TikTok’s buzziest beauty trend is all about creating a soft matte look, while still letting your skin shine. Get the lowdown on how to achieve the cloud skin finish.
Beauty lovers can finally have the best of both worlds.
There’s no denying TikTok is the gift that keeps on giving, especially when it comes to showcasing fun and functional techniques people can implement in their daily makeup routines. And now, TikTok’s buzzy cloud skin trend is a win-win for everyone, as it perfectly blends a dewy and matte finish.
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, the cloud skin craze consists of creating a soft and hazy matte look, while still letting your skin breathe allowing a natural glow.
MAC Cosmetics’ Global Senior Artist, Dominic Skinner—who originally coined the term cloud skin—explained why people were opting for the versatile look. Fun fact: The trend initially took off in 2020 during London Fashion Week, but it’s been picking up steam once again on TikTok.
“People are becoming fascinated with skincare and skin treatments but they also aren’t seeing foundation and powder as something they simply put on and run with,” Dominic told Refinery29 at the time. “It’s all about specifically placed powder, a touch of foundation and a facial oil to prime the skin.”
As for where you should dust your powder? The makeup artist suggested you mattify the inner corners of the eyes and around the nostrils, which will make your foundation last longer.
But if you tend to shine in other areas that you don’t want to be highlighted (no pun intended), he said, “I always powder the jawline so it makes the cheeks look slightly shiny and sheer. And when you powder your forehead, just powder the hairline because you control the placement of the shine, and the powder will slowly dissipate and graduate to nothing.”
All in all the cloud skin trend adds softness and radiance to the complexion, with Dominic adding, “It’s sort of lightness and a fluffiness.”
In Greek mythology, a siren is a symbol of seduction; their sea-nymph songs are said to be so enchanting they can lure sailors to their deaths. Over the course of modern history, the phrase has come to be synonymous with women who are so enticing they’re dangerous, especially on screen when they’re adorned with a sultry winged eye. Think Veronica Lake in 1942’s This Gun for Hire, or Selina Kyle in 1992’s Batman Returns or 2022’s The Batman.
This is the essence of TikTok’s latest beauty craze, known as siren eyes. It all began a few weeks ago with creator @DanielleMarcan, who coined the phrase as she sought to make her gaze more seductive with elongated flicks of jet-black eyeliner along the inner and outer corners of the eyes. Since then, the #SirenEyes hashtag has accumulated nearly 280 million views, inspiring users to tap into their “dark femininity,” as Marcan puts it, and punctuate their eyes with a little smolder.
“There’s definitely a touch of noir,” makeup artist Cassandra Garcia says of the siren eyes trend, a look that’s appeared in different iterations across red carpets on the likes of Zendaya and Bella Hadid for years. “It’s such a sultry, yet wearable twist on a classic cat-eye, and I love that you can go from a [subtle] application to a more intense wing.” Fellow pro Carolina Dali agrees: “It lifts, elongates, and opens up the eyes… What’s not love?”
If you’re recreating the siren eyes look on yourself, Dali stresses the importance of calibrating it to your eye shape. “If it’s your first time trying it, play with it when you have nowhere to go,” she says. “Shadow and line where it best complements your own eye shape.” A few helpful strategies: “For those with eyes on the smaller side, line the center of the lash line with a nude liner to further open up the eyes,” she says, noting her go-to is Chanel’s Le Crayon in beige shade Claire. “If your eyes are set closer to one another, go lightly on the liner in the inner corner and follow with a touch of champagne eyeshadow to brighten up that area and create an illusion of more space between the eyes.” To correct any mistakes and perfect the lines, keep cotton swabs and a bottle of micellar water on hand.
A fierce reimagination of traditional feline flicks, siren eyes are a striking alternative to beauty’s more pared trends of the moment. “After a while of the clean, no-makeup makeup, so many of us are looking to switch it up and get more experimental and sexier with our makeup,” Dali says. “It plays up on the sultriness and mystery in a person’s gaze.”
Neon beauty is having a moment. Recently, singer Selena Gomez took to Instagram to show off her neon coral make-up, which faded out from the inner corners of her eyes and was masterfully executed by Los Angeles-based make-up artist Jenna Nicole. To complete the look, the pop star wore a set of lime-green nails and a bronze tan.
Cut to Off-White’s AW21 show, and, once again, neon took centre stage. Using specially crafted crayons in neoprene orange and Yves Klein blue, which picked out the main colours of creative director Virgil Abloh’s latest collection, make-up artist Morgane Martini offered a masterclass in how to work a graphic-neon eye in an off-beat, modern way.
“The name of the show was Laboratory of Fun, which instantly led me to colourful make-up ideas, and Virgil wanted a strong eye,” Martini tells Vogue. “Neon is like bringing a flashlight to your face and, in this case, to your eyes. It was important that these looks reflected a kind of self-expression that could suit anyone, no matter the gender or age.”
Here, Martini shares her top tips for creating the perfect neon eye with a cool, modern twist.
1. Less is more
“My number one tip would be to use neon sparingly. There’s no need to go crazy here. I didn’t want anything that would take over from the actual looks. I just wanted it to be a little detail, a little splash of colour — a bit on the inner corner of the eye or a small eyeliner will give a strong impact and I love that.”
2. Go graphic
“The idea for those graphic elements came from the collection. They brought a touch of modern and cool. lt didn’t feel like make-up, it was more an accessory for the eye.
“To create the look, I used tape and went over it with a pencil. It’s not that difficult at all — you just have to place the tape correctly. It has an instant modern and creative feel, and the ability to be both bold and subtle. It’s nice to change things up and explore other ways to enhance features.”
3. Avoid the lash line
“Make sure it doesn’t get into the lash line and lashes. You can use a thin cotton swab dipped in micellar water to clean any mistakes after application.”
4. Keep colours to a minimum
“Neon is such a bold statement in itself that you have to be shy about applying it. You don’t want to look like you’re going to [California festival] Coachella. I used colours that I saw in the collection that felt complementary, without taking over everything.
“For the graphic line, we kept it monochromatic. Other looks have a mix of blue and orange, but, for example, the look I did on Joan Smalls had the blue, but with a warmer orange, not as bright. I kept it minimal — sometimes, things are more powerful when they’re simple. Whereas the more you use, it can become gimmicky and you lose impact.”
5. Leave everything else natural
“We wanted the make-up to be genderless, so that’s why I wanted to keep it clean, simple and paired with fresh skin. I didn’t even put blush, contour or any mascara on the models — it was really as pared back as we could get it.”
Let’s face it: You probably haven’t been wearing much makeup this year. It’s been months of staying home, wearing loungey clothes, and covering half of your face with 2020’s hottest accessory, the fabric face mask. For these reasons, you may not have had an excuse to beat your face the way you normally do. But with the holidays upon us — arguably the most glamorous time of the year — it’s the perfect time for you to get back into the swing of your makeup-wearing ways, so you’ll need to be ready with all of the winter 2020 makeup trends to complete your looks. Holiday parties won’t look the same this year, which means the glam won’t be the same either. Whether your gatherings are of the in-person-socially-distanced variety or are completely virtual (and you’re wearing pajama bottoms under your dressy top), you can use these fun winter makeup trends to create makeup looks that make you feel like things are slightly normal. Of course, if you’re headed to a party in person, hopefully masks are required — which means you have the opportunity to put all the focus on your eyes. And if you’re celebrating from behind your webcam, then you can do a full face using some of this season’s trends. Ahead, some of the most in-demand celebrity makeup artists on what they think the biggest winter makeup trends will look like, from dramatic eyeshadow to glossy skin.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #29 series on my blog.
The Ultimate Cat Eye
Daniel Chinchilla, the celebrity makeup artist behind some of Ariana Grande’s most iconic red carpet cat eyes, says the classic look will be back in a big way this winter. “Cat eyes are an easy and sexy way to play up your eyes and feel done up,” he says. “What I love is that you can go as natural or dramatic as you want.” You can even add a glitter liner on top of your traditional black, or go with a bolder color for something more fun. To get the perfect shape, he recommends starting from the end of the eye and pointing it towards the top of the ears. Then gliding liner inward. If you’re using a pen liner, whether it’s felt or brush tip, the more you press down, the thicker your line is, so you’re able to maintain full control.
2. Drama in the Eyes
Another holiday season classic, revamped. “As we get closer to holiday, the coming trend is going to be full-on glamour,” says Tanno. “[You don’t have to] just pick one feature to focus on — you can go for both [dramatic] eyeshadow and matte lips.” She says that Lady Gaga loves a monochromatic look from lash to brow, which you can achieve by washing an eyeshadow all over the lid and up the crease and using colors in the same family to add slight definition. “With any matte lip product it is key to make sure to prep your lips first,” she says. Matte finishes show more texture on your lips, so start by exfoliating your lips with a scrub like Lush’s Mint Julips. Next, apply a bit of any lip balm — the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm is ultra-hydrating — and blot. Fill in your lips with a matte lip crayon like Haus Labs’ Le Monster Matte, and add a bit of concealer around the mouth to have a really sharp, standout pout.
3. Fluffy Brows
First came the over-tweezed brows, then the Instagram-favorite blocky brow, and now, fluffy, natural-looking brows are on trend. “I like this trend because by brushing the brows up and making the hairs straight,” says celebrity makeup artist, Patrick Ta, whose signature stamp is a full, fluffy brow. “It changes the face shape and creates a more angled look and lifts the face.” Chinchilla also thinks this trend will be huge this season, especially since face masks will continue to be worn well into the winter. “Brows are such a focal point on the face so I love making sure they make a statement,” he says. Try out a product that tints and volumizes your brow hairs without making them appear drawn on or overly done, like the Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Shaping Wax or Glossier Boy Brow. Use a brow pen like Urban Decay’s Brow Blade to fill in any sparse areas.
4. That Glow
“Winter usually leans a little more matte when it comes to skin and makeup, but changing it up and giving the skin a glow is going to be huge this season,” says Ta. Sarah Tanno, celebrity makeup artist and Global Artistry Director for Haus Laboratories, is also sure that this will be a trend this winter. To get the look, she recommends “sweeping blush and bronzer above the cheekbones from the temple to the nose and draping a highlighter across the top to find your best light.” Topping your color product with a glossy highlighter can really add dimension and depth to your look. Finalizing the look with an ultra-glossy lip can really complete it, giving your whole face a dewy, glowy finish. For highlighter, check out Patrick Ta Beauty’s Face Gloss or the Nudestix Nudies Glow in Hey, Honey. Tanno loves using the Haus Labs Head Rush Blush Duo in Bouquet & Ribbon. For lip gloss, Dose of Colors has a wide array of flat and glitter glosses with high-shine finishes, or you can use the Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Hydrating Coconut Lip Oil as a clear topper over your lipstick.
5. Get Graphic
You’ve probably seen graphic eyeliner looks all over Instagram so it should come as a surprise to you that both Chinchilla and Ta are predicting that the trend will be huge this winter. “It’s a great way to play with a little color without having to master the art or eyeshadow blending,” says Chinchilla. “Best of all, there are no rules!” Ta adds, “I love the fact that you can play and change the eye shape. I think it’s a fun trend that you can wear year round, it’s playful and fun, and it’s a way to play with color without having too much color on the eye.” Chinchilla recommends taking a tiny detail brush to a product like the KVD Vegan Beauty Super Pomade because they’re “super easy to use and are completely waterproof.” If you need a little more control and prefer a pencil format, the Colourpop Creme Gel Liners are hyperpigmented and easy to manipulate on the eye. Mix and match different colors and play with shapes or negative space until you achieve your desired effect.
6. Living in Liner
Another eyeliner trend for the season is what Tanno is calling “lived-in liner,” citing it as one of Lady Gaga’s current favorite makeup styles. Lived-in liner is a smudged, smoked-out look that you can achieve with just one easy product: a malleable eyeliner pencil. Look for a soft pencil like the Haus Labs Eye-dentify Gel Pencil or the Marc Jacobs Beauty Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner that gives you a little play time. Line your eyes with the pencil and use a smudging brush like Makeup by Mario’s E 5 Makeup Brush to create your desired shape. Pencils like the ones from Haus Labs and Marc Jacobs dry down so that you don’t have to worry about them budging all night long.