Summer beauty trends are keeping pace with the rising mercury. This season’s hottest hair, makeup and nail looks are at once retro–hello, ’90s revamp–and experimental. We tapped top industry pros for insight into what’s hitting catwalks, red carpets and the blogosphere.
HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW
Proving that bigger is still better, oversized bouffants were showstoppers for designers Marc Jacobs, Richard Quinn and Matty Bovan at spring Fashion Week events. Most tresses were teased then pinned, but Giorgio Armani went wilder by piling curls on heads for extra impact. “Voluminous 1990s-inspired blowouts are among my favorite looks this season,” says Jamie Garland (@jamiegarlandhair), stylist at SF Color Collective in San Francisco. “The idea is to channel Cindy Crawford circa her 1992 Pepsi commercial.” Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is therefore a must-have product, as it soaks up oils while adding va-va-volume and in using a scent pros call addictive.
Accessories from the same decade are coming back as well. After actor Jason Momoa’s pale pink Fendi scrunchie stole red-carpet hearts at this year’s Vanity Fair Oscar party, everyone had to get their hands on the throwback hair staple. “Clips and barrettes have likewise made a reappearance, though with more bling than seen in the past,” Garland says. Those going short are doing so sans texture by bringing on blunt ends. “Another of this year’s hottest fads is letting go and feeling free with a chopped bob,” Garland continues. “Think above the shoulders, ’70s-inspired, a la Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.” Part of the draw is this look’s versatility: Wear it straight, wavy or slicked.
The season’s hottest colors celebrate a dichotomy. On the one hand, blondes are having extra fun, because golden hair is back. “Warm tones are lighter and brighter, embracing hues that reflect light to lend manes a gorgeous shine,” Garland explains. Models Anna Rubin and Mads Mullins popped like spotlights while walking for Miu Miu and Saint Laurent, respectively. Gigi Hadid went one shade closer to honey at Versace and Fendi. While these beloved looks are reminiscent of natural sun-kissed tones, the other hair hues du jour can best be defined as experimental. Think vivid yellow, orange, blue, pink, purple–or, as Garland describes, anything you’d find in your crayon box as a kid. “From tie-dye strands to color resembling oil slicks to shimmering metallics, today’s tones are showstoppers,” agrees Breanna Armstrong, founder of Editour, a digital marketing agency specializing in the beauty industry. “Images of vibrant hues combined with a unique up-do–think bun or complex braid–are currently generating the highest engagement on Instagram and other social media.” Pro tip: Watch for Pulp Riot colorist Josh Rainville (@abhairbyjosh), whose breathtaking range of unicorn to neon hair art is poised to blow him up as a top beauty influencer.
From strands to peepers, color is returning in the form of eyeshadow. “It’s all about profusion and interesting placement,” says Helen Phillip, Sephora Collection national makeup artist. “A dab on the inner corner of one eye or a wash over the crease makes this look simultaneously minimalistic and impactful.” Neon makeup was the rage for designer Byblos during Milan Fashion Week, with eyes showcasing graphic shades of electric tangerine, turquoise and magenta. Christian Siriano stayed loyal to a single hue–spring green– applied generously all over models’ lids, while specks of hot pink were dotted near outer creases at Chalayan.
Pink is ubiquitous this season. “My favorite is the mono-chromatic pink trend, because a shade of it exists that’s perfect for every age and skin tone,” says Melissa Baker, makeup artist and Merle Norman director of education. “You’ll see it everywhere: on lids, lashes, cheeks and lips.” Case in point: Byblos even featured eyebrows enhanced with hot pink powder. At the Golden Globes, Emma Stone stunned with her rose shadow and matching pink Louis Vuitton gown. Merle Norman’s new summer 2019 Cheek & Bronzer Duo boasts a pale flush blush that’s on trend with Pantone’s “Color of the Year,” Living Coral.
Artistry is also showing its face with intense shapes created using eyeliner. Graphic makeup fans found their niche at Christian Dior’s Paris shows, where black lines shot out from eye corners to graze the tips of temples. “Metallic and bright liners are also being worn in interesting ways, sometimes above the crease or under eyes,” Phillip says. The bolder the better, according to Baker. “Such daring expressions invite us to play with makeup in ways that result in new, revolutionary looks,” the pro muses. Nineties nostalgia is alive here too, with swipes of underliner ranging from sleek and classy to brashly grunge.
Perhaps as compensation, skin is staying dewy. Natural, fresh-scrubbed faces were seen at Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney shows. “Summer is the time to celebrate being outside, and current trends reflect this by highlighting clean, easy-breezy skin,” Baker says.
Makeup contests are likewise trending. #100DaysOfMakeupChallenge does as the name suggests–participants are invited to showcase a unique look each day for over three months. “The #BratzChallenge went viral, prompting makeup artists to transform into Bratz dolls using cosmetics,” Armstrong says. Even 19-year-old makeup maven James Charles (@jamescharles) got swept into the hype, suggesting there’s no limit to our appetite for fantasy. With a name that’s reminiscent of another well-known doll, rapper Bhad Bhabie (@bhadbhabie), aka Danielle Bregoli, is generating buzz by selling dupes of popular cosmetics products for a fraction of the cost via her company, CopyCat Beauty. “This move has been received in many different ways–but reviewed consistently by all the biggest industry in luencers,” Armstrong notes.
When it comes to nails, quick is in. “Everyone is buzzing about Aprés (@apresnailofficial), the new way to apply a full set of gel enhancements in under 20 minutes,” says Julie Kandalec, New York City-based celebrity manicurist and founder of Masterclass Nail Academy. “It’s been especially exciting for nail pros like myself, as celebs often don’t have an hour or more to sit for a full set of sculpted nails.” Soft gel extensions soak off after three weeks and–no surprise–the brand features a ’90s-inspired Airbrush collection.
From gels to jelly, the au courant mani style is like sporting ten juicy candy pieces on the tips of fingers. Kylie Jenner’s pink jelly nails recently garnered over 4 million Instagram likes. “LA-based nail influencer Chaun P. (@chaunlegend) is a great example of an artist responsible for creating and furthering this trend,” Armstrong says. Big, bold shades such as neons and wild patterns such as animal prints are among summer’s hottest. “I love Chanel’s new neon Le Vernis collection, especially ‘Techno Bloom,’ which is an eye-popping shade of pink,” Kandalec says. Look also for OPI Tokyo collection, particularly “Tempurature is Rising” (orange) and Morgan Taylor’s “Anime-zing Color” (purple). Glitter is sticking like–well, glitter. At Kate Spade’s spring/summer 2019 shows, models’ nails were left mainly nude, then dusted in a light kiss of sparkles to honor the late designer and one of her most famous quotes, “She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”
When it comes to shape, pointy stilettos are out. “Dramatic coffin nails are being seen less too,” Kandalec says. Instead, almond and narrow squares are trending. Nail art, on the other hand, seems here to stay. “I’m seeing two sides of the spectrum,” Kandalec says. The first is familiar: wild, bold, graphic. But in Korea and Japan, a new form of expression is on the rise. “Using crushed shells, hand-bent wire, miniature dried flowers often arranged in a bouquet and tiny flecks of gold bullion, we’re witnessing among the most delicate nail art ever created,” the expert marvels. Check out Mina (@mina37xx) for examples, and get Halle Butler (@hallebnails), Meagen Knight (@tinybrushes) and Harli G (@nailsbyharlig) on your radar as groundbreaking talon masters.