Beauty Trends That Can be Credited to Black Culture30.10.2021
It can be hard to not get caught up in the moment, especially with micro-trends, fast fashion, and constantly changing styles. Many forget to consider the historical and cultural contexts behind the trends that are resurfacing over and over again, despite the clickbait hashtags and viral videos.
Undoubtedly, many of the trends that are dominating the beauty industry today come from Black culture and from Black beauty icons in entertainment. The beauty industry is a result of Black culture, which has many creative professional techniques and stunning looks. Continue reading to find out more about the inspiration and origins of some of today’s most beloved trends.
- Euphoria make-up
The social media scene has taken a soaring turn since the 2019 release of American drama Euphoria. In 2019, the shimmery, abstract makeup looks that characterized the show have been a huge hit. This cosmetic trend is on the rise, with #euphoria receiving an incredible 6.2 billion views on Tik Tok and #euphoriamakeup attracting 610.4 million. Many people are unaware that black makeup artists created the look that made Euphoria so famous long before the show’s release.
British makeup artist, Dame Pat McGrath, is well-known for her unconventional styles, block colours and bejeweled designs. She has also been known for her graphic liners. Vogue has called her the most influential makeup artist worldwide. Her abstract style has been a major influence on many of the most current beauty trends. All these styles, from the return to blue mascara to the popularity of graphic liner looks can be traced back through Pat McGrath’s runway work. This trend seems to be here to stay, with more people wanting to experiment with their style than ever.
- Statement nails
Acrylic nails are one of the most popular beauty trends of today that has been pioneered by Black women. These intricate, artistic nails were popularized by 1970s disco stars like Diana Ross and Donna Summers. They remained in fashion until the 1990s. Black hip-hop and R&B artists like Lil Kim and Missy Elliott were well-known for their extravagant manicures and long hair.
Creative nail art has been a popular trend in beauty since then. You can see nail art everywhere, from elaborate acrylics to sleek polished designs on runways and in magazines, as well as on social media pages, blogs, and even everyday life. Black women have been using nail art for decades to express themselves and their unique style. They have pioneered many of the nail art designs we see on Instagram and TikTok today, including pierced nails and rhinestone details.
- Glitter lids
Glitter cosmetics have become a big beauty trend, from prismatic colors to holographic gems to glitter cosmetics. Beauty enthusiasts are always on the lookout to find innovative ways to incorporate glitter in their everyday looks.
Glitter makeup and shimmery eyes were huge trends in the 90s and 2000s. The Nollywood film scene was the first to use the term “glimmerati” to describe the Nigerian movie industry. They were also the pioneers of many of today’s hottest 90s and Y2K trends, including the classic pop of glitter.
This iconic look is known for its subtle sheens as well as frosted shadows. It quickly became a mainstream trend, and it continues to be popular today, with modern versions of the shiny eye being seen on everything from high-fashion runways to social media.
- Laying edges
The art of “laying your edges” has been a very popular way to style flyaway baby hairs in recent years. This hairstyle is popular among celebrities and influential people today, but it has a richer history.
Josephine Baker, a comedian and civil rights activist, popularized the finger wave. What started as a way to slick down hair to make it look less kinky, turned into the iconic fingerwave. The new Black feminine style, finger waves, was emblematic of that era. In the 1950s and 1960s, bumps and beehives were accompanied with delicately placed swirls along the hairline. These classic styles were modernized and re-invented in the 1990s by Missy Elliott, a hip hop artist who rocked the finger wave and updated bouffant hairstyles with slicked edges.
Many new methods for laying your edges over the years have been invented, such as using a toothbrush or a stiff bristled brush. This timeless style is still very popular.
- Silk hair wraps
Hair wraps are a common practice in many African cultures. Headwraps are worn as traditional clothing and can be styled in a variety ways to represent different statuses, such as wealth, marital status, or mourning. Silk headscarves or wraps can be worn at night as a protective cover to protect hairstyles from damage during sleep.
The trans-Atlantic slave trading, where headscarves were imposed as a sign that oppression was followed by the 70s, when the headwrap returned as a symbol for rebellion and a celebration Black beauty. In the 1990s and 2000s, hair wraps were popularized by prominent Black women in music and entertainment such as Erykah Blau and India Arie. They paid tribute to Black hair culture’s history.
The silk bonnet and headscarf are essential for every person’s wash routine, as many women have joined the natural hair revolution. Silk is being used in a variety of ways, including as pillowcases and bonnets. This helps to keep locks healthy and prevents damage.