The Best Beauty Trends of 2018, from Monochromatic Makeup to Glittery Eyeshadow

These hair and makeup trends are beyond bold.


The latest updo is definitely not grandma’s chignon.

Topknots were all over the fall runways, including various incarnations at Chanel, Opening Ceremony, Telfar, and Prabal Gurung. But for the version shown here, the stylist Naoki Komiya went back to the 1960s—specifically, to an iconic image of Veruschka with miles of golden hair woven into a complex knot on her head. For a more casual (and much easier) update, Komiya pulled the model Lucan Gillespie’s hair into a high ponytail and separated it into two “shoelace” knots, which he fastened into place with bobby pins before setting the style with a small amount of TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray. “You can also plait the hair and use small elastic bands on the ends to stop it from coming undone,” Komiya says. Björk and Gwen Stefani, take note.

Model Lucan Gillespie wearing Joseph jackets; Maria Tash earring; David Yurman necklace. Beauty Note: Start fresh. Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Dew Facial Serum delivers a boost of hydration for an easy, everyday glow.

Pastel Eyes

The new multihued pastel makeup has plenty of attitude.

“I wanted a fun, youthful pop of color with a bit of toughness,” says the London-based makeup artist Georgina Graham of this sweet—but not saccharine—take on fall’s pastel eye trend. “I kept thinking about a young Neneh Cherry and her ‘Buffalo Stance’ gang, but as if they’d all gone to Ibiza for a party.” Graham applied blue, lavender, and pink shadows from Kiko, and used brushes of different sizes to create a graphic fade, blurring out the edges with her fingers. To make the look modern, she decided against mascara and simply combed the model Amandine Pouilly’s brows. She also kept skin fresh and natural, prepping cheeks and lids with La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream and Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift before applying the brand’s new Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation. The best part about pastel makeup? Versatility. “I saw Willow Smith rocking pastels on a red carpet recently, and I used them on Alexa Chung for her Paris show,” Graham says. “They work on everyone.”

Marni top; Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. earrings. Beauty note: Shimmer and shine. Covergirl Continuous Color Lipstick in Rose Quartz has a pearlescent, vitamin-infused formula for moisture that lasts.

Holographic Makeup

The most out-of-sight beauty trend? Hologram-worthy makeup.

Blame it on the unicorn. Last year’s obsession with the mythical creature launched a zillion Instagram snaps featuring colorful glitter, hologram paillettes, and pearlescent pigments. The more-is-more trend gained traction with shimmery sheet masks (some infused with real gold); unusual nail lacquers; and iridescent eye shadows, blushes, and lipsticks (Dior Lip Glow Hydrating Color Reviver Balm in Holo Purple is a personal favorite). “What we’re seeing is the natural progression of highlighter mania,” says the makeup artist (and sage) Dick Page, who was inspired by the hologramlike makeup on the Giambatista Valli runway to create the look here. Page used Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and Make Up For Ever Flash Color Pot in Gold and Silver as a “sticky base” to hold bits of sparkle, then mixed Flash Color Pot in Red and Gold to achieve rich, coppery tones on lips, brows, and cheekbones. Subtle? Not quite. Fabulous? Without a doubt.

Nina Ricci dress. Beauty note: Take it all off with Lancôme Énergie de Vie Cleansing Oil, which leaves skin feeling fresh—and ready for bed.

Rock 'n Roll Waves

In real life, French model Aya Jones usually sports a sleek ponytail or wispy bun, but she had no problem channeling a young Ruth Pointer, of the Pointer Sisters, for this shot. That era also came easily to stylist Jimmy Paul, who says, “The ’70s and ’80s were a huge influence on my work, so waves and curls are a big part of what I do.” To protect and add shine to Jones’s strands, Paul worked in a bit of Bumble and bumble All-Style Blow Dry before curling them with a small-barreled iron. Next, he gently brushed out all traces of the iron, spritzed her hair with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin hairspray, and lightly teased it into a soft cloud. Finally, with a quick flick of a ponytail holder and some deftly placed bobby pins, he added shape to the front section, and voilà—an easy, breezy update to a classic dancing-queen ’do.

Modern Monochromatic Makeup

Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, circa the early ’80s, loosely inspired Page’s modern take on monochromatic makeup. “This is what I think of when I think of glamour,” he says. “It’s done and dressy, but not precious.” In the interest of keeping things fresh, he gave model Julia Van Os a painterly pout with Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Diabolo, but left off the lip liner. For super-high-impact eyes, he smudged Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Hyperfresh on upper and lower lids and lightly lined them with Maybelline New York ­Unstoppable Mechanical Eyeliner pencils in Onyx and Pewter. He kept mascara to a minimum and eschewed contour, highlighter, and heavy blush altogether. “It’s about leaving blank spaces. If your face looks too polished, you lose the energy.”

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello coat; Agent Provocateur bra; Céline earrings; David Yurman ring (right hand); Agmes ring (left hand).

The New Wave

When hairstylist Didier Malige saw French model Rose Valentine (pictured) with her naturally curly hair, he was transported back to the ’70s—specifically to a scene in Louis Malle’s 1974 film Lacombe, Lucien, in which the actress Aurore Clément bathes in a stream. “Back then, everyone wanted full, curly hair,” Malige says. “I used to work with Jean Louis David at Henri Bendel in the ’70s, and all the women would ask for perms.” Not that he’s trying to instigate a disco-era big-hair revival. “Hairstyles are dictated by clothes,” he concedes. For a look that works today, simply wet hair and let it dry naturally, without using a brush or comb, directs Malige. Then work in a bit of Kérastase Aura Botanica Essence d’Eclat to add shine to strands, and voilà—the new wave.

Beauty note: Make a smooth move with Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream.

Glittery Eyes

Dick Page, who created the makeup looks on these pages, has a love/hate relationship with glitter. “Once you apply it, you can’t get rid of it,” he says. “It travels to places you never imagined possible. I won’t even keep it in my kit.” Nuisance factor aside, Page appreciates the lightheartedness of the stuff. “It’s flashy, fun, and cheap.” For model Lili Sumner’s sparkly eye, he simply layered “a hit” of MAC Cosmetics Glitter in Silver over Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin ­Protectant and let it slide above and below the crease. “The sex appeal is in the movement,” Page says. “You can’t be grand, aloof, or mysterious when you wear glitter. You want to look like you’ve been clubbing all night.”

Modern Romance

Few models are more informed about beauty and makeup—or art history and fashion—than 23-year-old runway star Teddy Quinlivan. The Boston native, who came out last fall as transgender and is a favorite of designers like Nicolas Ghesquière, Jeremy Scott, and Marc Jacobs, was the creative force behind this shoot. Her ­concept: a day look inspired by history, and a fierce, futuristic version for evening.

“For day, I took a bit of everything I love from the past and mashed it together to create a new vision of something old,” she says. Her mood board included works by ­Leonardo da Vinci (she likes the way he painted hair) and other Renaissance masters, as well as ­unconventional takes on the period by fashion ­photographers and works by contemporary artists like Cindy Sherman. Conventional beauty wasn’t the goal. “Yes, she’s beautiful, but also a bit broken,” Quinlivan says of her character. “I love that she could be ­Elizabethan, or from the Italian Renaissance—it’s uncertain. She’s flushed and shiny, as if she’s been through a struggle of some sort. Maybe she has the plague, or she’s about to be beheaded. Perhaps she’s been in the cold and rain and her makeup is smudged.”

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini top; the Kooples top; MM6 Maison Margiela turtleneck; Chopard earring (worn as brooch); Beauty note: For soft-focus lips that catch the light, try Lancôme L’Absolu Gloss in Sur Les Toits.

Futuristic Glamour

Quinlivan mentally teleported herself to a rave in the year 2150 for the evening look shown here. “I pictured this character as dark and mysterious, with a crazy side,” she says. “What makes a picture exciting for me is when there are layers of reality and fantasy, and the line is blurred between the two. My ­fascination with the future has to do with the inevitability of change and how constantly evolving technology impacts our lives.” She’s especially drawn to the way the future is portrayed in “old” movies and imagery, like her favorite anime film, Ghost in the Shell, from 1995, and the work of the artist Hajime Sorayama, who depicts cyborg women in pinuplike poses. She’s also a big Blade Runner fan. “What lies ahead is often portrayed as apocalyptic or dystopian, but I have a much more optimistic view of the future,” she says. “For one thing, we will all be less afraid to express our identities through makeup and the way we dress.”

Paco Rabanne dress. Maria Tash earrings. Beauty note: Make a future-forward statement with Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Dark Forest.

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