Certain trends in fashion and beauty are recycled every generation or so, like A-line miniskirts, flared jeans and the cat eye. Movie remakes are common, too. (And I would argue sometimes completely unnecessary. For example, why are they remaking the already-perfect '90's film, "Point Break"?) But over the past six months or so, beauty companies and the media have presented some ostensibly new trends, that upon closer inspection, could more accurately be considered rebranding of old trends and products.
I get why this happens, and I'm totally guilty of it, too. Kind of like that time I wrote about hair lanyards, otherwise known as the four-strand braid. Everyone wants to be the first to find the next contouring or coconut oil.
Most of these so-called new trends play off trends that are really popular now and are named accordingly. So here, I present to you four new beauty trends that may give you déjà vu.
Strobing = Highlighting
I've been traveling a bit over the past month, and I panicked when I realized everyone was writing about "the new contouring," aka strobing. What was I missing out on?! But after reading about it, I thought it sounded like plain old highlighting, albeit with a really cool name. Turns out, it is. Both Alex Box, the makeup artist responsible for the look at the spring 2015 Issey Miyake show (above), and Allure confirmed it for me. Box wrote on her Instagram: "Yes its the media who have coined 'strobing ' for me it's just working with light Reflection highlighting and pigments in different textures adding glows buffing , bringing love to re face !"
I'm not mad that strobing is being hailed as a trend because I'm all for anything that will replace Kardashian-style contouring, plus it's a zillion times easier. It actually inspired me to dig out my RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and play with my facial angles. It's an ideal look for summer, and suitable for any skin tone with little to no color matching required. Just swipe on something shimmery.
Sleep Mask = Night Cream
This one I'm blaming on South Korea, the land of 10 zillion different product categories. A sleep mask, which is generally a thick cream or gel that comes in a jar or tube, provides certain skin benefits like brightening or moisturization — every one touts some different benefit. You apply it at night after all your other various serums and potions, and it locks in all that goodness, or so the marketing copy goes.
Pretty much every single Western beauty company has a version now, but really they're just updated versions of your grandma's night cream. The name "sleep mask" sounds more dynamic somehow, and this product category is really capitalizing on the popularity of face masks. People use sheet masks or more traditional clay-based masks when they need an acute fix for something, so putting on a "sleep mask" rather than a plain old boring "night cream" can make you feel like you're doing something more active for your skin. That being said, I love them. Two to try: Belif's (a Korean brand) First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask, $34 at Sephora, and the spectacularly luxurious La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, $315 (I know) at Nordstrom.
Babylights = Natural Highlights
Babylights, a hair color trend, hit the scene at the end of last year as a sort of antidote to the demarcated ombré, and I'm still seeing tutorials and articles about how to get the look. As the name suggests, it's a technique that gives your hair that magical, many-hued hair tone a toddler has. It is also just plain old highlights, albeit done on tiny sections of hair.
Modern Salon noted in an article telling hair stylists how to achieve the look, "It’s not necessarily a new technique, but it involves only painting a few strands at a time – which takes time." One hair stylist told Mane Addicts, the site launched by Kardashian stylist Jen Atkin, "I feel like I’ve been doing this most of my career but now it just has a name." Yes. See also: sombré aka subtle ombré aka natural highlights.
Eye Contouring = Eye Shadow
The concept of eye contouring has been bandied about for a few years, but I've seen it written about quite a bit recently, most likely because anything labeled "contouring" is going to get a lot of attention. Face contouring is a huge trend now, so it makes sense that we'd apply it to other parts of the face, like lips and eyes. Kat Von D just launched an eye contouring palette ($46, Sephora, seen right above).
But let's be honest here. Applying more than one type of eye shadow is by default contouring your eye. I mean, "shadow" is in the very name. I learned how to put on eye makeup in my teens thanks to helpful drugstore eye shadow charts like the one seen on Almay paletttes. A wash of color on the lid, a darker color in the crease, and a highlighter shade at the brow bone and in the inner corner, and voila: Eye contouring!