2023 beauty trends: the good, the bad and the ‘why?!’

December 21, 2023

Ah, 2023 – a year that felt like a rebellious teenager in the beauty world. We saw trends that made us embrace our natural selves and others that made us question our very existence. Let’s dive into the beauty trends that defined the year, for better or for worse.


  1. Return to Natural Beauty: We started loving our skin for what it is and, honestly, it’s about time! This continuing and growing trend was like a breath of fresh air in a world full of heavy contouring and never-ending filters. Embracing natural beauty meant less time in front of the mirror and more time enjoying life – and our skin thanked us for it.
  2. Latte Makeup: This trend was a millennial’s dream come true — makeup inspired by our favourite caffeinated beverage. The soft, neutral, warm and creamy tones work for every age, occasion, skin type and tone, and we were here for it. Latte makeup is versatile, flattering and easy to love.
  3. The Return of the Side Parts: Sweet redemption! After Gen Z tried to cancel side parts by calling them ‘cheugy,’ we millennials stood our ground. The side part made a comeback, and those of us that can’t pull off the 60s hippie middle part (hi, it’s me) are thrilled about it.
  4. Chrome Nails: These nails are the techy, futuristic trend we adore. Chrome nails are like having mini disco balls at our fingertips, and they added an instant ‘cool factor’ to any outfit — whether you opt for a chrome neutral or a flashy dramatic cololur.
  5. Body Positivity: This has been on the radar of beauty ever since Dove began redefining the face of beauty, however it seems like this year body positivity and acceptance are finally becoming innate in our culture. We see Gen Z taking the world by storm with all body types, shapes and sizes wearing the same things, and finally are starting to see Millennials follow suit, undoing years of toxic-diet-culture learnings. This isn’t just a trend; it is a movement — and it is beautiful.


  1. The AI Takeover: Enter Aitana, the fully AI-created influencer from Spain, earning more money than a Harvard grad does a month. It’s like we’re living in a sci-fi movie, except it’s real and it’s scary. We appreciate technology, but when it comes to beauty, can we keep it human, please? Although better in recent years, beauty standards still seem impossible to compete with, and the rise of AI and filters counters the natural beauty and body positivity movement Gen Z has been doing so well with for our collective self-esteem.
  2. Pink Concealer for Everyone: Not all of us have cool undertones, dear influencers! Pink concealer on golden undertones was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just didn’t work and, yet, it was everywhere.
  3. 3D Nails: Sure, they looked cool on Instagram, but in real life? They were a logistical nightmare. Try typing, texting or just existing without one of these mini sculptures getting in the way, or even breaking away! They add volume and mega clunk factor to your hands, a general attribute we don’t strive for.
  4. Lip Plumper: We get it — plump lips are in. But the stinging, the burning and sometimes the ‘I-just-consumed-a-beehive’ look? Not a fan. Additionally, the false advertising associated with it is not admirable — half the time these plumpers do not give you a visibly noticeable larger pout and just leave you with flat out discomfort, and all for nought!
  5. TikTok Makeup Hacks: The countless hours we wasted trying these ‘revolutionary’ tricks that promised to change our makeup game. Spoiler alert: they didn’t. Most were just clickbait fantasies that left us with a face full of regret — including using kitchen utensils on your nose to help you achieve the perfect contour.

In conclusion, 2023 was a wild ride in the beauty world. We embraced our natural beauty, played with our coffee-inspired makeup, and celebrated body positivity. But we also learned that not all trends are worth following (looking at you, pink concealer). Here’s to hoping 2024 brings more hits and fewer misses — and maybe a little less AI in our beauty influencer feeds. Cheers to that!

Photo credits: Element5 Digital on Unsplash, freestocks on Unsplash and Wei Ding on Unsplash


Story by Amy Pigeon

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