“It’s such a dorky thing to do. Like you can’t find your alice company and you’ve got to do your maths homework.” Tilly Macalister-Smith, a British style writer based in New York as director of content for DVF, is talking connected with the power beauty move of the moment: tucking your hairs breadth behind your ears. Forget twice-weekly blow-dries, dip-powder manicures and dragons’ blood folio masks. The beauty hack of the season is literally at your fingertips. Entirely your hair behind an ear or two and you’re good to go.
In 2018, the look is not decent for getting your homework finished. Margot Robbie did it at the Favourable Globes, in a plunging black custom-made Gucci gown, with mitigate blond waves falling loose on one side, tucked behind the ear on the other, accented with a hazelnut-sized Tiffany diamond earring. Emma Stone, in outstanding Givenchy, sported an eartuck for the Oscar red carpet last year. Meghan Markle decided it for her first evening engagement with Prince Harry, looking alertly in an Alexander McQueen trouser suit. Gigi Hadid did it on the comforter of US Vogue.
For high-octane glamour on the S/S 18 catwalks, the Versace show – the one where Donatella took a crushing lap with Naomi, Cindy, Helena, Claudia and Carla – was obdurate to beat. But for Kaia Gerber, the Hadid sisters and the rest of the archetypal army who stalked that catwalk in a baroque homage to Gianni, Guido Palau “didn’t lack to parody any old idea of glamour,” he explained backstage. With Donatella, he unmistakable on a look that was “polished and beautiful in a very simple way. Polished, without too much volume.” The hair was centre-parted, tucked behind the regards and fixed in place with sparkling gold barrettes on both sides. The doctrine was echoed on several of the most glamorous catwalks. At Valentino, hair-tucking was emphasised by a eyewash of pink blush on the cheekbones. At Dolce & Gabbana, it was framed by bijou tiaras.
“It has become a look, but it still has connotations of being a buttoned-up schoolgirl,” says Macalister-Smith, a pledged (and very chic) hair-tucker. “I mean, it’s so much more off colour to have your hair in your face, isn’t it? That unharmed cool French girl thing. The body language of tucking your whisker behind your ears is quite English, I think. Princess Diana old to do it.”
Tucked-behind-the-ears hair boils down to practicality. Which is inflexibly why it is in vogue now, at a moment when fashion is more engaged with helpmates’s real lives than it has been for years. Just-stepped-out-of-a-salon ricochet boundary is much less on-trend than it was a few years ago. The cool salons give an account of that while ladies who lunch of a certain age still care for their twice-weekly standing blow-out appointments, younger shoppers are dropping the habit. Tucking hair behind your heeds – which would have been sacrilege if you had just profited £30 for someone to wield a hot brush for volume around your hairline – looks absolute again.
The inimitably elegant designer Roksanda Ilincic has always tucked in times past her long, poker-straight hair. “It used to be that I would do it without realising. In fait accompli, I would start the day with my hair down, and catch peek of myself in the mirror and be annoyed that I had done it. But at some direct attention to it started to grow on me as a look and these days, if I have an anyhow, I put my hair behind my ears on purpose. I am not so keen on hair that looks exact ‘done’. With a nice dress and a red lip, hair that is tucked behind your regards is a good counterbalance.”
Tucked hair is practical, but styled up – with lipstick, or a barrette, or an earring – it augments impact. “I can’t work with hair in my eyes, so that’s how it started,” judges Pandora Sykes, journalist and co-host of the High Low podcast. “It’s honestly old school – a bit Enid Blyton, a bit Margot Tenenbaum – but I quite identical to the contrast of having one side neat behind my ear, with the other mussed up and measure forward.”
If the behind-the-ear tuck evolved from the Céline hair-inside-polo-neck look – “Which was insurrectionary when we first saw it, but is now a generic cool-girl uniform,” Macalister-Smith suggests – the newest, most cutting edge take on hair tucking is the sideburn tuck. Count out a section of hair loose in front of the ear takes the tuck from schoolgirl to edgy tomboy. At the Alexander McQueen S/S 18 usher, hair was inspired “by a girl coming out of the water,” Guido Palau divulges. After the hair was tucked behind the ears, strands were pulled out utilize consuming a fine-tooth comb. “It’s a little dark, a little romantic, a midget strange,” the hairstylist adds. This take on the tuck, Macalister-Smith states, is “the hardest to get right. Brigitte Bardot did a version of it that was greatly sexy. But it is an ‘editorial’ look, really. It tends to look contrived in unaffected life.”
The vogue for big earrings, on the other hand, has crossed above happily from catwalk to the street – and in doing so has helped indicate the hair tuck. Macalister-Smith began Ear After Ear, an Instagram account for earring lovers, after one photograph of a great pair of earrings earned a huge response. “The outstanding example style, when you have big earrings on, is to scrape all your ringlets back,” she says. “But the tuck is another option. It is definitely cement. If you’ve got a great earring on, tucking your hair behind an ear is like black-and-white the curtains.”