The “no makeup” makeup look has gained popularity, and brands are emerging to cater to this trend. These cosmetic brands are appealing to young consumers who care about ingredients, ethical products and having a fresh face, a phenomenon now known as “millennial makeup.”
Story by Daniella Cortez | @DaniellaCorte11
This trend is all about taking a step back and reevaluating what exactly beauty means. It is stripping away everything to the bare essentials and focusing on enhancing one’s natural features. The overall aesthetic for this makeup style is a fresh, dewy face, bright highlight, natural eyes and a nude lip.
What is Millennial Makeup?
Many of today’s buzzworthy brands are focused on healthy skin and building upon that base. Some brands do not sell full-coverage foundation or even foundation at all. Instead, they will often carry BB cream or a skin tint, like the popular Perfecting Skin Tint from Glossier. This stays true to their motto, “more skin, less makeup.” This trend is celebrating natural skin and all the “imperfections” that traditional standards hurry to conceal, like freckles and birthmarks.
The general theme consumers are left with is far different from conventional norms. Today’s brands express that makeup is a choice not a blanket necessity. Instead, the focus is on using makeup as a tool for self-expression. The vegan beauty brand Milk Makeup has a hashtag, #liveyourlook, in which they encourage customers to use their products however they choose. Their makeup has no rules.
Since these brands are trying to attract on-the-go millennials, many popular products come in stick form and can be applied with fingers. They’re often marketed as minimal, natural, and easy-to-use. Milk’s Lip + Cheek is just one example of multi-purpose products that can be used interchangeably on the cheeks, lips, eyes, or wherever the user prefers.
Consumers are now more concerned than ever about the ingredients they are putting on their faces. Natural ingredients, like sunflower seed oil and beeswax, are the stars in this trend. There is an emphasis on simplicity, from the ingredients all the way to the finished makeup look. Many companies are also eliminating parabens, or preservative chemicals that can be harmful to the body and hormone levels.
Ethics in makeup production, like whether or not the product is animal tested, fair trade, etc. are also increasingly important to the younger generation. Some of the most “millennial brands” are quite transparent about production values and highlight this on their packaging.
Millennial Makeup Brands
Glossier was one of the buzziest makeup brands to come into the spotlight in 2010. Founder Emily Weiss noticed that the beauty industry had a habit of telling the customer what they should and shouldn’t do, and she set out to change that. Their products are all about letting the consumer take charge of their beauty habits. Glossier is also well-known for skincare as well as makeup.
Milk Makeup is a 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free brand that was founded in 2016, but quickly gained popularity. With a fun, colorful look and holographic packaging, this brand is diverging from the idea that simple equals bland. Their Instagram is full of unconventional looks, like intricate eye makeup and bold lips.
With the motto, “Uncensored. Unfiltered. Unapologetic.”, Flesh was released in early 2018 as an inclusive brand catering to all skin tones. They have over 40 shades in their popular Firm Flesh stick foundation. They are trying to transform the term “nude” to include all different shades.
Ohii is a makeup line exclusive to Urban Outfitters that also launched in 2018. Their focus is on “beauty for everyone” while have providing feel-good beauty for feel-good vibes. While their line is still growing, their popular products include their True Matte Lipstick and their highlighter trio, Soft Glow.