How to Keep Up with All of The Trends, According to a Beauty Editor? Don't!

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Cold girl makeup, barbiecore, vanilla girl, indie sleaze. Keeping up with the latest beauty trends has become as futile a task as keeping up with my inbox, which, incidentally, is filled with emails about cold girl makeup, barbiecore and the like. Whereas we used to go by season (“the lipstick shade you’ll see everywhere this fall” or “10 hairstyles to try this summer”), the average lifespan of a trend on TikTok is a few weeks at most.

So, do we still care about them? My elderly millennial instinct is to say no, who has the time? But the numbers say otherwise, and a part of my job as an editor in digital media involves knowing what people are searching for. Over the years, I’ve learned two perplexing truths: the trend cycle keeps getting shorter, meaning their sum relevance is increasingly diminished, yet interest in what’s trending has only grown, as new platforms like TikTok give us more options than ever before.

Therein lies one silver lining to having so many options: More people can be reached. When we were first navigating the joys of puberty in the early 2000s, we only had magazines to tell us what was in or out, and boy were the options limited if you didn’t fit a very specific aesthetic. Simple instructions like “apply eyeshadow to the crease” confounded me at 14. As a monolidded Korean girl, I didn’t have anything close to a crease, so where was I supposed to put my eyeshadow? At least now, we have an abundance of choices available to us. We have celebrity hairstylists who show us how to care for curls and natural hair on Instagram. We have TikTokers who are helping trans youth figure out their makeup routines. We have YouTubers who cater to the over 50 crowd. Yes, the trends are coming in a mile a minute, but they’re also serving audiences who have historically been left out of the experience.

As the trend cycle gets shorter and shorter, I’m rethinking the way I view them. In my 30s, I don’t really look to trends as a guide for cultural relevance (especially given their fast nature), but I find people’s insistence on having them to be endearing. Reassuring, even.

Behind all the labels we have for ourselves and each other, our collective curiosity is piqued when we hear a ridiculous statement like “jellyfish haircuts are trending.” And in a world where so much of the discourse is around what divides us, there is something inanely hopeful and unifying in knowing this. Even a jaded millennial like me can get on board with that.

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Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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