Beauty Trend Millennial Pink is 'Millennial' After All

The color “millennial pink” is currently being incorporated into a large range of beauty looks worldwide. However, today’s hottest beauty trend was popular in the use of makeup way before designers like Valentino used it to enhance their runway shows, especially back in the 1980s, when the first millennials were born.

According to Los Angeles-based makeup artist Tasia Lockhart, the “new” way of incorporating millennial pink in makeup is “a very beautiful, ethereal way of enhancing skin tones across the board.” But how new is “new”? The same color that we now label as “millennial” had a special feature in Harper’s Bazaar’s February 1982 issue, the article explaining different strategies to sport the bubblegum hue on the eyes, cheeks, and lips. Today’s high-fashion “drape” technique--where the face is dramatically contoured with pink blush--even originated in the same era by 80s makeup artist Way Bandy.

Recently, Bandy’s method has made the ultimate comeback. Not only did it specifically inspire Marc Jacobs’ Air Blush Soft Glow Duo (In a statement, Jacobs himself recommended that customers try Bandy’s draping technique with his two-toned blush), but it has become a force to be reckoned with in today’s runway shows.

For Valentino’s Spring ‘18 runway, makeup artist Pat McGrath used a dark pink shade in combination with gloss on models’ eyelids, and the same hue on the outer half of their creases and brow bones. The addition of blush to their cheekbones made it look as if they were wearing a dramatic highlighter, a trend that had not been featured in such a bold way since the Bandy-era.

In Spring/Summer ‘17, Tom Pecheux took a more modest approach in paying homage to the 80s millennial pink beauty trend on Chanel’s catwalk. With subtle rosy streaks across the cheekbones, models “achieved modernity and had a youthful glow,” as New York City hair & makeup artist Tara Siegel puts it.

This old-is-new-again beauty trend can easily be copied with the use of pink-colored products that have been released by multiple brands. Lockhart recommends using L.A Girl’s Velvet Blush Contour Stick in ‘Glimmer,’ MAC’S lip gloss in ‘Pink Nouveau,’ and Laura Mercier’s Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil to accomplish “millennial pink fabulousness.” Lockhart even uses the hue to take hairstyling to the next level; the owner of Hair Art by Lockhart in Montrose, California, she often uses millennial pink when coloring hair because it is a “very wearable hue.” 

The color pink is returning to today’s beauty looks for millennials alike; however, the hue is also being embraced by the older generation, specifically those who lived as young adults in the 80s when the trend was first introduced. Elizabeth Hunter, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology who previously served as a consultant for Avon products, says that she would “absolutely try the trend. I love how wearing millennial pink is a way of embracing traditional femininity.” Siegel confirms the surveillance, asserting that millennial pink makeup is “flattering at any age.”