Should Highlighter Be Retired Now That Natural 90’s Makeup Is Back?


Dial back the time to circa 2015, you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a beauty influencer creating what has now been dubbed the “IG Baddie” makeup look. A few years ago, between 2015-2018, your makeup wasn’t considered poppin’ unless it was sharply contoured and accentuated with an exaggerated highlight technique.

Let’s be clear the IG Baddie makeup look was totally a vibe during its peak, and with the right Snapchat or Instagram filter anyone rockin’ it looked ethereal. But like all trends, certain ones fade out as new ones come in— leaving the outdated style to be diminished in the process. Popular beauty blogger Aaliyah Jay even weighed in on the fate of the archaic highlight style by insinuating it should be retired. 

“Have we retired highlighter yet? I’ve hated highlighter for like 2 years straight now. It gives greasy,” Aaliyah Jay tweeted.

When it comes to makeup trends, contour and highlighting are on the downswing, slowly being replaced by natural matte looks. Highlighter adding a grease sheen to the skin is debatable, but it’s prominence truly is waning. Thank goodness. Don’t get me wrong I was once on the strobe light cheekbone wave myself, thinking the only “proper” way to beat your face was by having an overly pronounced highlight. As well as a deep contour, three eye-shadow blend, blush and a heavy lip color to top it all off.

Coming back to now, I’m excited that makeup looks of 2022 are reverting back to the simplistic beauty trends that dominated the 1990’s and the early part of the 2000’s. The ‘no-makeup’ makeup trend that is circling back around is gaining traction amongst Generation Z, becoming a leading makeup look choice for many Millennials again as well.

“I think the ‘no-makeup’ makeup trend is still strong, if not stronger,” Celebrity Makeup Artist Samantha Lau told Who What Wear. “With new technology (in both skincare and product development), the products that are out in the market help us achieve the desired look. Who doesn’t want to look fresh and gorgeous, as if they’ve just had an amazing vacation?”

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