Fashion Week’s Diminishing Impact on Beauty


Fashion month is in full swing, and armies of professional makeup artists are backstage at fashion shows in the world’s epicenters of style, New York, Milan, Paris, and London. In that regard, nothing about the Spring/Summer 2020 shows is very different than the last 60 years or so. What is different, though, is the impact those artists and their artistry have on the beauty industry. It’s wildly diminished.


Until the advent of social media about 10 years ago, the artists who created magic backstage at fashion weeks around the world informed overall beauty trends and what shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, and even nail polish consumers were offered by brands thereafter. They were household names, Bobbi Brown, François Nars, Sonia Kashuk. They determined what was fashionable in beauty and how we would do our makeup, as the designers they collaborated with determined what we would wear for the next year. They launched their own makeup brands, and those brands are still some of the most loved today, whether or not Gen Z knows that they were founded by actual human makeup artists around the time those Gen Zers were born.   


Nonetheless, their influence has been diminished. Some of us still worship makeup artists who have household names (Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Gucci Westman), and they too have their own successful makeup brands. However, they may or may not be working backstage at fashion weeks any longer, and they certainly aren’t determining what the “it look” will be for the next season because the “it look” died when social media was born.     


It’s basically undisputed that what was beautiful in the 1960s was a cat eye and red lipstick, the 70s called for less eyeliner and free flowing locks, the 1980s was all glam and glitter. We’ve had a prescribed image of beauty forever, at least we did until recently.  


When YouTube launched in 2008, regular girls (not models that fit the prescribed definition of beauty as defined by glossy magazines) started dropping videos of themselves putting on makeup. No training, no rules, “imperfections” in plain sight. And then boys started doing it too. The world changed. Glossy magazines were still telling us that you had to wear either a bold eye or a bold lip but not both at the same time. People stopped taking advice from once-monthly paper media with pictures of “perfection” and started looking to real people on social media for advice that was more relevant to them by people who actually looked like them.


Now it’s 2019 and there is no “it look” or beauty stereotype. Most girls, boys, genderfluid and/or nonconforming individuals and everyone else who loves makeup can name more YouTubers and Instagram celebrities than traditional makeup artists, though there is space for all. Beauty brands sort of pay attention to what’s happening backstage at fashion week, though backstage is now reflecting rather than dictating street style. Beauty brands are using real people, not models, who come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders on their social media channels and in their marketing campaigns because they’ve figured out that including everyone is better for business and makes for much more interesting imagery. For the first time, it’s not only actually ok to be yourself, it’s celebrated.


So, thank you to the artists who came before us and created magic both backstage and for sale. Thank you to the artists who continue to carry that torch and create great products. We still love you. But also, thank you for making space for, collaborating with, and celebrating the next generation of artists who are creating their own magic. We’re all better off for it.                 



Photo by Gio Staianoᐧ


The Author:

Nicole Collins is a native Angeleno and beauty industry executive with 15 years’ experience writing about, coveting, and loving beauty.  She's an expert in brand building and social media strategy. After putting several indie beauty brands on the map, Nicole founded the Brand Partnerships team at ipsy, the world's largest beauty sample subscription company. She now advises and consults for the beauty industry's most innovative start-up companies seeking to disrupt and recreate the space. She has bachelors degrees in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in Political Science from American University.       

                                                                                                                                         


SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Porsche is more Valuable than Fashion
By Aarushi Saxena
Luxury car maker Porsche accelerated to the top rank in the Brand Finance Luxury &...
By Aarushi Saxena
Luxury car maker Porsche accelerated to the top rank in the Brand Finance Luxury & Premium 50 list, becoming the world's most valuable brand, while Louis Vuitton was knocked off the second spot by Cartier. Cementing itself as front-runner in the luxury sector, Porsche has increased its brand...
Luxury car maker Porsche accelerated to the top rank in the Brand Finance Luxury & Premium 50 list, becoming the world's most valuable brand, while Louis Vuitton was knocked off the second spot by Cartier. Cementing itself as front-runner in the luxury sector, Porsche has increased its brand value by 54 percent to US$29.3 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, an...
e-P Summit Charts Fashion’s Future
By Jessica Bumpus & Sofia Celeste
The 7th edition of the e-P Summit kicked off in Milan Wednesday under the aegis of the theme...
By Jessica Bumpus & Sofia Celeste
By Jessica Bumpus & Sofia Celeste
The 7th edition of the e-P Summit kicked off in Milan Wednesday under the aegis of the theme “Next Level Now,” tackling key subjects like omnichannel retail and marketing, direct-to-consumer retailing, and 3D digital fashion design. Organized by Pitti Immagine, the one-day power networking event...
The 7th edition of the e-P Summit kicked off in Milan Wednesday under the aegis of the theme “Next Level Now,” tackling key subjects like omnichannel retail and marketing, direct-to-consumer retailing, and 3D digital fashion design. Organized by Pitti Immagine, the one-day power networking event brought together international leaders and key players who are developing the strategies currently...
Seoul FW’s Eco Revamp
By Jessica Bumpus
Seoul is a city known for its tech, pop, and beauty, but also for its air pollution. Earlier this...
By Jessica Bumpus
By Jessica Bumpus
Seoul is a city known for its tech, pop, and beauty, but also for its air pollution. Earlier this year, emergency laws were brought in to tackle record levels of fine dust that blanketed the sky. And while the city’s inhabitants manage to style out face masks with much aplomb, it shouldn’t come...
Seoul is a city known for its tech, pop, and beauty, but also for its air pollution. Earlier this year, emergency laws were brought in to tackle record levels of fine dust that blanketed the sky. And while the city’s inhabitants manage to style out face masks with much aplomb, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to find out that, just as elsewhere across the globe, its young and emerging...
FIAC: Art or Fashionable Stuff?
By Rebecca Voight
The FIAC (Foire International d’Art Contemporain), Paris’ contemporary arts fair which closed...
By Rebecca Voight
The FIAC (Foire International d’Art Contemporain), Paris’ contemporary arts fair which closed this weekend, is one of those annual cultural happenings that everyone wants a piece of. The city began to look like an arty amusement park days before the fair opened when Jeff Koons’ monumental hand...
The FIAC (Foire International d’Art Contemporain), Paris’ contemporary arts fair which closed this weekend, is one of those annual cultural happenings that everyone wants a piece of. The city began to look like an arty amusement park days before the fair opened when Jeff Koons’ monumental hand holding a bouquet of cartoon tulips (a “gift” to the city from the artist after the Bataclan terrorist...
Beauty’s AR Quest
By NOWFASHION
The cosmetics industry is currently scrambling to appeal to millennial and Gen-Z consumers. In...
By NOWFASHION
By NOWFASHION
The cosmetics industry is currently scrambling to appeal to millennial and Gen-Z consumers. In their quest to appeal to the younger generation, brands are increasingly investing in new virtual and augmented reality features adapted to mobile devices. After launching a limited version at the...
The cosmetics industry is currently scrambling to appeal to millennial and Gen-Z consumers. In their quest to appeal to the younger generation, brands are increasingly investing in new virtual and augmented reality features adapted to mobile devices. After launching a limited version at the beginning of the year, YouTube expended its AR Beauty features by letting potential customers try on...
How to Lose Followers
By Aarushi Saxena
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers,...
By Aarushi Saxena
By Aarushi Saxena
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers, according to Instagram creative firm Takumi and a study released last week by Marketing Charts, a hub for data, graphics, and research analysis. Based on a survey of 2,251 representatives in the UK, the US,...
Disingenuous endorsements is the number one reason why individuals unfollow influencers, according to Instagram creative firm Takumi and a study released last week by Marketing Charts, a hub for data, graphics, and research analysis. Based on a survey of 2,251 representatives in the UK, the US, and Germany, a significant crowd of 16- to 24-year-old consumers credit influencers for their “trendy...
The Kimono Reinvented
By Elisabeta Tudor
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an intangible cultural treasure, designers can’t help but put their hands on it to reinvent it and challenge traditional perception.Yoshiki Hayashi, an influential composer and musician-turned-designer, did...
The kimono has always been an object of fascination. Even in Japan, where it is considered an intangible cultural treasure, designers can’t help but put their hands on it to reinvent it and challenge traditional perception.Yoshiki Hayashi, an influential composer and musician-turned-designer, did just that during the latest week of runway shows in Tokyo. As of today, the best-selling artist –...
The Forgotten Side of Fashion
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion...
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion designers to solely focus on the front sides of the garments they design. Is this a reflection of our current digitally-obsessed era, or does this tendency reveal a decline of true craftsmanship?The...
In our current times that are defined by social media and selfies, it is not uncommon for fashion designers to solely focus on the front sides of the garments they design. Is this a reflection of our current digitally-obsessed era, or does this tendency reveal a decline of true craftsmanship?The contrast was striking. On September 25th, Anrealage’s Creative Director Kunihiko Morinaga chose to...