Business Categories Reports Podcasts Events Awards Webinars
Contact My Account About

Where Do We Fit In? TikTok’s Newest Beauty Subcultures

Published July 25, 2023
Published July 25, 2023
Isi Parente via Unsplash

On TikTok, anything goes—whatever hobbies, interests, and likes a person has are often turned into the next big aesthetic, with some flocking to the platform to share their take and deem the next up-and-coming beauty subculture. So far, the app has presented subsocieties including the coffee shop loving “downtown girl,” the luxurious and sophisticated “old money,” and the larger-than-life “baddie.” As everything is tried and tested, these subcultures begin to become even more niche and create specific personalities that come with even more particular beauty looks. From nostalgia-loving “kidcore,” to the growing phenomenon of "Barbiecore," BeautyMatter takes a closer look at the latest TikTok subcultures:

Skater Girl: The clue is in the name—skater girls love to be free to roam the streets on their skateboards, presenting themselves with a laid-back and cool persona; nothing phases them. Often seen wearing oversized plaid shirts, ripped jeans, beanies, or bucket hats, the "skater girl" is known for looking naturally attractive regardless of the makeup she wears. Despite the beauty looks of this subculture being entirely subjective to the individual (remember, she doesn't care what you think of her), several content creators have added their addition of the "skater girl" look to TikTok, where "skater girl makeup" has 5.1MM views. A popular video comes from @njoyyourlife, whose video has received 90.3K views and 7,200 likes. The video showcases a natural foundation look, heavy ripe berry blush across the cheeks and nose, gleaming highlights, and long, curly false eyelashes. The skater girl's eyebrows have a flat shape similar to the e-girl—this time with slits in them, which adds to the hardcore and unstoppable vibe she wishes to portray. As shown in @elpltt_'s video, which has gained 13.7K views, skater girls will often add soft red marks to their face using eyeshadow to give the impression of cuts and grazes, which furthers the tough look and suggests they'll get up and carry on no matter how many times they fall.

Barbiecore: The release of the movie Barbie has heavily influenced brands and consumers alike to indulge themselves in all things Barbie. From Barbie-inspired pop-up events, to collections from names including Kitsch and NYX Professional Makeup, it seems everyone wants a bit of Barbie. TikTok users have not shied away from the hype, with "Barbiecore" hosting over 313.1MM views. Aligning with the movie's message that all Barbie’s come in different forms, the beauty looks associated with “Barbiecore” often differ, with the common denominator being the masses of pink used to achieve such looks. @Juliaproencamakeup illustrates a bold look, with multiple shades of pink to create a winged eyeshadow, completed with sparkly gems, long eyelash extensions, and fuchsia pink lips and blush. In contrast, a video by @angelieblush presents a much more subtle vibe, with light pink eyeshadow and blush, wispy lashes, glossy lips, and a soft gold highlighter. Other users including @Isabellerose replicate a more traditional Barbie, with a purple-toned lip, a clean-looking face, and a pristine blonde wig. Regardless of the focus, it is clear that beauty loves Barbie.

Kidcore: One for those who love to express their inner child, the “kid core” aesthetic features bright patterns, rainbows, glitter, and comforting nostalgia. Brands such as Starface are a prime example of doing “kidcore” correctly, featuring product collaborations with popular '90s children's show icons, including Hello Kitty and Sesame Street. “Kidcore” makeup looks are often vibrant and somewhat representative of the happy clown face one expects to see at the circus. On TikTok, kidcore makeup has 310.5MM views, with several creators giving their input on achieving the aesthetic. @Oatmilkmakeup presents her version of “kidcore” beauty in a vibrant fashion. The video, which has 469K views and 85K likes, begins with the creator applying a bright apple red blush, followed by a bright yellow eyeshadow base. A flower shape is then created around both eyes, applying large dots of liquid eyeshadow in varying colors of the rainbow. Green mascara comes next, followed by  eyebrows that are coated in a soft silver glitter. Flakes of iridescent glitter are applied to the nose, along with  large flower gem stickers across the face and detailed, drawn-on butterflies. The look is completed with a glossy cherry blossom lip and a pastel pink wig, accessorized with small flower claw clips.

Light Academia: This subcultural aesthetic involves individuals who heavily focus on their education, romanticizing trips to the library and walking empty school hallways. With it comes a chic and preppy look. The subculture differs from the previously explored dark academia, which also depicts education as beautiful, however, takes a much more mysterious and existential pathway—think Wednesday Adams. In contrast, “light academia” explores optimism, friendship, and gratitude. On TikTok, “light academia” has over 695MM views, and “light academia makeup” has 85.1MM. @Evalarosaxo demonstrates the subculture through a video that has now received  80.3K views and almost 10K likes. The  makeup look presents soft and healthy looking skin with creamy pastel colored highlights in various places. The user applies Dior highlighter in a blush pink shade to the cheeks, as well as rich, gold glitter pigment to the eyelids, completed by a natural nude glossy lip. Hair is often perfectly arranged in a sleek ponytail or other practical style such as French braids. Ultimately, “light academia” consists of immersing oneself in education, and looking primed and prepped while doing so.


2 Article(s) Remaining

Subscribe today for full access