As the look of streetwear has become more relaxed and informal (dare I say we are entering yet another neo-grunge moment in Manhattan) attitudes towards cosmetics have shifted. While the enthusiasm for facepaint remains unwavering – the stripes of Sephora have become almost as ubiquitous as the Starbucks logo – the day glo eye shadows and bright glosses that just a few seasons ago signaled youthful impetuousness now seem almost passe. With the current ‘I don’t even own a hairbrush’ aesthetic and low maintanance style icons like Lou Doillion wearing only lip balm, all the cool girls have gone minimal, trading in their Winehouse winged liner for the barest hints of concealer and mascara. Many moons ago the NY Times charted the birth of this trend on the bare faces of chic France women , noting the irony of makeup applied to create the appearance of a nude visage. Now that the look has traveled stateside the incongrous nature of such pretence is even more evident. It takes several applications of Touche Éclat, the deftest swipes of Definicils and an extra coat of NARS blush just to look natural.
Perhaps the real story behind such slight of hand beauty tricks lies not in the look itself but in the air of effortlessness it strives to create. Nothing is more difficult than trying to make something look easy.