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Demystifying ‘Witchy Woo’, The New Beauty Mood

January 1 | 4 minute read

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Words by Divya Bala

Originally published on | November 29

From intense, dark lips to spidery false lashes, the catwalk, ‘90s nostalgia and reborn heroines like Wednesday Addams are conjuring a mood of mysticism. Demystify the ‘witchy woo’ trend and discover the beauty finds to (hocus) focus on now.

Whether you know it or not, Neo-Pagan rituals like tarot, energy work, and incantations have become part of our everyday modern routines. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman’s 1998 film Practical Magic – and the beauty and sartorial choices of its two protagonists – have been trending on TikTok; 1996’s witch flick The Craft was given a 2020s remake and this year has also seen ‘Witch Lit’ emerge as the hottest new genre on our bookshelves. And if recent trends are anything of a premonition, a witchy influence is soon to be seen in our beauty cabinets as well.


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Actress Jenna Ortega, star of 'Wednesday', at this year's Met Gala. Image credit: Getty Images

On the runway, Gabriela Hearst, former Creative Director of French fashion house Chloé – and self-titled witch – used her spring/summer 2024 show notes to quote from the Wiccan handbook, and, inspired by high priestesses and sorceresses, to craft dramatic, sweeping looks in crochet and glass beads. The ready-to-wear looks were balanced with natural skin and flowing locks, as if just-washed in a wintry stream.

Earlier in the year, Simone Rocha drew on the Gaelic harvest festival, Lughnasadh, with Victorian-inspired outfits and lace dresses stuffed with hay. To these were added intricate mini-braids twisted into ‘fringes’, with red ribbons trailing from the hair and rebellious tendrils draped directly down the face. As for beauty? A blood red lip was often the only punctuation.

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L–R: Paranormal eyelashes at Prada; Pagan-inspired hair at Simone Rocha. Image credits: Getty Images

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At the Prada presentation in August, models sported extruded talon-like nails, black lacquered lips and spooky, paranormalesque false eyelashes – at such lengths as to curtain over the eyes – perhaps signalling the return of the dramatic false lash into the daily beauty routine. Unexpected and asymmetric cat-eyes flicked off the sides of models eyes at Balenciaga, to Gothic effect.

And at Dior, there was something undeniably witchy in the air. The brief, as per backstage makeup artist Peter Philips, was inspired by occult aesthetics. “It has a Gothic part of it; a bit punkish but a bit girlish too,” Philips told Vogue after the show, describing the look’s intense lip – darkened in the centre across the top and bottom, to give a “bitten” effect. “[The look developed] according to what [Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri] wanted to say about women being seen as witches in a male-dominated world.”


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L–R: Bitten, Gothic lips at Dior; Vyrao fragrances embody specific moods and emotions. Image credits: Getty Images, Vyrao

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Beyond makeup and into the world of fragrance, Yasmin Sewell – the Australian-born, London-based Founder of Vyrao (exclusive to MECCA) – “witchy” is something innate to all (she's even created a scent named Witchy Woo). Each scent in her 'energetically charged' collection is formulated with precious oils and organic sugar cane alcohol, and designed to conjure specific moods and emotions. And, each bottle includes a Herkimer diamond crystal – considered by some to be the most powerful crystal in the world.

“I wanted to create a fragrance that was also an energetic source and I didn’t know what would be the conduit for that. Obviously, the plants and the flowers we use hold great energy, but what else could we do? Was there a bit of magic we could put inside?” Sewell mused, in conversation on the MECCA Talks podcast.

"[The crystals] come from Herkimer in New York State; they are mined sustainably," she explained, adding that 'quantum energist' Louise Mita 'charges' each one in Hawaii "with chant and prayer and intention".

"If you’re not really into crystals and you don’t really care about that, you’ll still love the fragrance. But if you’re into a bit of magic, it’s there!" she added. 


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Each Vyrao fragrance contains a 'charged' Herkimer diamond crystal, and the brand even has a scent named Witchy Woo (far right).

In the alchemy of fashion and beauty, the allure of ‘witchy woo’ has woven its spell into real lives. As runways and culture continue to be a cauldron of inspiration, a curiosity for the witchy transcends trendiness, becoming a celebration of individuality; a mystical rebellion.

We're invited to embrace the ethereal as we're reminded that beauty – like magic – lives in the unexpected; and in this case, a spellbinding spirit of glamour and mysticism.

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MakeupEye makeupEyelinerLipsVyrao

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