Pores, Sweat, & Instagram


Think back through the style tomes of last decade, when runways were all about terrifyingly smokey eyes and skin suffocated by layers of product, with any texture blurred over. Glamour was symbolized by looking like you’d spent a very long time in a salon. Recently, a strange phenomenon has overrun the beauty world: It seems that the aim of many new product releases and most of the runway makeup is to be almost invisible, with every slight nuance of natural skin showcased—eye bags, greasy lids and cheeks, happy little pores.

While the look isn't totally new, now the norm is runway faces that are healthy, sporty, and surprisingly similar to those of real people. I chalk it up to the arrival of Instagram, where we've been given insight like never before into the real minute-by-minute lives of global beauty icons: Over 5 thousand people "liked" Ali Michael's zit revelation, 8.5 thousand for her bug-bite selfie; 6 million followers know what Cara Delevingne looks like in the morning, and over 17 million are now party to Kim Kardashian’s facial contouring secrets. This new and intense access levied by the proliferation of social media and blogging has heavily impacted the world of fashion and beauty, which has responded with an aesthetic that celebrates and glorifies reality rather than conceals it. What once would have been considered TMI is now a sign of braveness and security with oneself. Inaccessible glamour has gone out the window and suddenly we’re all trying to look like we haven’t tried at all.

Charlotte Tilbury’s "woman out for a New York night" at Donna Karan; Terry Barber’s "girl coming back from a rave" at Marques’Almeida; a "young girl on her first night out… rosy cheeks and sweaty skin" by Sam Bryant for Margaret Howell; "remnant amateur makeup, like the girl has done it herself" from Lucia Pieroni for Jonathan Saunders—these aren’t looks celebrating an impossible womanhood but rather the woman who wears them. With the death of early 2000s hyper glamour, everything's shifted towards celebrating an enhanced version of what real women might look like in their day-to-day lives. While your post-yoga sweaty upper eyelids might not look quite as chic as Paulina King’s did at Marni, at least nobody is saying that ladies don’t sweat anymore—or caking finishing powder onto those who do.

—Olivia J. Singer

Vogue Paris and i-D photographed by Tom Newton.

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  • http://coocooforcoco.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    I thought that it was just because I was getting older that I was caring less about wearing a full face of make-up and embracing my natural skin...now I know it's because of beauty trends! Cheers to that - glad we're all on the same page!

  • Lux Veritatis

    Ah thanks God! Finally embracing out natural and true selves :) Hope it's gonna last ..

  • Haiku Jew

    Don't fret over sweat
    natural, naked and nice
    celebrate your skin.

  • http://emiliashea.blogspot.com/ Emily Shea

    I love that this is something that's becoming more the norm!

  • charmystique

    Finally a trend one can wholeheartedly approve of!

  • BuffyAnneSummers97

    But they all have perfect skin! What about the acne sufferers and blemish-prone among us!?!!

    I kid, I kid. (Kind of.)

  • BuffyAnneSummers97

    I genuinely miss The Face. I started buying it when I was 14 because my brother was street-scouted for a shoot in it. i-D *was* kind of close to it, but it wasn't the same caliber in terms of interesting articles (remember when Jane Bussmann interviewed a psychiatrist who worked in an LA prison for The Face?) and it's completely different now anyway!