Fashion Magazine Makeup Styles

Fashion's Top Take-Away Looks, Defined

This 'unofficial' list of nine makeup styles is something that I have put together to help you define the makeup ideas and looks you see in fashion magazines. Fashion magazines provide an awesome gallery of the range of working beauty styles, as well as, 'hot' new trends for the season.

Don't let the 'over the top', exuberant nature of the fashion editorials and ads fool you into thinking these looks can't work for you in your 'real world'. Focus on learning core makeup style concepts. The trends will be easy to pick up on to keep your style current.

Examples of a trend would be a specific color palette theme like jewel tones, or extending the line of your 'cat's eye', or adding a 'kick' or curl to that line, or bleached out eyebrows.

photo of magazinesThe collaboration of talented makeup artists, stylists, fashion designers, photographers, models and advertising executives can really deliver style with clarity and beauty. They are trained in the field of visual communication and know how to effectively use design elements, to convey style concepts to us in their ads or photo editorials.

graphic of notationThe image you see below is a collection of actual pages from fashion magazines Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Vanity Fair and InStyle to show you the diverse range of makeup styles that can be found. There is something for everybody!

photo of fashion magazine pages

1. Natural

natural makeup style imageNatural style is actually a non-makeup, makeup style with the intention of being true to one's own natural beauty with minimal enhancement. Look at Pages 1. in the fashion pages collection above. This Gap Ad with Christy Turlington was for their "Red" Campaign and the product was natural organic cotton.

The makeup worn is supposed to be undetectable and purely functional. Lightweight foundation for an even complexion, concealer for blemishes and dark circles, a touch of barely detectable blush and mascara and natural tint lip balm. That's it. Ultra low key!

2. Minimalist

minimalist makeupMinimalism is a term often heard in fields of design like visual art and architecture. It describes the pursuit of creating designs that allow the subject matter to define its beauty through its core elements. The simplicity of the design allows the innate beauty of those elements to shine.

What are the distinguishing design elements of minimalist makeup? Think in terms of classic Calvin Klein clothing ads. The makeup appears to be 'barely there", clean, beautiful, sculptural and is secondary to the main focus on the facial features themselves ( refer to Minimalist face in above photo collage). The makeup does not reconfigure, hide or distract your attention away from the natural look of the face. 

On the board above Page 7 is an ad by clothing designer Jil Sander who has a very pure minimalist design philosophy that extends right down to the makeup styles of the models in her ads.

MORE on Minimalist Makeup style...

3. Natural Beauty Chic

natural beauty makeup lookNatural Beauty Chic makeup style takes universal beauty ideals like a fresh glowing complexion, a flush to the cheek, perhaps a little sun-kissed, long, dark eyelashes that define bright eyes, and lips that are full and moist, AND gives them a notable and stylized boost.

Many top fashion houses opt for this style in their ad campaigns. One of the most obvious examples is Ralph Lauren's ads that always feature this makeup style with larger than life "natural looking" beauties. As you can see above, this is also the beauty style of D&G, Banana Republic, and Hugo Boss (Pages 2, 3 and ).

MORE on Natural Beauty Chic...

4. Modern Classic

image of classic makeupWhen something is classic, we are referring to a style that is characterized by excellent qualities setting the bench mark in its field. Classics never go out of style and they always reflect good taste.

Modern classic makeup refers to styling makeup with high standards of precision, skill, knowledge, and taste. The look is sophisticated and polished without excess or drama. Some might describe it as tastefully gorgeous. Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta, and Lacoste use this makeup style to further communicate their brands as ones of high standards (as seen above on Page 5. Lacoste Ad).

MORE on modern classic makeup ...

5. Modern Glamour

image of  modern glamour makeupThe term glamour is defined as having allure and describes an overt display of attractive design qualities with a definite feminine spin. Modern Glamour is different from that traditional idea you may picture in your head. It is 'cooler', with more 'edge', less 'girlie' and is connected to our modern day jet set crowd.

Michael Kors magazine ads (Page 8.) completely deliver this style concept. His beautiful model (Carmen Kass) wears makeup that is glamorous, notable, feminine, but also very modern and stylish.  In this particular ad she is wearing a black top with sparkle, and trying on luxe shoes in an upscale shop. This campaigns ads include backdrops of yachting, shopping, paparazzi moments, and strolling in the park (visual communicating that Michael Kors clothes are the choice of the glamorous, jet set and V.I.P).

Other examples above include Donna Karan and D.K.N.Y ads above Pages 9 and 10.

MORE on Modern Glamour...

6. Vintage Glamour

image of vintage glamour makeup styleVintage glamour makeup is making reference to 'Old Hollywood', circa mid 20th Century.  There are many actresses that I could list but Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Russel, Rita Hayworth, and Jane Mansfield should start helping you visualize the look. 

Every element of the makeup was heavily stylized; dramatic winged black liner, arched brows and bold red lips.

Makeup styles that reflect vintage glamour are very popular in many current fashion magazine ads including Bebe (Page 11), YSL, Stephen Dueck, Chanel and Georges Marciano.

Creating vintage Hollywood Glamour makeup style.

7. Diva Glamour

image of diva glamour styleDiva glamour, as  the name implies, is the complete package of lavish and exuberant style expression. The makeup style is often high impact, attention getting, and boldly uses design elements like color, line, accessories (false lashes, glitter etc.).   Page 6 (top right) has this styling.

Diva-esque celebrities include Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Catherine Zeta Jones, Nicole Kidman, Madonna and Cher (still). Designers who express this look and feel, not only in their designs, but in the makeup styles of their ad campaigns include Versace, Valentino, Yves St Laurent, Gucci.

MORE on this makeup and style..

8. Cutting Edge

image of cutting edge styleWhen something is considered cutting edge, it means that it is the latest in technology, or an idea that is very new. Cutting edge style is fashion forward, expressing the newest style concepts or trends before the mainstream has been thoroughly exposed through media coverage like fashion magazines.

As with most things unfamiliar, they can appear slightly avant garde or even strange. It is truly amazing how we transform our perceptions from 'knee jerk' rejection to full on embrace (but not always). Cutting edge designers that immediately come to mind are Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs. (Page 12)

If you are brave and a fashionista at heart, here is more on how to express cutting edge style.

9. Avant Garde

image of avante garde makeup Avant garde design is usually way off mainstream perceptions of what is appealing. That is because the artistic thinking or visual philosophy is more important than how it visually translates.

The makeup usually delivers a harder edge without those pesky mainstream concerns like "does it still look pretty?" to buffer the delivery. Definitely a bold and dramatic style, always artistic, and sometimes surprisingly beautiful.

There really is no 'how to' for this one as they are often more of an impromptu, artistic self expression. The beauty style parameters that most of us work within, are not always evident (out of balance design may be exactly what the look is about). 

Designers like Christian Lacroix, Max Mara (Page 15) and Alberta Ferretti (Page 14.) really bring to life, thought provoking artistic statement making.

apple contour graphicLast word on fashion's top makeup styles...

Get creative, express yourself! Something on this list has got your attention but maybe you have been reluctant to put yourself 'out there'. Trust your reaction and give it a try. Cheers!

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Spring 2018

Happy Spring 2018!

I would like to let all of you know how much I appreciate your support:) Please enjoy this west coast beach sunset as you soak up the beauty info. Grab some quick makeup tips or give your look a complete overhaul.

Something beautiful is on your horizon.



Yasmin, Editor

P.S. Visit my Facebook and Twitter pages. I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. The mystery girl strolling the beach? My sister Sarah, who has been my "go to" model over the years. Thanks Sis!



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