From the infamous foundation-in-water hack to the fake freckles frenzy that graced everyone’s faces — it’s safe to say that 2023 has been quite the rollercoaster for beauty trends. At times, it felt as if our Instagram and TikTok feeds were filled with bizarre hacks, questionable techniques, and downright disastrous looks.
As a beauty editor, it’s my duty to separate the wheat from the chaff and guide you through the maze of insanity that has been the beauty sphere this year.
So buckle up, grab your makeup brushes, and join us for a hilarious and enlightening stroll down memory lane as we explore the worst beauty trends 2023 has had to offer. And trust us, you’re not going to want to miss this riotous romp through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
Glitter Overload: Disco Ball Disaster
We always believed a little sparkle would make our lives more fabulous. But in 2023, we witnessed a glitter overload that took things too far. Sequins? Check. Holographic makeup? You bet. Glitter ear lobes? Of course! Sparkling hair extensions? Sign us up!
But it wasn’t all about being fabulous — quickly making this one of the worst beauty trends in 2023!
Our poor skin wasn’t too happy to be bombarded with a layer of shiny stuff that barely let it breathe. And the removal process was not only tedious but often left behind a trail of glitter that seemed to linger indefinitely.
Not to mention the chaos of finding glitter everywhere — on our clothes, bedsheets, and even food (how did that happen?)!
Beyond practical concerns, this also sparked discussions about the environmental impact of glitter, which is often made of microplastics. The trend, therefore, raised awareness about the need for more sustainable and eco-friendly beauty practices!
Overplucked: The Return of the Skinny Brow
First, let’s all agree that going back in time to 2003 might sound exciting, but when it comes to eyebrow trends, we’re better off leaving some things in the past. Skinny brows strips away the natural beauty of fuller brows, leaving behind a thin, barely-there line that does little to frame the face.
The main issue with overplucked brows is that they tend to strip away the natural shape and fullness of the eyebrows, which are key to framing the face and expressing emotions.
Additionally, overplucking can lead to long-term damage to the hair follicles, making it difficult for the brows to grow back fully, leaving many who follow this trend at risk of permanent brow thinning.
So why are we seeing the return of this less-than-flattering trend? Some argue it’s nostalgia (bringing back memories of frosted tips and butterfly clips), while others say it’s just the cyclical nature of fashion. Whatever the reason, we can all agree on one thing: this is one beauty trend we’d gladly pass on.
Fluorescent Mayhem: Neon Eyeshadow Nightmare
We thought that neon eyeshadow was left behind in the 80s! But alas, 2023 has proven us wrong with a shocking resurgence of this bright and bold makeup trend. Sure, we can appreciate a little throwback now and then, but there’s a fine line between nostalgia and a full-blown neon eyeshadow disaster.
To start with, only some can pull off neon colors in their eye makeup, making this trend more of a banana yellow hazard to our fashion senses. Remember, it’s crucial to identify color tones that suit our skin tone, and neon shades just don’t make it for most of us.
Plus, neon makeup can be time-consuming to apply and requires a certain skill level to achieve a harmonious balance. And while you might think a little bit of neon could go a long way in sprucing up our overall look, but here’s the thing: neon eyeshadows tend to clash with other shades in our makeup arsenal.
Feast your eyes on these cringe-worthy color combos we’ve spotted in the wild:
- Neon pink + brown lipstick = makeup mishap
- Glowing green + red blush = holiday disaster
- Electric blue + orange foundation = color wheel catastrophe
Faux Fix: Fake Freckles Frenzy
The faux freckles trend of 2023 took a whimsical beauty concept and turned it into a full-blown frenzy, making it one of the worst beauty trends in 2023. This look involves artificially creating freckles across the face, often using makeup like eyeliners or special freckle pens. The idea is to mimic the natural, sun-kissed look of freckles, adding a youthful and playful touch!
Initially, fake freckles were embraced for their charming and innocent appeal. However, as the trend gained momentum, they began to border on the excessive.
Instead of a sprinkling of subtle spots, some individuals began sporting heavily dotted faces, which looked more artificial than appealing. The charm of freckles lies in their natural, random, and delicate appearance, but this exaggerated application resulted in a look that was far from realistic.
The faux freckles frenzy also sparked a debate about appropriating natural features. Freckles are a genetic trait and, for many, a part of their identity. The trend of artificially creating these features raised questions about the line between appreciation and appropriation of such natural characteristics.
The Chunky Lash Dilemma: Spider Eyes
In 2023, one of the more unfortunate beauty trends was the chunky lash look, also known as “spider eyes.” This trend had us piling on the mascara until our eyelashes were thick and clumpy, resembling the legs of a spider.
To our horror, this look was making waves, and we’re still wondering how it gained so much traction.
Applying heavy mascara didn’t just make us look like we had furry critters on our eyelids. No, it also made our once lightweight lashes feel like they carried mountains of product. Blinking became a workout, and we knew our beloved lashes were silently begging for relief.
To achieve the “spider eyes” trend, here’s what we used to do:
- Apply a mountain of mascara, layer after layer
- Separate lashes only enough to avoid complete blindness
- Pray that they won’t stick together forever or induce the wrath of arachnids.
For us, the chunky lash dilemma was a humorous yet terrifying moment in beauty history. Thankfully, more natural lash looks are currently being favored, leaving the spider eyes behind… or so we hope! Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief and appreciate the beauty trends that accentuate our lashes without turning them into creepy crawlies.
Bubble Nails: Puffed Perplexity
2023 witnessed the peculiar emergence of bubble nails, a nail art trend that left many both intrigued and perplexed. This involved sculpting the nails into a convex, bubble-like shape, significantly more pronounced than the traditional curved nail. The look was achieved using an acrylic gel layered to create a domed or bulbous effect on each nail.
Proponents embraced it for its quirky and bold statement, enjoying the novelty of this 3D nail art. Social media platforms saw a surge in tutorials and photos showcasing these puffy creations, often adorned with vibrant colors, glitter, and intricate designs.
However, the practicality of bubble nails was a significant drawback. The bulky, protruding design made everyday tasks more challenging, from typing on a keyboard to simply buttoning a shirt. The added weight and volume of the nails also raised concerns about comfort and the potential for damaging the natural nail bed underneath.
Moreover, the extreme look of bubble nails sparked debates about the boundaries of beauty and fashion. While nail art has long been a medium for creative expression, the bubble nail trend challenged conventional aesthetics, leaving many questioning the line between innovative and impractical.
Foundation-in-Water Hack: A Soggy Misstep
2023 brought a wave of DIY beauty hacks, but none as curious as the foundation-in-water trend. This involved mixing liquid foundation with water before application, purporting to offer a lighter, more hydrating, and dewy finish. Enthusiasts claimed it would revolutionize foundation application, creating a seamless and skin-like effect while using less product.
Initially, the idea seemed promising to those seeking a more natural look. Videos and tutorials flooded social media, showing dramatic before-and-after results. However, the practicality and effectiveness of this hack quickly came under scrutiny.
For starters, not all foundations are formulated to mix well with water, leading to inconsistent results. Some users experienced patchiness or separation, with the foundation failing to blend smoothly or provide even coverage. Others noted that the watered-down formula diminished the foundation’s staying power, requiring more frequent touch-ups throughout the day.
Moreover, the hack raised concerns about hygiene and the foundation’s longevity. Introducing water into the product can alter its consistency, effectiveness, and shelf life, potentially leading to bacterial growth.
In reflection, the foundation-in-water hack of 2023 will be remembered as an example of how not all beauty hacks are created equal. While innovation and experimentation in beauty routines are always welcome, this trend proved that some shortcuts can lead to more complications than solutions!
Over-lined Lips: Crossing the Line
The quest for fuller, more defined lips led to the resurgence of an old makeup trick in 2023: overlining the lips. This technique uses a lip liner to trace outside the natural lip border, creating the illusion of larger lips.
While subtly done overlining can enhance the lips’ shape, this year’s trend took it to an extreme, with beauty influencers showcasing pouts that extended well beyond their natural lip line. This exaggerated look was often paired with bold, matte lipsticks to further emphasize the size and shape of the lips.
Initially, the look was celebrated for its ability to transform the lips and provide a plump, voluptuous appearance without the need for fillers or cosmetic procedures.
However, as the trend grew, so did the criticism. The over-exaggeration of the lips often resulted in an unnatural and disproportionate look, detracting from the wearer’s natural beauty and expressions.
Moreover, the precision required to create a clean, overlined look was not easily achieved by everyone. Many found it challenging to maintain the illusion throughout the day, with eating, drinking, and talking causing the lip liner to smudge or wear off, revealing the stark contrast between the natural lip line and the overlined area.
The backlash against overlined lips also highlighted a broader conversation about beauty standards and the pressure to conform to certain aesthetic ideals. The trend raised questions about the line between enhancing one’s features and completely altering them and the impact of such trends on body image and self-esteem.
We won’t deny that we tried our fair share of these trends ourselves, but in the end, we’ve all grown wiser from our makeup misadventures. And as we move forward, we’re keeping our overlined lips in check!