I breathe an audible sigh of relief whenever a trend like Celestial Eyes pops up in the beauty space. Chances are you've seen the look in your feeds, even if the name is not yet familiar. The emphasis is on shimmery eye shadow, glitter – the sustainable kind, and embracing fallout, which is a difficult thing to do since we've been hardwired in the opposite direction. Considering we've been stuck in the mindset of clean girl beauty for a long time, my sigh sounded a lot like that skit where the grinch tries yoga. What sweet relief!
Celestial Eyes is an amalgamation of everything that's trending; from the cyber aesthetic that goes hand-in-hand with Y2K, the smeared eyes of indie sleaze, a certain feral girl energy, and the look of someone who's been eyebrows deep in a rave for 13 hours.
Of course, it would be an oversight to speak about glitter-forward makeup without mentioning Mother Pat McGrath. Aside from her hugely popular Mothership eyeshadow palettes, McGrath is behind the celestial beauty looks we've been witnessing on the runway, as seen at Andreādamo SS23. And if we dig further into her back catalogues, there's examples of shimmery under eyes for miles, like at Alexander McQueen Fall 2014 or during the height of indie sleaze with Givenchy Spring 2010 Couture.
In December 2022, Ganni collaborated with Submission Beauty on a limited drop of plastic-free glitter arriving in three colours too. For the collaboration campaign, makeup artist and Submission Beauty founder, Zenia Jaeger, delivered a soft celestial look with glitter applied on the under eyes, and in some shots sprinkled across the entire face.
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The trend pivots away from perfection and instead encourages human error. After all, the joy of glitter is that you can't anticipate where it will land. In that respect, the process of applying makeup returns to the playful state many of us first encountered it, like children rummaging through their mother's makeup kit.
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There are other references too. Although, let us begin by emphasising that there are no rules. Celestial eyes lean heavily on the club kid aesthetic, think Effy Stonem crawling through her bedroom window in time to leave for school. Given that its roots are in the chaotic gestures of indie sleaze – to smear, clash, and perhaps, rock Black Milk galaxy tights – Ke$ha's 2009 Tik Tok party girl era serves as its own campaign for celestial beauty.
Just as fashion has moved away from sartorialism to surrealism, so too has beauty with the help of Donni Davy's makeup looks on Euphoria, among others. This means that there's a huge element of fantasy to the look, so logic need not apply here. Apply metallic pigments and shimmery shadows to your eyes and under eyes, but also your cheekbones and nose and forehead – leaning into your inner child is recommended.
In the looks we've seen from makeup artists like Sean Brady, Ana Takahashi and Caroline Fenouil, and as the name suggests, there's an emphasis on space-adjacent colour palettes, like metallics and pearlescent pigments with pops of purple, blue, pink and white, but as mentioned, there is no rule book. Get experimental, have fun. It's what beauty should be.