The Renaissance of Bad Beauty Has Arrived But What Does it Mean?

The Renaissance of Bad Beauty Has Arrived But What Does it Mean?


A new beauty shift has arrived and it sparks a movement for more expressive and experimental makeup. But what does it truly mean?

It was in the year of the tens when the beautyverse experienced a big shift—the digital shift. And from then, the beauty culture changed forever. The ever-evolving online sphere refined a new approach to beauty, which made it more accessible and adaptable to the world. Of course, an influx of makeup techniques and skincare practices took off along with notable beauty moments that defined the decade. 

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Dip-dyed hair, smokey eyes, and dark lipsticks were the paradigms of the pre-contouring era. At the same time, perfectly-filled brows, overlined matte lips, and face-sculpting makeup became the archetypal social media face beat. In the year of the twenties, the beauty sphere entered a monumental period. Clean girl aesthetic increasingly became mainstream while the Euphoria effect was felt in full force. As the beautyverse continues to evolve, it signals a new big shift. 

The big beauty shift 

In January 2022, Julia Fox broke the Internet with her dramatic fox eye look. The Uncut Gems actress debuted heavy thick streaks of black eyeliner in juxtaposition with the eye makeup’s clean iteration. At the recent fashion week, Doja Cat served a slew of striking looks, including her extraterrestrial blue face that helped make unconventional looks re-enter the beauty chat. 

A nod to pop culture archives, influential icons Grace Jones and David Bowie broke the beauty mold with their inimitable aesthetics. A decade after, Lady Gaga fronted the beauty headlines with her avant-garde visage. Unconventional beauty has always been omnipresent throughout different generations—it’s nothing new. However, as the beautyverse evolves, it sparks a movement to be more experimental with makeup. To say the least, the makeup category has finally reclaimed its purpose of creativity and self-expression.

The beauty in bad beauty 

Bad beauty is not bad, but it’s rebellious. In contrast to the mainstream beauty ideals, the category goes against the concept of beautifying or perfecting, and focuses on the sense of self-expression. It doesn’t conform to any standards or restrictions but rather creates an open space to play with shapes and colors. Unconventional, bold, striking—bad beauty is a reflection of a creative vision and an exploration of personal aesthetics. 

Toronto-based artist Mei Pang is one of the beauty creators who leads the category. Her Instagram feed holds beauty beats that are hard to miss. Meanwhile, Aoife, a London-based artist, became a standout with her approach to color, lines, and textures. Filipino beauty fans also welcomed the rise of bad beauty. In fact, it was omnipresent at every showcase in BYS Fashion Week 2022. Alongside, artist Pat Cortez is making a case for expressive editorial beauty looks. 

Our point of view

As the ever-evolving beautyverse enters another big shift, new beauty looks are set to define the decade. The clean girl aesthetic focuses on creating a look that is true to your skin. It’s a movement that makes fans prioritize their skin health. At the other end of the spectrum is an experimental take on makeup. As mentioned above, the Euphoria effect sparked the culture to be more expressive with beauty. And while both appeal as trends, it mirrors the fact that beauty became more personal than ever.

Apart from that, there are also a lot of things to learn from the rise of bad beauty. It may not fit everyone’s liking but then again, it’s not meant to please anyone. Bad beauty is truly unapologetic. It creates a new space to explore beauty without the pressure and obsession with perfection. And that itself brings back the joy of putting makeup on again. 

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