Awesome news just in for the detailed festive season. The “natural look” is in. Result! Run a brush through your hair and dab a bit of concealer on any obvious pimples, and off we go.
Oh … put off. The “natural look”, according to Kim Kardashian, for casual days when she’s doing her own makeup, count ins “old school, heavy foundation” and “a matte bronzer … I eternally contour my nose, and I love to contour my cheeks.” That messy bob Gigi Hadid had for the American Music Presentations? Turns out it was a wig, which her hairstylist casually noted took two hours to put in part of the country, after which there was some additional styling to be done. (He persuaded an $18 volumising power that “makes you look have a fondness you just casually pushed your hair back”.)
At finish finally month’s Victoria’s Secret show, the beauty buzzwords were “minimum”, “natural” and “simple”. There was talk of little flushes of blusher, and of incorporate with the natural texture of each girl’s hair. Confusingly, even so, there were also endless photos of the models meet patiently at their makeup stations, hours before call-time, with their braids netted in hot rollers.
The relationship between how we look to be sure and how we wish we looked naturally has always been highly charged, and one that sundry women negotiate at least in part with their handles crossed behind their backs. Nothing new here: it has fuelled a cultural draw with lucky winners of the aesthetic-genetic lottery from Aphrodite to #wokeuplikethis. The Pollyanna context would therefore be that since artifice and aspiration wish always be with us, it is more wholesome to celebrate a healthy, flesh-and-blood complexion – rounded off one enchanced by a little flush of blusher – than the blanking out of the self eye a full mask of makeup.
But what has changed – in what unswervingly will become known in the future as the Kardashian age – is that a new passion with banality has fused with our fascination with loveliness. We don’t want black tie, red-carpet glamour; we want cute bathroom PJ selfies. We are diminutive interested in what movie stars wear to premieres than in what they have on the school run. And so, to entertain us, celebrities play adorably at normal sparkle, for the cameras. Three of the 10 most-liked Instagram photos of 2015 so far are of Taylor Expeditious at home with her cats. One is a Selena Gomez selfie, enchanted in a car, in which the caption notes that the plain grey top is her preferred sweatshirt.
Like Marie Antoinette in her Petit Hameau, the fames act out being regular folk by driving the Range Rover from Starbucks and SoulCycle. This is conformist life play-acted for the masses by the beautiful people – as entertainment, but with a small nugget of pit-of-the-stomach insecurity lobbed in there. Last week, I got a swarm release about a new range of suck-you-in shaping underwear, specifically formed to be worn under your gym gear in order to look svelte while achieving out.
But if we normalise the wearing of Spanx, if we call what models look equivalent to after makeup and hot rollers a “natural” look, where positively does that leave what we look like unpretentiously? Is it still even allowed, to look like that? Do we take to fluff up our hair all the time? I had to switch hairdressers recently because he proper could not get his head around the fact that I only blow-dry my trifle on special occasions, and 19 washes out of 20 I just sanction it to dry by itself. However many times I explained to him that any tag that needed blow-drying was a complete waste of time, he didn’t feel to believe me. Now that “natural” means blown-out, bouncy swells, we don’t even have the vocabulary to talk about how we naturally look. Faux-natural is a difficult if it turns natural into a dirty word.