Beauty is both universal and shockingly diverse. Take long hair, for example: While beach-y waves have long been associated with Californian cool, Koreans are using wispy layers to create volume and bounce. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, especially with the multi-billion dollar global beauty industry growing everyday.
Tracking these different trends is what makes beauty and skincare so exciting. While each trend gives you an appreciation of just how different our notions of beauty are, the similarities also remind us that we have a lot more in common than we think.
Here are some famous beauty and skincare trends you can spot from different corners of the globe:
This trend is pretty much universal, marking a decided shift against the pencil-thin brows of the early 2000s. The rise of cult favorites like Glossier’s Boy Brow exemplifies just how much attention is placed on brows — and rightly so. After all, your brows are what frame your face. You’ll find feathered and wispy brows across the United States and most of Western Europe, while defined arches (think dramatic lines and deep shades) are what rule much of the Middle East.
Skin whitening can be found predominantly within Asian countries, where white skin is typically associated with privilege and a higher social class. While this mentality is changing (after all, all skin colors are beautiful!), people have taken to skin whitening products for other purposes, like providing a radiant glow and lightening scars. Plus, a lot of new brands have taken it upon themselves to create safe alternatives for women. Pretty Me’s feature on Navarro’s Bleach Soap shows that natural ingredients such as strawberry serum and milk act as exfoliants and moisturizers. While skin whitening has gotten a lot of flak for promoting unrealistic beauty standards, lots of women still credit skin whitening as the source of their confidence.
Natural skin and hair
Allure’s review of some of the best sunscreens in the market reveals that more and more women are looking to take care of their skin first and their makeup second. The resurgence of natural hair is also a new development, although people do acknowledge that it can be hard to maintain. This renewed emphasis on going natural is a sign of how much natural beauty has become its own trend, with women preferring to spend on products that will help them maintain their natural look, instead of erasing
All about the cheeks
In line with all things natural, ‘glowing’ has become the most used term when talking about today’s beauty products. The Guardian writes that women in the UK are applying highlighter to their cheeks for a shiny finish, pairing this look with some bronzer to add definition to the face. Further afield in the Philippines, ‘drunk blush’ — where blush is applied on the apples of the cheeks and the bridge of the nose — is the choice of young FIlipinas looking for a radiant finish.
You can’t write a list on worldwide beauty trends without mentioning the red lip, made famous by Parisians and now globally recognized as a symbol of femininity. Rihanna’s deep red Fenty lip paint is proof that a red lip will always be flattering, regardless of your skin tone. This deep red hue is a step away from the bright corals and brick red hues that we’re used to, reminding us that this timeless classic will always be reinvented.