Will this year see our beauty habits simplified?

По | 11.02.2023

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Amid a growing number of people choosing to ditch complex makeup and skincare routines in favour of a more pared-back approach, 2023 is all about embracing our au naturale selves.

In 2015, Em Ford sparked debate with You Look Disgusting, a YouTube video highlighting how damaging the shame associated with being ‘less-than-perfect’ can be, especially on social media.

Almost a decade later, it goes without saying that the modern-day standards of beauty have changed dramatically. While there’s still a long way to go, the shift has been monumental, gaining so much traction that the visibility of real skin in mainstream media has started to become the norm.

Now, more than ever, we’re being taught to forget what’s considered ‘ideally’ beautiful and, in the midst of this transformative era, we’re paving the way for more acceptance towards imperfection.

This is best exemplified on platforms like TikTok, where despite how often the remnants of comparison culture still tries relentlessly to seep through the cracks, the general consensus that body positivity is ‘in’ and our futile pursuit for perfection is ‘out’ has taken the reins.

During the last few years, we’ve watched laws come into effect prohibiting influencers from using misleading filters, advertising authorities call for commercial photos featuring retouched bodies to be labelled as such, and Gen Zers adopt a more minimalistic approach to their appearance.

Most recently, Emmy-award-winning actress Keke Palmer clapped back at Twitter trolls calling her ‘ugly’ by challenging their relationship with makeup and how they measure their self-worth.

Articulating what many of us have been thinking for some time, this message has set the new year off on the right foot, establishing what our perception of ‘beauty’ will look like going forward.

In 2023, with Gen Z in particular gravitating ever-further from the full beat obsession and overdone Instagram face that’s dominated our feeds for the majority of their existence, complex makeup and skincare routines have lost their appeal and it’s all about embracing our au naturale selves.

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‘What’s great about Gen Z is that they’re ready to embrace real skin,’ says Julie Schott, co-founder of acne-patch start-up Starface, which is one of the growing number of companies offering innovative avenues of empowerment in this sphere.

‘They post unedited selfies and don’t feel the need to show this picture-perfect life that perhaps was the trend on social media a few years ago.’

It’s this newfound mindset Schott alludes to that brought about the popular ‘skinimalism’ trend post-pandemic, whereby tired of resorting to a slew of concealers, foundations, and primers to cover up or enhance our features, we began foregoing them altogether.

Today, rather than spend hours on achieving a complexion that would make every ‘That Girl’ under the sun seethe with jealousy, we’re defying the notion that slathering ourselves with cleansers, oils, and serums before bed only to then blend, bake, and contour on top of it the next morning is worthwhile.

@k4ylo2 im starting to feel so much better! #foryou #fyp #nomakeup #confidence ♬ original sound – jaz 🎸

‘When I put on makeup I looked better, but I didn’t feel better,’ Makayla Figueroa-Bland, a TikToker, told Refinery29. ‘That’s why I’m not wearing it until I’m confident without it.’

Meanwhile Emelia Sleep, who’s also taken to the app to document a similar experience, hasn’t worn it for over a year and says it’s the best decision she’s ever made. ‘Wait till they realise that the key to confidence is to stop wearing makeup,’ Emilia captioned a video with thousands of views. ‘THE BENEFITS it’s had on my confidence AND personality is too powerful not to share!’

Whether it’s a result of influencer fatigue, living in the age of BeReal authenticity, or a hangover from splashing a little too much cash on makeup and skincare during lockdown (because what else was there to do), this 180 appears to be catching on.

Here’s hoping it’s here to stay so we can continue to unravel unrealistic beauty goals, work on building our self-esteem beyond societal pressure, and leave hiding our true selves beneath layers of products in 2022.

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