Beauty Trends Around the World: 2018 Edition

Valerie Wu, Managing Editor

Beauty varies across cultures; yet, as time passes, there are some general trends that begin to define a culture as much as they are a part of it. The Voice took a look at some of the most popular beauty trends  today to see how the perception of aesthetics has shifted in the world of 2018.

France: The “Natural” Look

In France, the common aesthetic is one of simplicity. Instead of focusing on what can be “fixed,” the goal is to center on what can be “prevented,” according to a report from Aesthetic Edit. Key characteristics include air-dried hair, a regimented skincare regime and earth-toned makeup. Can someone say laissez-faire?

South Korea: Skin Brightening

Skin brightening in K-Beauty language is synonymous with glow and radiance, which are characteristics that can help fade forms of darkness (ex. acne scars, hyperpigmentation, etc.) on the skin. According to Katherine Lee from The Klog, the ideal of lighter skin is rooted in historical perceptions of social class, as a lighter skin tone was associated with less physical labor outdoors and therefore more wealth.

Although the definition has changed, bright, lighter skin is still considered the epitome of “beauty” in South Korea. Such interest has resulted in a stream of products aimed to create paler skin, such as Soko Glam’s 5-Step Brightening Kit or The History of Whoo’s Radiant White Intensive Spot Corrector.

Russia: 3-D Lashes

Russia’s 3-D eyelash trend is the latest in the eyelash extension industry. It consists of forming a “bouquet of lashes” through the adhesive addition of extra lashes on a primary lash.  The technique was created by Irina Levchuk, who is known as the “eyelash queen” for founding the Lash & Brown Academy, a network of training centers for eyebrow correction.

Similar to fake lashes, the goal of 3-D lashes is to create a more dramatic look for those with finer lashes. Unlike the original fake lashes, however, 3-D lashes appear more natural and can last for up to three months.

Mexico: Balayage

Balayage is a coloring technique for the hair in which color is applied directly by hand. This low-maintenance hairstyle is especially popular for those who wish for lighter colors without becoming completely blonde. Recently, the technique has grown increasingly popular in Mexico. According to a report from Vogue, searches for the technique have grown 235 percent this past year, revealing its persistence as a global trend.

Japan: The “Dollface” Look

Japan’s “dollface” (gyaru) look is based off the ideas of purity and femininity in the appearance of a porcelain doll. It aims to feature the eyes and skin through the use of neutral tones, exaggerated lashes and pale blush colors. Originating in the Harajuku fashion district, it has now taken on a life of its own with a less extreme derivative called ulzzang in South Korea.

India: Turmeric Milk

Turmeric milk’s skin-friendly antioxidant properties helps restore skin radiance. According to NDTV, turmeric milk’s anti-inflammatory features can not only reduce scars, but also delay signs of aging. It is commonly regarded as an immunity booster as well.

Although it remains a tradition, turmeric milk is still popular as a skincare ritual for its assistance in treating uneven skin tone as well as helping in exfoliation. Many face masks use turmeric, and you can even make your own!

United States: Gender-Neutral Beauty

In line with recent political developments, the beauty industry is evolving to become more inclusive in the products they offer to their demographics. Instead of only offering gender-exclusive beauty products, more and more brands are catering to non-binary audiences.

From neutral packaging options to all-encompassing advertising campaigns, companies such as Panacea and Non Gender Specific are taking a step forwards to reverse the gender-stratified standards of the beauty industry.