Photo illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images
From Hollywood’s obsession with biopics, movie remakes and reboots to the rise of wildly overpriced basics (aka “quiet luxury”) and a lack of innovation in the fashion industry, it seems that originality is dead. And in 2023, no cultural sector has demonstrated this more clearly than the beauty industry. The world of beauty was hungry for ideas and literally turned to food to fill the void.
It all started when Hailey Bieber revealed her skin care secrets in an interview YouTube video two years ago: “When I go to bed at night, I feel like if I don’t go to bed like a glazed donut, I’m not doing the right thing,” she said. “Find a moisturizer that will help you look like a glazed donut at the end of the day.” And boom! The glazed donut skin trend was born and took over everyone’s Instagram and TikTok feeds. (For the record, although Bieber popularized the look, she didn’t actually invent it.) Back then, it was cute, desirable, and appropriately named. We all want supermodel skin, and if that means applying facial oils and petroleum jelly, then so be it.
But of course the internet did what the internet always does and adopted the trend Away too far. In 2023 alone, beauty looks inspired tomatoes, bar, StrawberriesAnd hot chocolate everything went wildly viral. For those who aren’t fluent in the TikTok language, let me translate this: Tomato Girl makeup involves applying bronzer and a red-tinted blush to the highest parts of your face (including the bridge of your nose) to create a sun-kissed look to create that mimics a freshly picked tomato, latte makeup is a monochromatic look that features mostly brown and nude tones, strawberry makeup is characterized by the use of reds and pinks to create a to create a flushed complexion, and hot chocolate manicure refers to any look that uses chocolate brown polishes. You get the point – it’s safe to say 2023 was the year of food aesthetics. In fact, they’ve become so entrenched in the trend cycle that traditional blue nail polish is being renamed “blueberry milk.” I’m sorry, but why? Renaming something that already exists (and then imitating a food) is not trendy.
Have we as humans simply encountered a creative block? Does AI make us think less? Could it be due to content overload? That is hard to say. But the beauty industry desperately needs creativity because food-themed looks don’t nourish me (pun intended). For my part, I don’t want to rely on my pantry for makeup inspiration. So here’s hoping that beauty trends in 2024 will be more original and less… appetizing.