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The March List: Beauty Tweens, Pearlescent Creams

January 1 | 3 minute read

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Words by Brennan Kilbane

Originally published on | February 28

Brennan Kilbane is our person on the ground in New York City, staying on top of the latest trends and delivering us The List.

Tracking the ins and outs of the beauty world, The List assigns them a monthly rank. Here is the latest, from least to most urgent...


The kids are alright

The mainstream beauty story of 2024 so far seems to be that kids — by which I mean Gen Alpha, who are currently aged 13 to just being born — are increasingly sporting elaborate skincare routines and tastes for upscale boutique beauty brands.

It’s easy to find outrage for what seems like early onset anti-ageing concerns, but why blame the kids?

Besides, judging a younger generation just makes one look older by comparison.

Let the kids be dewy for now and wait patiently for them to move on, as they always do.


Tides are turning

Indeed, the beauty and wellness story of our time might be the rapid ascendance of GLP-1 agonists — semaglutide, dulaglutide, liraglutide (aka Ozempic, Wegovy, Trulicity et al) — and their increasing popularity for managing weight.

Up until last year, these medications were used clandestinely, but some stigmas fade faster than others.

A recent quote from Kelly Osbourne, who cops to using them, paints them almost in the light of a new status symbol: “The people who hate on it the most are the people who are secretly doing it – or pissed off that they can't afford it.”

It all makes one a little queasy.


‘Pearl skin’ is the new ‘glass skin’...

… So says M·A·C Cosmetics’ Global Artistry Director, Terry Barber, who demonstrated the technique during a recent Zoom masterclass.

This seems like a lateral rebrand, but one that begs a more prismatic approach to highlighting, opting for pinks and purples over the standard golds and bronzes.

MECCA MAX’s Off Duty Liquid Highlighter in ‘Champagne’ achieves a subtle version with the smallest application; Kevyn Aucoin’s Glass Glow Face amps up the opalescence.

Image credit: Maison Margiela


The return of runway beauty

No need to take it from me, though I hope you will; just know that Fashion Week beauty is BACK, baby, and we have Pat McGrath and her own take on #pearlskin to thank.

But the main takeaway from the fall winter 2024 shows seems to be eyeliner in bold.

In Italy, it was drawn thick and graphic at shows like Versace and Dolce and Gabbana; in Paris, it plumed out punk at Vaquera, where Daniel Sallstrom painted cat eyes over top of brow bones in hot pink and galactic glitter.


The bigger the hair, the better

While the ‘everybun’ seems to be maintaining its taut, tight, pomaded hold on the young and upwardly mobile professional class, it seems something bigger and bolder is looming.

See: Miley Cyrus’ Grammys blowout, the wigs from Marc Jacobs 2024.

Beyoncé’s forthcoming country album coincides with the launch of her own haircare line and a new chapter in her styling: big, blonde, beautiful.

You can’t write a love letter to Texas without hairspray!


Matte is back

Not since the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit have we seen the market embrace matte lipstick so suddenly, with a wardrobe of launches this month from M·A·C (the velvety MACximal – coming to MECCA in April), Byredo (Liquid Lipstick Matte), and Westman Atelier (Lip Suede).


The simplest of skincare

There are few things I love more than tending to my skin in multiple steps; I aspire to a 20-minute nightly facial, self-administered.

But lately, my skin has been angrier than it has ever been. My friends say the same.

One of them suddenly had a reaction after using an antioxidant serum she’s applied for six consecutive years.

We don’t know what is going on, but we’ve all committed to paring down our routines to their simplest elements: cleanser, moisturiser, lip balm, sunscreen. We need to pause luxury routines until we find out what’s going on.

If this is happening to you, do as I do: return to your simple staples, and remain calm! We’ll have you back in no time.

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