I'm a Millennial, But I'm Totally Trying Out These 5 Gen Z Makeup Trends

Each generation has its defining beauty moments. Being born in 1994, I grew up during the era when thin eyebrows were the look du jour, and as we approached the 2010s, I witnessed—and experienced—the browscape morph into HD brows (which, let's be honest, wasn't great either) before we finally settled on a happy medium of growing back our eyebrows, putting down the brow pomade and leaving our brows well alone (thanks, Glossier Boy Brow, for the support). Now, with TikTok beauty booming and Gen Z celebrities such as Olivia Rodrigo, Zendaya and Charithra Chandran stepping on the scene, it's safe to say we're entering a new era of beauty.

Gen Z makeup trends are big news right now. But rather than trends being set in stone, this time around, it's more of a mood, explains Chanel makeup artist Anna Payne. "Gen Z are all about creating an attitude rather than a full studied look. They're using makeup as a form of expression and changing their makeup looks daily to suit their mood.  It's about enjoying being who you are and celebrating it, not trying to change it," she says. 

Indeed, we've seen so many versions of Gen Z makeup. Whether it's full-on glam "night luxe" or "clean girl" beauty, the beauty rule book is being rewritten. To investigate further, we spoke to some of the top makeup artists about the top Gen Z makeup trends and the best products to get the look.

1. Glazed Skin

@charithra17 glowing skin

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@charithra17

It's official: Hydrated, glowing skin is here to stay. "Skin is incredibly important," says Payne. "Emphasis is on showing off texture and freckles rather than covering them up. Multitasking products are key to this. They need something that's going to work hard. Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint is perfect. It can be used precisely where it's needed to cover any redness or imperfections, still allowing the true skin texture to shine through."

@haileybieber glowing skin

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@haileybieber

"Once your skin is looking amazing, you can add a bold colourful eye, geometric shapes or crystallised liner, and because the skin is so raw, the contrast gives an air of nonchalance and effortlessness that Gen Z are after," adds Payne. We love this glowing-skin look on Hailey Bieber.

Get the look:

Chanel's Water-Fresh Tint gives the skin just a hint of coverage to let your complexion shine through. Plus, there isn't a beauty editor I know who doesn't love this formulation.

2. Clean Girl Makeup

@ninapark clean girl beauty: Laura Harrier

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@ninapark

You can't go on TikTok without being presented with the "clean girl" aesthetic. This makeup look builds on glowing skin, but the rest of the makeup is kept minimal. Think a subtle brown eye shadow swept along the lash line and into a diffused wing, a slick of mascara and glossy lips.

@hungvanngo clean girl beauty Sophie Turner

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@hungvanngo

As seen on Sophie Turner, this simple makeup look is popular on TikTok, with over two million "simple makeup" hashtags.

We cannot get enough of Zoë Kravitz's simple, yet beautiful, eye makeup.

Shop the look:

A lip oil is a "clean girl" must-have, and Dior's is by far the most popular. It's also loved by beauty editors, too.

3. Night Luxe Glam

Night luxe is the antithesis of clean girl beauty. It's about getting dressed up, going out and staying out late. In line with this mood and the popularity of makeup looks from Euphoria, we're seeing many celebs embracing metallic eye shadow, smokey eyes and lashings of mascara. Full-on glam is back once again. 

@lilly_keys night luxe eyeshadow

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@lilly_keys

Semi-sheer washes of metallic eye shadow add a twinkle when placed in the inner corners of the eyes.

@dualipa night luxe

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@dualipa

We're following suit with Dua Lipa's wash of molten metal eye shadow.

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This sheer lilac eye shadow leaves a glistening veil on the lids.

4. Sun-Kissed Blusher

@ninapark sun kissed blusher Zoe Kravitz

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@ninapark

Blusher has been making a big comeback, particularly among Gen Z. This time, though, it's all about the placement. Rather than just applying it to your cheeks, Gen Z sweeps it onto the high points of the cheekbones and adds a light touch onto the nose to tie the look together, resulting in a naturally sun-kissed effect. Think the slight flush you might get on your skin after sitting in the sun for the afternoon.

Olivia Rodrigo's blusher is applied high onto the cheekbones with a dusting on the nose, too. Makeup artist Lilly Keys created this look for Rodrigo at this year's Grammys. "I combined together Cloud Paint in both Beam and Storm and blended onto the apples of the cheeks very lightly, using small circular motions with a fluffy brush, adding a tiny bit to the bridge of the nose for that sun-kissed, healthy glow," she says.

@haileybieber blusher

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@haileybieber

We're studying Hailey Bieber's blusher placement and taking notes.

This cream blusher is the jewel in the crown of Selena Gomez's line, Rare Beauty. It's highly pigmented, so you only need a small amount, and it comes in several shades to suit all skin tones. 

5. Graphic Liner

@zendaya graphic eyeliner

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@zendaya

"One of the biggest trends being seen currently is graphic eye liner," notes Dominic Skinner, global senior artist at MAC Cosmetics. "However, it's uncomplicated and fuss-free. It's applied like an afterthought, though. That's what you're meant to believe. The key is to keep it simple by using pencils, but make it strong, intense and visible no matter what colour you use," he says.

We love a hint of blue, particularly on brown eyes.

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@dualipa

We're trying out Dua Lipa's graphic eyeliner ASAP.

Shop the look:

For longevity, you can't beat MAC's durable formulas, and these come in so many colourful shades to experiment with.

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