in the early aughts. Nowadays, this eye look is elevated by a sharp wing, a defined shape, or a splash of black to add depth.

High-shine lips

Pink and dewy high-shine lips
Pink and dewy high-shine lips; Photo: MEGA ARCHIVES

Lipsticks with a matte finish are never going away, but it’s undeniable that lip products that leave a high shine dominated the beauty scene in 2023. From lip oils and lip treatments to lip glosses and lip lacquers, the desired effect is always shiny, glossy, and hydrated. This is closely linked with the more skin-focused approach trending this past year, so a clear glass-like lip product was typically the finisher of a dewy no-makeup makeup look. On the maximalist side of things, many reached for glittering lip products that left a reflective shimmer on top of a striking pigment.

Statement hairstyles

Kathryn Bernardo’s single era red tresses
Kathryn Bernardo’s single era red tresses; Photo: JOHN VALLE (via Instagram)

Hairstyles that leave a statement are another 2023 beauty trend worth mentioning. Need examples? Think Zendaya with her butterfly bob to mark new highs in her career or Dua Lipa with her burgundy hair to begin a new era in her music. Locally, we have Kathryn Bernardo to think of when she debuted red tresses following the announcement of her breakup with long-time partner Daniel Padilla. We also have Sarah Lahbati and her short hairdo amidst separation rumors with husband Richard Guttierez. The takeaway here is that for anyone else celebrating new highs or coming back from lows, the on-trend choices are to either go red or cut short. With choosing a new hair color, you have a full spectrum of red hues to choose from, like copper to burgundy. With short hairstyles, you can follow Zendaya’s lead with the butterfly bob or go for the trending 90s lob.

Sleek buns

Heart Evangelista with slicked-back hair in Paris
Heart Evangelista with slicked-back hair in Paris; Photo: HEART EVANGELISTA (via Instagram)

When it comes to hair trends, slicked-back buns—or simply sleek buns—are another obvious choice. In tandem with the popularity of clean no-makeup makeup looks and hyperfeminine balletcore came this ultra-polished take on buns. Though already a timeless classic, we’d say that this hairstyle’s popularity was at an all-time high after Sofia Richie’s grand wedding, where she sported an elegant bun tied low and polished to perfection. It also helped that the newlywed released the tutorial for what she called the “sleek lazy girl bun.” All it takes to achieve this hairstyle are some hair ties, hair lotion, and patience to get it all into place.

Featured Image: LIZA SOBERANO (via Instagram)

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