The 8 Best Cream Blushes of 2022

Best Overall: Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick

What We Love: There is a brush included on the other end of the stick.

What We Don’t Love: This is a popular item with shades going in and out of stock often.

After sculpting and shaping the beauty looks of Kim Kardashian — makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, finally launched his own line in 2020, called Makeup by Mario. The collection is impressive with a range of eyeshadows, contour products, brow pencils, and more. But it’s the blush sticks that really stood out above the rest and received high marks to earn the best overall spot.

All cream blushes could be described as creamy (duh), but this one in particular had a smooth, buttery texture that blended effortlessly. Plus, all the application methods worked with this formula. “It came with a blending brush, which was super helpful to get the product onto your skin evenly, then buff it out across your cheeks. You can also easily blend with your fingertips or a damp makeup sponge,” one tester said. Just a small swipe goes a long way as the product is deceptively pigmented and comes in five shades that would suit a range of skin tones, like deep plum, bright raspberry pink, and pale mauve.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.37 ounces

Best Value: MILANI Cheek Kiss Cream Blush

What We Love: This is incredibly pigmented — a dab goes a long way.

What We Don’t Love: The cream has a slick, almost tacky feeling, when first applied.

We all remember the horrors of drugstore blushes with chalky finishes sold in only two shades. Now, the aisles of your favorite impulse spot are filled with lots of hidden gems, like this Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blush. The bright colors in clear packaging look like little cellophane wrapped candies — a sweet treat for your cheeks.

Now, your first thought upon seeing a blush compact might be, But a stick is easier to apply. And while that certainly can be true, this pick is still worth trying: The balmy texture glides across cheekbones with very little pressure. It can still be applied with fingers by tapping it onto cheeks or with a damp beauty sponge to blend. It shines as a minimal makeup product: “It’s very light and dries down quickly without leaving any feeling on your skin once it’s set,” one tester said. They did caution that it initially had a wet, bordering on slimy texture, but that faded quickly.

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Sheer, dewy | Size: 0.37 ounces

Best Splurge: Victoria Beckham Beauty Cheeky Posh Cream Blush Stick

What We Love: This blush applies like a cream but sets (and lasts) like a powder.

What We Don’t Love: The tube is fairly small for the price.

This fancy stick is on the pricier end, but what did you expect from the beauty brand creator, Posh herself? The unique tortoise shell tube would look oh-so-nice sitting on a vanity. But aside from appearance, the tip of the blusher is smaller than a typical cream blush, which allows for a targeted application as you decide where and how much to apply.

The consistency starts out velvety, then as you blend it has a powdery finish. It’s the best of both worlds: the dew of a cream, but the lasting power of a powder. It was also easy to layer on top of itself for more oomph without clinging or streaking. I love that it’s a buildable formula with a very natural flush on the first layer and more bang from the second.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Buildable, glowy | Size: 0.17 ounces

Best Stick: Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Cream Blush

What We Love: Oily skin types may appreciate the more matte formula of this blush.

What We Don’t Love: The shades contain shimmer, which is not everyone’s jam.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is well-known as being the expert of brows, but if you haven’t tried their cream blush, it may be worth adding to your arsenal. There is a synthetic brush on the other end to buff out color after depositing onto cheeks. “It really melted into the skin and felt lightweight overall,” one tester noted. The chubby stick is available in five shades—light and deep peach, light and deep pink, and a rosy brown—all with a bit of sparkle. “The shimmer added a nice radiance to my cheeks, so the finish was very naturally glowy and beautiful.”

Shades: 5 | Finish: Radiant | Size: 0.28 ounces

Best Gel: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush

What We Love: The gel texture looks fresh and dewy on your skin.

What We Don’t Love: This is a very sheer, watery texture that is best applied with your fingers. Brush enthusiasts may find it more difficult to work with.

Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush brings the heat with this launch. Well, not literally, but the water-based blush does give you that fireside flushed-effect. The product felt weightless on cheeks, one said, “This glides onto skin and is not sticky or heavy at all.”

While the lightweight texture was a point in the pro column, it is also very light in pigment. “It’s good for a dewy glow, but would be hard to do a brightly colored cheek. I needed to do a few swipes to really see the color and that means using up a lot of product, and opening yourself up to squeezing too much out of the tube.” However at less than $6 a pop, it’d be hard to beat this price point.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.27 ounces

Best Multipurpose: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

What We Love: This handy little stick can be swiped over lips and cheeks.

What We Don’t Love: The oils in this hydrating product may cause it to slip off oily cheeks.

The versatility of this clean blush made it a fierce competitor for a winners list. The formula contains mango butter, avocado oil, and apricot oil for a hydrating boost and gives a reflective quality to your cheeks. And if careful selection of ingredients is a priority for you, this pick is vegan, paraben-free, and considered “Clean at Sephora.” The thick stick is also dual-purpose as it can be swiped across lips and cheeks, and the shades were developed to look great on both areas. One tester was “in love with how this one feels.” “The texture is lightweight and so comfortable, and I actually think it’ll stick to the skin to last all day. It looks and feels really natural,” she said.

This product also has the second largest shade range with eight options to choose from, including a lush berry tone and an uber pale baby pink. The end result: “I feel glowy and fresh. Pigment is just right and doesn’t need a lot of building to make it look good. It’s very natural and good for any occasion,” one tester raved. This sounds like an easy add to cart.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Buildable, dewy | Size: 0.21 ounces

Best Natural Finish: Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush

What We Love: It’s easy to apply with your fingers for the most realistic, skin-like finish.

What We Don’t Love: If you’re looking for a pigmented blush, this is not the one for you. This cream is a sheer formula.

Selena Gomez launched her makeup line Rare Beauty in 2020, because she wanted a brand that felt authentic. “I just felt like the beauty space started to get really crowded with a lot of unrealistic messages. I had a moment where I was like, ‘I’m not a makeup guru or the most incredible makeup artist, but I want to get involved,'” she previously told InStyle. And while authenticity and celebrity beauty lines can be a hard pairing, the actress is making a go of it. One of the best products in the collection, in my opinion, are her blushes. The liquid blush received rave reviews, while the cream blush was a winner with customers.

I have to say that the hype is real. This feels incredibly creamy; your finger just glides across the top. Plus, for how dewy it looks, I was surprised that it didn’t feel overly heavy or sticky. Aptly named, this blush quite literally melts into your skin. Other than having a really pretty flush, it wasn’t obvious where I had applied this blush in the best way possible. It’d be my ideal low maintenance makeup choice and looked good on top of bare skin without any concealer or foundation.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Satin | Size: 0.17 ounces

Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush

What We Love: Although it starts off very sheer, the colors are buildable for more intensity.

What We Don’t Love: There is a very small amount of product in each compact.

Leave it to a pioneer of inclusivity, Queen RiRi, to launch a product with an expansive color collection. While most blushes will have a peach, pink, and berry tone, Fenty Beauty took that a whole leap further and included colors such as violet, tangerine, and a poppy red. The creams start off sheer — so don’t be afraid to choose one of the fashion tones — for a subtle take on bold color.

One tester appreciated the no nonsense, buildable formula, saying “It was pretty easy to work the product into my skin with my fingertips and blend it around my cheekbone. It’s definitely a buildable option that doesn’t look blotchy when layered.” The texture was also great; “It’s not sticky or heavy, which is a plus, and also didn’t go on spotty nor settle into pores,” confirmed the tester.

Shades: 10 | Finish: Sheer, dewy | Size: 0.1 ounces

What to Keep in Mind 

Finish 

Cream blushes by their very nature are a dewier product. That can be a godsend for dry skin types craving more moisture in their products, and a nightmare for oily types afraid of looking like a grease slick by noon. Consider if you want to layer your cream blush with other products (specifically powders to mattify) or if you just want a supple wet cheek glow, says Brittany Whitfield, an NYC-based makeup artist.

Pigmentation 

Cream blushes span the spectrum from opaque pigmentation to sheer washes of color. Decide if you want a barely-there tint that’s easy to dab on with your fingers or a product with the impact that may take more finesse to blend out. In general, cream blushes are often more forgiving than say a powder, since it sinks into the skin for a natural-appearing flush.

Color 

Choosing makeup shades can have a lot of factors that come into play: what does your outfit look like, the colors in the rest of your makeup, and your unique undertones. And while it’s an artform, so there are no wrong answers when it comes to your blush shade, there are guidelines that can help you find the most flattering tone.

I like to choose an undertone similar to the client’s natural lip shade,” Whitfield says. “It also depends on how clients like their skin. If they love bronzer, they’ll tend to gravitate to warmer colors on the face — but if they’re a contour girl they might feel more comfortable with cooler undertones.” When in doubt, the easiest way to pick a blush color is to match the shade of your natural flush. Think: the color your cheeks become after a long walk.

INSTYLE

Mermaidcore Is Here To Glossify Your Beauty Routine

If you’re nearing the brink when it comes to all things “core,” then hold on for just a moment longer. Mermaidcore is here to glossify your beauty routine—and it’s a trend primed to stay put for the foreseeable future.

Blame it on Disney’s forthcoming remake of The Little Mermaid (or could it be our longstanding obsession with all things wild swimming?), but there were notable nods to the underwater world on the spring 2023 runways. Aquatic hair and makeup were everywhere.

Most obvious were the oceanic shades of blue (from cobalt to cerulean) and seaweed greens that were diffused in different ways around models’s eyes, as per Chet Lo, Off-White, and Etro—not so wearable, but beautifully ethereal. Meanwhile, at Jil Sander and Chloé, iridescent silver shimmers were swooshed over eyelids and, like scales, glistened in the light.

Wet-look hair was de rigueur, from Victoria Beckham’s grunge slicked look to Nensi Dojaka and Dries Van Noten’s damp salty strands, all of which were given an undone finish—an underwater existence is about much more than precise hair, after all. 

Models walked the aptly named Blumarine catwalk with longer-than-long mermaid lengths, both braided and straight, which ebbed and flowed like jellyfish tentacles. Botticelli waves—yes, like those belonging to the famous Venus, resplendent in her shell—were also very much present.

And, of course, skin took on a glossy, lacquered look at many shows, too, with skin-care brands becoming even more of a focal point during the backstage prep pre-show. Hydrated and plump, extra dewy skin was oft paired with a sun-burnished bronze glow, like at JW Anderson, where models could well have been lying on the rocks all day à la Ariel.

VOGUE

10 Winter Makeup Trends You Need To Copy ASAP

Fresh Skin

When in doubt, keep it minimal. “Some of the trends I’m seeing for makeup both on the red carpet and on the runways are fresh makeup looks,” says celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo. You can accomplish this either through investing in impeccable skin makeup, or keeping it minimal with easy skincare.

Sunburnt Blush

The sunburn or [TikTok’s viral] W blush hack for one is something makeup artists have done for years to mimic a healthy glow, and is becoming popular with consumers now as well,” says celebrity makeup artist Kale Teter. Just swipe on some cream or powder blush–then add some more. And some more.

Graphic Liner

Making a statement has never been easier. By just adding a few stark lines with either a pencil or liquid eyeliner, you can become the coolest kid on the block in no time. Bonus points if you use a fun color like blue or pink to really make the look pop.

Grunge

The song “Teenage Dirtbag” is still all over my TikTok, and a return to our Tumblr grunge era is long overdue. Channel season three Jenny Humphrey by layering on black eyeliner, then smoking it out with powder eyeshadows.

Loud Lipstick

After years of forgoing lipstick altogether, it’s finally time to paint on your brightest lip. If it’s a long-wear formula, even better, but it’s back to traditional lipsticks this winter. Because nothing cuts through the cold quite like a bold lip.

Fluffy Brows

Whether you were born with naturally fluffy lashes or you could use a little help in that department, this is one of the easiest looks to achieve this winter. Just grab a strong-hold gel, swipe up, and you’re done.

Playful Eyes

I think we’re all kind of yearning for something a little playful and joyful,” says Teter. “It’s about having more fun now.” To achieve that joyous makeup look we’re all craving, lean into color. A single-toned, bright eyeshadow is an easy way to make a statement.

Euphoria Makeup

We’re still not over the Euphoria season finale–or the beauty looks. A statement color, glowing skin, and graphic eyeliner are not going out of style anytime soon. And don’t forget to add on your face gems–they’re a must-have (trust us).

Bleached Brows

Bleached eyebrows are the new breakup bangs, you heard it here first. And you don’t need to be an artist with a collection of vintage jewelry to pull it off. As long as you wear them with confidence, no one will bat an eye. The best part? The worse it looks, the better it looks.

Retro Liner

Seeking simpler times? The ’60s are an endless source of style inspiration, and this winter, let’s commit to the cat-eye like never before. Instead of a subtle swipe, go bold with the liner. A Mia Farrow-inspired pixie cut would pair perfectly.

ELLE

Lash Lifts Are The Low-Maintenance Alternative To Lash Extensions

 In short, a lash lift is a perm for your eyelashes, that provides lift and curl for weeks. To get more details, ELLE tapped lash artist Paula Ocot from tattoo studio Laurel NYC to explain everything you need to know about getting a lash lift.

A lash lift is a perm for your lashes.

The secret to a good lash lift? A safely formulated chemical solution. “A lash lift is essentially a perm for your lashes that offers eye-popping results by creating a natural curl and lift to your lashes,” Ocot says. “Everyone has different lash lengths and growth direction. Some lashes grow down while others grow straight out. The lash lift process creates a natural eye-opening lash swoop that lasts for several weeks.”

It requires little preparation.

Arrive at your appointment au natural. “Come with a clean face and refrain from wearing any eye makeup,” Ocot advises. “Thoroughly wash your eyes with soap and water. If you wear mascara on the regular, specifically waterproof mascara, it’s recommended to stop use for at least 3 days prior to your appointment as it can leave a residue that prevents lashes to adhere to the adhesive.”

Expect noticeable results.

Get ready for lots of compliments. “A lash lift will enhance your eyes by making them look more open and awake,” Ocot says. “You can also ask your artist to tint your lashes after they’re lifted, for darker and thicker looking lashes. Be ready to say goodbye to your mascara and lash curler and shave some time off of your beauty routine.

You can customize your lash lift.

All lash lifts are not created equal. “Your artist can alter the ‘tightness’ of lash curl and add a tint to make the lashes look darker and thicker,” Ocot explains. “During the consultation process, you and your artist can decide what look would best suit your eyes: a soft and natural lash curl or a tighter lash curl for a more dramatic look.

The process is pretty straightforward.

Have an idea of what you want your lashes to look like. “Every lash lift service starts off with a consultation,” Ocot says. “During this consultation, your artist will ask for your desired results and assess your natural lashes and eye shape. Based on your answers, the artist will then pick the appropriately sized silicone curling rod to shape, lift and curl the lashes.”

Then sit back, close your eyes, and relax for about 45 minutes. “Your artist will begin by thoroughly cleaning the eye area,” Ocot explains. “Once the eyes are cleaned off of any residual makeup and oils, a silicone curling rod is placed with a gentle adhesive on the eyelids bordering the lash line. The natural lashes are then curled over top of the rod and set with an adhesive.”

Your eyes will be closed throughout the session, so try listening to a podcast or music. “Once the artist ensures that all lashes are combed up and separated in place, a lifting lotion is applied to the lashes,” Ocot adds. “The lifting lotion will then mold the lashes to the shape of the curling rod. Following this, a setting lotion is applied which sets the lash shape into place. Finally, a nourishing lotion is added to add moisture back into the lashes.

Lash lifts typically cost $100 – $120 per session.

Pricing depends on which salon you go to, but the treatment is generally more affordable than lash extensions. Always make sure your lash artist is a licensed professional.

Results can last up to two months.

A lash lift will typically last about 6-8 weeks. Of course, this all depends on how you take care of your lashes.

The upkeep is low-maintenance.

The first 24 hours are crucial. “Keep your lash lift dry. No water, sweat (no heavy exercising), steam or sauna for the first 24 hours,” Ocot advises.

Keep your hands off! “Try not to rub your eyes too much as you can alter the curl with excessive rubbing of the eye,” she says. Ocot recommends using a clean spoolie to brush your lashes daily, to keep them airy, fluffy, separated, and tangle-free.

You can wear eye makeup and mascara but avoid waterproof formulas. “While using mascara isn’t necessary if you want to enhance your lift, sticking to water-based mascaras are the best option,” Ocot says. Water-proof eye makeup can weaken the effect of your lift and leave a residue. Only use oil-free makeup removers and cleansers.

Lastly, help your lashes stay healthy. “Nourish your lashes 2 to 3 times a week to keep your lashes hydrated,” Ocot says. She recommends castor oil for keeping hairs strong.

ELLE

Best Beauty Looks From New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023

Without a doubt, fashion’s greatest accessory is a glamorous beauty look.

There’s no denying that when New York Fashion Week rolls around that statement couldn’t be more true. Between the Alice + Oliva, Christian Siriano and Tommy Hilfiger shows (among many, many others), the spring/summer 2023 collections have ushered in a new era of beauty trends.

We’re talking huge clear beads adorning braided hairstyles, which created the illusion of bubble crowns, neon-colored wigs that showcased individuality and bright eyeshadows in electrifying shades of red-orange, pink and indigo.

Plus, designers like Jason Wu proved that simplicity in the glam department doesn’t equal boring. In fact, his show featured models with effortless bobs and buns that made a powerful statement, especially when paired with the right outfits.

It’s safe to say that everything from the hair and makeup to the nails brought NYFW’s collections to life, making the beauty looks just as swoon-worthy as the pieces displayed on the runways.

TOM FORD

ALICE + OLIVIA

PRABAL GURUNG

MARRISA WILSON

KEZIAH

TOMMY HILFIGER

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

LOVE SHACK FANCY

JASON WU

E ONLINE

Grunge Makeup Is Back — Here Are 8 Looks to Get You Inspired

Beauty trends tend to be cyclical. Everything has its moment, and what’s on-trend eventually falls out of style until enough time passes — then it’s back. Now, the latest trend to re-emerge from the vault is the grunge aesthetic. 

Yes, the kohl-rimmed eyes, brick-colored lipstick, and matte complexions that were popular in the ’90s have returned, and they’re all over runways, Instagram, and red carpet events. 

Celebrity makeup artist and founder of KIMIKODani Kimiko Vincent, says this grunge aesthetic is all about “a bold, gritty, and imperfect makeup look that eschews popular culture with defiance.” 

For her, the key characteristics of the look are messy, smoked-out eyeliner, “Like you’ve been partying all night,” she says, and a deep lipstick in a dark burgundy tone. “This is not a precisely-applied lip complete with liner; it looks more like it was reapplied at 2 am in the dark bathroom of a bar.” 

For celebrity makeup artist and Haus Labs global artistry director, Sarah Tanno, grunge makeup is less about the individual elements and more about the collective energy it radiates. “Grunge makeup has a ‘lived in’ vibe — it allows for more freedom in the sense that there are no rules to follow and gives off an ‘IDGAF’ attitude.” 

Ahead, eight grunge-inspired makeup looks to inspire your inner angst.

Smudged-Out Smoky Eye 

During the most recent New York Fashion Week, models at the Nicole Miller show wore eyeliner looks that were as bold as they were imperfect. They also wore matte foundation and matte lip colors. It was the perfect makeup look to complement the brand’s grunge-inspired clothing collection.

Glam Eyeshadow 

Models in the Alice + Olivia’s FW22 NYFW show wore glam black eyeshadow which was complemented by velvety-matte foundation makeup and a simple neutral-pink lip. “2022 is all about drawing attention to the eyes with a bold eye makeup, and grunge fits right into that with a strong, dark eye,” says Tanno.

Brick Red Lips 

Shay Mitchell’s take on grunge makeup involves some of the most classic elements — that is, smoky eyeshadow and a brick red lipstick. When it comes to the latter, Tanno’s favorite product to use is the Haus Labs Le Monster Matte Lip Crayon. Try the shade ‘Wine Mouth,’ a warm mahogany brown that screams glam grunge.

Bleached Eyebrows 

The grunge makeup trend is also Versace-approved. At the most recent Milan Fashion Week show, Gigi Hadid walked the runway wearing a bold swipe of charcoal eyeshadow with a nude matte lip. The look was kicked up a notch with bleached brows.

Dark Red Lips 

With smoked-out eyes and a dark lip, this look is classic grunge. “A lot of people try to update grunge makeup by making it more precise with a tidy smoky eye and a well-lined lip, but to me, this loses the rebellious essence of the look,” Vincent says. “For an updated version that still maintains the essence of grunge makeup, choose a blendable eyeliner in black or deep brown and smudge it slightly with fingers or a brush. You can even add a little gloss over the lids for an undone eye. Finish with a black volumizing mascara — and don’t worry about perfect application because the look is meant to be a bit messy.” Accentuate the look with a dark wine-colored lip color, a fresh no-makeup makeup complexion, and defined brows.

Graphic Eyeliner 

Julia Fox took the grunge makeup trend and put an editorial spin on it, opting for a thick winged liner look that was rounded and upturned at her temples. True to theme, she kept her complexion and lips matte, choosing a powdery berry color for the latter.

Kohl-Rimmed Eyes 

Sydney Sweeney chose a grunge-inspired look for a recent karaoke night. Look closely, and you’ll see smokey, kohl-rimmed eyes and a velvet matte complexion. To achieve this look for yourself, all you need is a good eyeliner pencil. Tanno recommends the Haus Labs Eye-Dentify Gel Kohl Eyeliner, and recommends applying it all along the eyelids before blending it out with a brush. “This liner has a nice slip and blendability, making it perfect to create this look and it lasts all day,” she says.

Neutral-Toned Lips 

Kourtney Kardashian has been channeling a punk-grunge look for a while now, and this is a glamorous version of that aesthetic. Notice her smokey eyeshadow, defined brows, and matte complexion. Her fluttery lashes and glossy neutral-brown lip are what elevate the look and give it a modern feel. 

For a similar brown-neutral lip color, makeup artist Christine Cherbonnier recommends the MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Cork. “It’s a must-have for that neutral brown lip or a base to create a red or brown undertone for  many skin tones,” she says. “Every ’90s fan or makeup artist needs this color in their kit. It’s classic and timeless.

INSTYLE

The Armani Runway Offers a Masterclass in the Perfect Smoky Eye

With a focus on the eyes this season, the beauty at the Giorgio Armani fall 2022 show in Milan on Sunday night complemented a collection full of plush velvets, reflective metallics and smoky hues. Statement eyes were paired with a sophisticated nude lip on the runway. 

As per the brand’s Instagram page, Mr. Armani can be found “backstage before a fashion show overseeing every detail from the beauty to the runway,” so you can see his meticulous hand in every final touch. The show was staged in a small theatre, reminiscent of an intricate jewelry box, and models walked the runway in silence. The designer’s decision not to use any music in the show was a sign of respect in light of the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine.

To emulate the Armani look, try a smoky line of eyeshadow along the crease of the eye, applied using a small but dense smudge brush. That way, the eyeshadow pigment remains while giving you the freedom to draw your cut crease with the space to smudge out (or conceal) any mistakes. To soften the eyes and brighten the look, a matte white eyeshadow was used in the inner corners, giving an ethereal halo effect and adding even more dimension to the look.

A few individual eyelash extensions were applied on the outer corners of the eyes on a number of models to achieve the right amount of flutter and lift the eyes with minimal effort. Brows were filled and extended, but the focus was on the structured eyeshadow. Using Giorgio Armani’s Lip Power, each model wore their perfect nude. The pigmented yet satin finish of the lipstick left lips looking healthy and hydrated.

Meanwhile, models’ hair was styled in cornrows or combed back and saturated with product to create a cool high-shine wet look that perfectly complemented the dazzling metallics in the collection. 

VOGUE

The 5 Secrets To “No Make-Up” Make-Up, According To Lisa Eldridge

There are beauty wonderlands and then there is celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge’s House of Eldridge, a pop-up in London’s Covent Garden, which takes the definition to new heights. With a lipstick lounge, bedecked in rich velvet fabrics (and a lip-shaped sofa – one for the Pinterest interiors board); a selection of her personal collection of vintage make-up, including thousand-year-old compacts and blushers from the 1920s; all of her eponymous make-up line available to try (along with expert colour matching); her beautiful jewellery collection; and soon, professional talks on all manner of subjects – there is something for everyone in the beauty dream world she has created.

It’s something a bit different from a normal beauty stand in a department store,” she tells Vogue over Zoom. “It’s not merchandised, just an insight into my world. There are over a thousand pieces from my vintage make-up collection, some of which I am selling, and areas with different themes. Plus there is a replica of my studio in the back – it’s exactly like people may have seen on Instagram where I used to film my YouTube videos.

One of Eldridge’s calling cards is effortless, fresh make-up that is so imperceptible, no one would ever know her clients are wearing it. She works with everyone from Dua Lipa and Alexa Chung, to Winnie Harlow and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on their luminous complexions, and is equally glowy-skinned herself. So what are her tips on how we can emulate the look at home?

1. Prep is important

One of her top tips is to start with your skincare routine. “Making sure that your skin is well hydrated and moisturized is important,” she says. “Without that, you can’t get the products to behave the way you want them to.”

2. Work with your real skin

For a no make-up make-up effect, Eldridge advises applying your foundation only in the areas it’s needed – generally in the centre of the face. “For me, it’s around my nose, mouth and chin area and a little bit on the forehead,” she says, name-checking her new Foundation as a great product to try. “It’s not a tinted moisturizer or a full coverage formula, but something in the middle that you can sheer out if you want to. It self sets, so you don’t need to powder on top of it. I really like it because it doesn’t feel like you’ve got any make-up on, but it’s still got good coverage.” She applies with her fingers or a flat brush.

3. Don’t be afraid to mix formulas up

If you’re struggling to achieve the right (lightweight) consistency in your base product, Eldridge suggests adding some moisturizer into it. This trick also helps reduce that cakey finish when certain foundations cling to dry or flaky skin.

4. Highlight

A new wave of highlighters nourish the skin while imparting the ultimate dewy sheen for a look that says “healthy”, rather than overdone. “I always use a highlighter on the high points of the cheeks – a subtle one, that doesn’t have any glitter in it – and I apply it on the nose, in the corners of eyes, and on top of the lip to create a dewy look.

5. Create an outdoorsy flush

A make-up artist essential, cream blush is the best route to go down for a natural flush. Eldridge swears by her own Enlivening Blush – in the shade Pink Soap – which she applies with fingers, building up thin layers to create the right texture and finish.

VOGUE

These ’90s Beauty Trends Are Well And Truly Back

Whether it’s Victoria Beckham, Aaliyah, Princess Diana or Britney Spears, our favourite ’90s icons continue to inform the way we look. Thirty years on from the era that gave us the Supers, Friends and the Spice Girls – oh, what a decade it was – the beauty trends these women spearheaded are back, adopted by today’s hottest starlets, and therefore by us. Here, are the top ten.

  1. Lip liner

Dark – often brown – lip liner was the thing back in the ’90s, with everyone from Naomi Campbell to Pamela Anderson sporting the look. Set against otherwise bare lips, adoptees of the trend often wore a slick of gloss over the top for a multidimensional effect. More recently, Kim Kardashian, Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo have all tried the look.

2. Frosted eyeshadow

For old-school inspiration for the current frosted eyeshadow trend, see Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez, both of whom wore glimmering pastel hues up to their eyebrows way back in the ’90s. Now, it’s all over TikTok, and according to retailers, sales of frosted blue eyeshadow have surged.

3. A cropped ’90s bob

The bob has been all the rage over the past year, with many snipping off years of hard-won hair growth in order to embrace the trend. While there are myriad iterations, the ’90s bob takes its cues from Cameron Diaz in her There’s Something About Mary days – think jaw-skimming, boyish and low-maintenance.

4. Antennae hair

One person leading the charge when it comes to ’90s trends is Bella Hadid, who has almost single-handedly brought back the “antennae” or two pieces of face-framing hair. A big trend in the ’90s, Hadid wears hers with a slicked-back up do – the more gel, the better.

5. Skinny brows

Making its (in some cases, unwanted) return to Gen-Z faces everywhere, the skinny brow is having a renaissance. While those born in – or before – the ’90s have spent the decades since growing back their over-plucked tadpoles, the younger generations are channelling early Drew Barrymore, Gwen Stefani and Tyra Banks.

6. Blue eyeliner

From Princess Diana to Britney and Reese Witherspoon – plus, of course, schoolgirls the nation over – vivid blue eyeliner was practically a requirement in the ’90s. Now we’re wearing deeper hues, such as navy: Nicola Coughlan served up stellar cobalt shadow at the BAFTA TV Awards, and Iris Law went for a metallic winged look at the Fashion East X Browns party during London Fashion Week.

7. French manicure

The French manicure has been on a rollercoaster since its glory days in the ’90s, when it was the nail look to have, before its popularity faded. After overcoming its once passé reputation, it’s the mani of the moment again. The most flattering way to look is with a thin (rather than chunky) tip. Whether you wear it minimally or play with colours and nail art, it’s truly the trend to try now.

8. Obvious hair colour

Hair colour doesn’t have to look ultra-natural, you know. Obvious and overt hair colour has become de rigueur, with colour blocking a big trend favoured by Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish’s acid green roots (R.I.P.) inspired a generation of fans to experiment with their own colour.

9. Lip gloss

Remember Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes? Everyone had one of those high-shine, scented formulas to top up plump, glossy pouts. They were discontinued, but made a return in 2020 to the delight of the millennials who loved them the first time round. Consider them the easy way to inject some luminosity into your look.

10. Poker-straight hair

Hair straighteners were deployed almost daily back in the day, given that poker-straight stands were very much in vogue. Now straighter-than-straight hair is back again – just see Lila Moss in British Vogue’s June issue – and you get extra ’90s points for throwing it up in a claw clip.

VOGUE

What Does It Take For A Celebrity Beauty Brand To Succeed In 2021?

In November 2015, Kylie Jenner launched three lip kits. The kits, consisting of a lip pencil and liquid lipstick available in a pinky nude, a beige neutral and a deep brown, sold out almost immediately.

Jenner’s wasn’t the first celebrity beauty brand to launch. In 2009, Australian model Miranda Kerr founded Kora Organics, while actor Drew Barrymore launched Flower Cosmetics in 2013. But Jenner’s was the first to leverage the reach, engagement and influence of its founder in the social media era. Nearly six years later, the lip kits have evolved into a full makeup and skincare brand and in 2019, she sold 51 percent of her business (at a valuation of $1.2 billion) to Coty for $600 million.

The rise of celebrity beauty brands

Today, the legacy of Kylie Cosmetics—as well as Rihanna’s industry-changing Fenty Beauty, which launched in 2017—is everywhere, as celebrities jump on the beauty bandwagon. There’s Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories; Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty; Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty; Pharrell Williams’ Humanrace; Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills; Jennifer Lopez’s JLo Beauty; Halsey’s About-FaceVictoria Beckham; Paris Hilton’s Pro DNA, and many more.

Cardi B has teased a forthcoming makeup range, as has YouTuber James Charles, while Hailey Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Ariana Grande all reportedly filed trademarks for beauty products. Welcome to the golden age of the celebrity beauty brand.

It used to be that celebrities were the faces of beauty brands, starring in campaigns, endorsing the products in interviews and wearing the makeup on red carpets. But being the face is no longer enough—celebrities want ownership, becoming major players in the industry in their own right. And with the growth of the global beauty market over the last few years—the industry was valued at $532 billion in 2019—it’s not surprising.

“Celebrities are increasingly aware of the quick financial gains to be made, with the opportunity to monetize a loyal online fanbase and use their social media page as a marketing platform,” says Gabriella Beckwith, beauty consultant at market research firm Euromonitor.

But for everyone chasing a Fenty success story, fame and following alone won’t ensure sales. As the market becomes increasingly crowded, brands will have to rely on that notoriously slippery concept of authenticity to gain the trust and business of their target audience.

The power of authenticity

Today, beauty consumers have never been more educated about what they are putting on their face or more demanding about the quality. It’s why it matters that Pharrell Williams collaborated with his longtime dermatologist, Dr Elena Jones, for his skincare brand Humanrace. It’s why Halsey prefaced the announcement of her makeup brand About-Face in January by establishing her credibility. “Many of you know I’ve done my own makeup for a long time,” she wrote on Twitter. It’s also why actress Millie Bobby Brown drew criticism after posting a skincare tutorial in which she seemingly didn’t actually apply any of the products to her face. Brown issued an apology a few days later, writing, “I’m still learning the best way to share my routines as I get to know this space better—I’m not an expert.”

Eyebrows were also raised when Jennifer Lopez recently said that her age-defying skin was the mainly the result of years of olive oil use—despite selling a new line of skincare products (her multitasking serum costs $118). Followers were skeptical of these claims, with some even suggesting the singer had had Botox, to which Lopez responded: “For the 500 millionth time. I have never done Botox or any injectables or surgery!”

At the other end of the spectrum, Victoria Beckham established her credentials as a serious player by partnering with industry favorite Dr Augustinus Bader for her first skincare launch. “We tend to think of celebrity brands as inauthentic partnerships—traditionally, that is often what they were,” says Sarah Creal, co-founder and CEO of Victoria Beckham Beauty. “Celebrities can no longer slap their name on something and not have their communities realize that’s what’s happening. Those who are in it for the short term or inauthentically won’t last—consumers are savvy.”

A long-time beauty executive, Creal met Beckham at Estée Lauder, with whom the designer launched a capsule cosmetics collection, and was drawn to her passion and vision. While she says there is “no doubt” the former Spice Girl is a celebrity, they don’t consider Victoria Beckham Beauty a celebrity brand, but rather a bona fide indie startup. “Having Victoria as a partner obviously shines a light on the brand that we wouldn’t have otherwise, but we still have to stand up to the scrutiny and credibility that any new beauty brand would need to.”

The importance of quality over influence

Celebrities undeniably wield great influence over their following, but if they want to convince consumers to buy their products, this credibility and, most importantly, gold-standard quality, is non-negotiable. “People aren’t just buying into the face—they equally expect the product to work as hard as any other brand they’d engage with,” says Victoria Buchanan, senior futures analyst at strategic foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory.

The audience agrees. “[I think some] products by celebrities are bad quality because it is believed that people will buy them regardless,” says Marion, a 17-year-old gen-Z consumer from Toronto. “But the product itself should be more important than the celebrity or advertising.” It’s quality that she cites as the reason for buying the few products from celebrity brands that she’s purchased—a Rare Beauty highlighter with good reviews, a Fenty concealer because of its range of shades.

While a celebrity might make consumers aware of a brand (they’ll pay close attention if it’s someone they’re a fan of), it’s rare that they would buy a beauty product because of the name alone. On the whole, they remain wary of products, particularly when it comes to skincare, do their own research, and always listen to expert advice.

Like all trends, the celebrity beauty bubble will eventually burst. The sharp decline of celebrity fragrances following its 2011 peak shows what can happen when consumers move on from a category. Nothing lasts forever and we’ve already seen a gradual shift towards hair brands, such as Tracee Ellis Ross’s Pattern, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s Anomaly, and sexual wellness products via Cara Delevingne and Dakota Johnson.

When that moment comes, those brands left standing will be the ones that have established their authenticity and credibility, played to the strengths of their creators’ personal ethos and identity, and, above all, proved their quality. As noisy and loud as your social media presence might be, in the end, nothing talks like results.

VOGUE article