The NYC Beauty Starter Pack: What All the City Girls Are Using
As the classic saying goes, trends come and go. And while we're never going to declare you have to do anything (beauty is personal, after all, and certainly not one-size-fits-all), it is fun to stay alert on new and different goings-on in the beauty space. In New York, doing so is easy—all you have to is step outside your door, walk down the street, grab a coffee, whatever. Trends strut down the New York City streets just like they would a runway, and people-watching is one of our favourite pastimes.
Below, find the beauty trends we've witnessed all over New York that are both easy to achieve and incredibly cool. We paired a few product recommendations with each one to keep it simple, so all you have to do is scroll, click, and experiment.
2018 is all about showing off your natural texture—volume, cowlicks, frizz, what have you—with an air-dried style. Though it's not entirely effortless (healthy curls come with a lot of maintenance, products, and techniques), it allows us to put our unique curl patterns on display. While women of colour have been wearing their natural curls for centuries, Vernon François, celebrity hairstylist and founder of the Vernon François Collection, notes a shift. "Wearing curly hair loose and free—just letting it be—has shaped the last 10 years," he suggests. "Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Uzo Aduba, Alicia Keys, Shakira, and Solange all own this so well. They're unapologetic for the volume. It's a must-wear style for women with big, curly hair."
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Original Leave-In Moisturizer ($25)
Bold, loud, neon eyeliner has made it big this season, adorning the lids of a huge majority of New Yorkers. In fact, for the last year, galaxy-inspired makeup (sparkly, holographic, and neon) has been everywhere, flying off the shelves minutes after the initial drop. The explanation? Perhaps it has something to do with a much larger movement. Celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath describes the club-kid look, beckoning back to its roots in punk subculture, as a way to demonstrate "provocation, relinquishing caution, and doing whatever you please." So go for it. Apply the most daring coloured liner you can find and walk the streets with conviction.
There has not been a single season, decade, or time when red lipstick wasn't en vogue, especially in New York. But with the weather, the hue goes from brick to true red to bright orange-red and back again. Now that we're in the dog days of summer, we can't stay away from the tropical vibes our favourite orange-reds provide.
All of our favourite makeup brands have been launching a glowy, pink balm that hydrates just as thoroughly as it colours your lips. It's subtle but radiant and adds just the right amount of juiciness to an otherwise no-makeup summer look.
We love a precise lip look—that goes without saying. But there's something sultry and effortless about a melty, slightly smudged one too. This trend is nothing new. We've been trying to pull off a properly Popsicle-stained mouth since childhood. But now, lipstick, gloss, and balm brands are far more innovative. The new formulas pretty much do the work for you. All you have to do is apply, smudge, and go.
Gone are the days when a manicure meant just one traditional colour. Now, as the weather heats up, so do our fingertips. Try painting each nail a different shade so that A) you never have to choose between favorites again, and B) you get compliments from every passerby who happens to notice. I like to think of this as the minimalist's nail art—a way to add a playfulness to your manicure without all the intricate designs and illustrations.
Like neon eyeliner, this minimal (though still bold, cool, and fresh-looking) trend is the easiest way to turn your eyelids into artistry. With just a single, opaque shock of color on your eyes and not much else, you can pull off a street-worthy look in mere seconds. Which, in New York, is a huge draw because somehow you're always on the go. It's a way to look both put-together and effortless at the same time, both street style–appropriate and model-off-duty. Victoria, our wellness editor and pioneer of this particular trend, draws a thoughtful comparison between wearing this makeup look and wearing no makeup at all: "I feel less obliged to wear [makeup] than ever but also have really come to appreciate the artistry of it—not in a super-done-up, airbrushed-looking way, but in the ability to play with color and really have fun. If you think about it, these two extremes actually go hand in hand: They both share this underlying thread of appreciating your own individuality. I'm wearing a shock of matte orange eye shadow across my lids, and that feels as 'me' as it does when I wake up with nothing on my face every morning."
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more attractive than leaving your (possibly void of AC) New York City apartment with wet hair. The best way to do this and still look chic? Grab a shower, cool off, and slick your hair back with a repairing, moisturising mask. Sure, you can use gels and other glossing products if you so choose (we have a few favorites below), but I find a mask does the same job and nourishes your hair to boot. No styling necessary, just a simple, brushed-back bun (go for a Tangle Teezer so as to not break any wet strands) that looks quite beautiful all day long.
There's nothing like the humidity of New York to turn sweaty skin into a trend. Though, in this case, it's more a glassy glow we're after—slightly sweaty, if you will. It's easy to pull off and offers a vacation-like finish wherever you go, whether you're actually on holiday or just hustling to work. Use facial mists, dewy cushion compacts, and cream-based highlighters to pull it off. Or step outside and let the weather do its thing.