‘So I need to get a French tip for a wedding but I don’t want it to be plain.’
‘Oh no, definitely inject some colour – maybe do a neon tip?’
Ideas went back and forth in the group chat, but one thing that was fiercely agreed upon: no classic French manicure.
If we’re having our nails done in 2022, we want the world to know we had our nails done.
‘Give ’em something to stare at’ is part of the vibe shift in makeup – whether you’re a full-beat glam kinda gal or love a fresh ‘clean’ modern face.
Mimicking natural skin isn’t the aim anymore – even if you think it is.
Think of the glass skin trend, for example. It’s an incredibly heightened version of naturally healthy skin and communicates that you are glowing and light-reflecting.
Other signs of a move away from the ‘natural’ look include graphic liner, Instagram feeds filled with nail art, playful duochrome hues and oversized lips.
Euphoria is at once a source of makeup inspiration and a reminder of how normalised tweakments such as filler have become (looking at Faye, played by Chloe Cherry) in modern beauty.
Obvious is in, and it looks good.
Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry at MAC Cosmetics, feels this a sign of subversion.
‘Experimentation, combined with a new sense of effortlessness and individualism, almost harking back to the subcultural movements of the 80s and 90s, feels like a definite revolt against the overly technical, airbrushed beauty championed in the last decade,’ he tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s the new cool.’
Cool it is. When makeup artist Donni Davy announced the launch of Half Magic Beauty, working alongside the Euphoria team, beauty lovers went wild. Bold multi-purpose pigments and glitters? Yes please.
Other makeup artists such as Danessa Myricks have grown in popularity too, with her key product a series of paints you can mix together to create a custom look, anywhere over the eyes, lips and cheeks.
Using her products feels like an art in itself, and people want that painterly creativity.
Terry says: ‘Beauty is much bolder now as were more interested in attitude rather than perceived perfection.
‘It’s an open playing field for influences with everything from past subcultures to current pop culture resulting in a way more eclectic approach to how we use beauty.
‘The craze for makeup on shows like Euphoria was a perfect example of this. It’s a fascination with living in your own beauty space with a new freedom and definitely not being generic.’
That’s not to say ‘natural’ beauty doesn’t have its place anymore, but the once-adored Glossier no-makeup-makeup days seem to be on a hiatus.
It was revealed the brand laid off 80 staff members in January – perhaps a sign of the company losing relevance.
Terry says elements of natural beauty are still of interest in our new beauty phase, as shown by the popularity of tints over foundations, but the key is to appear ‘enhanced’.
The rich and famous are intrigued by the change too. Celebrity makeup artist Neil Young has seen a ‘noticeable shift in the style of makeup clients are asking for’.
He says: ‘There’s a lot of pressure to deliver something new and interesting with every makeup look I do – whether it’s a red carpet makeup or an editorial, clients want an elevated beauty and social media has a huge part to play in this.
‘As a makeup artist who loves colour and form, it’s an exciting time to do what I do.
‘Shows like Euphoria have been a constant source of inspiration and has normalised more creative makeup with an everyday lifestyle. I see it referenced everywhere from red carpets, to the streets and catwalks.
‘The lines between social media makeup and real life makeup are becoming blurred and I often see people looking like a face from a square on Instagram.’
He believes experimenting with makeup can be an outlet for creativity during tough times, which socially we’re certainly experiencing.
‘I feel like makeup has become such an acceptable part of our day to day lives now where a full face of makeup doesn’t seem out of place at the supermarket or a casual coffee anymore,’ he adds.
‘It’s power makeup, the new 80s, and I’m here for it.’
This hasn’t happened overnight though – these trends have been slow burners and are closely tied to our ability to medically modify how we look.
Meredith Jones, a leading academic and expert in cosmetic treatments for Brunel University, tells us having big and obviously unnatural lips – be it through a procedure or extreme overlining – is now a status symbol in itself.
She says to understand why this is so normalised now, we need to look back.
‘It’s about time and place and history and geography,’ she explains.
‘If we think back to only only less than 100 years ago, so even in the 40s and 50s, it was quite normal for people to have completely rotten teeth. Dental care was just not there.
‘There was no such thing as like veneers or whitening or anything.
‘To us now would be absolutely horrifying. Things change.’
Over her years studying cosmetic enhancements, one of the biggest changes she’s noticed in beauty is how open people now are about their work.
Meredith says: ‘The huge change, I think, is that it’s no longer shameful.
‘People are much more open about having had it done, about describing it as just a normal part of a grooming or maintenance routine.
‘It can go a step further and actually be a status symbol. It’s not really anymore about wanting to say: look like you were always born with that enhancement, look natural.
‘Now it’s: “if I’m getting something done, I want everyone to know that I’m getting it”, just like we’re seeing in choices as mundane as nail polish.
‘A lot of women in their 20s now have very obvious cosmetic surgery, especially with their lips. There’s no pretending that sensational big lip is in any way what someone would naturally have.
‘Before you might have pretended you have natural big lips, but now it’s gone a step further.
‘It’s like fashion, if you’ve got the best trainers, or you’ve got a Gucci bag or whatever. You’ve also got these lips. And you want people to know that you’ve spent money on this, so they’re not going to be little.’
Having lip filler is now a part of the beauty look, providing a canvas for larger ombre and contouring makeup looks as the two things – makeup and tweakments – bleed into each other.
Big and bold is the aim, unapologetically so.
‘Barely there’ will likely have its day again, but for now it’s a big-puckered kiss goodbye to that and sparkly welcome to a new kind of face that doesn’t care for perfection or what would be deemed ‘natural’.