Pin It
celestial eyes julian stoller appledoll
Julian Stoller for AppleDoll

Celestial eyes: the glittery beauty trend that embraces make-up fallout

Embrace fallout, embrace glitter, embrace chaos

  1. THE LOOK: Off-kilter alien aesthetic meets glitter girl meme. Shimmers and sparkles are applied around the eyes, cheeks and bridge of the nose in an act of glittery defiance

  2. WHO’S DOING IT? Pat McGrath created a celestial eye look for Andreādamo SS23, and Ganni embraced under-eye glitter for its collab with zero-plastic glitter brand Submission Beauty. Online, MUAs like Julian Stoller and Grace Ellington are spearheading this shimmery style.

  3. HOW CAN I GET IT? Apply shimmer toppers, glitter shadows, rhinestones and metallic pigments under and around your eyes with reckless abandon to create this club-kid adjacent aesthetic. Play with colour, placement and product to go as ethereal or as apocalyptic as you’d like. And remember, fallout is your friend.

There was a time, during the height of YouTube tutorial era make-up, when fallout was public enemy number one. Eyeshadows were rated by how much pigment would end up on your cheeks, beauty gurus gave tips on how to avoid it, and foundation was applied to clean up any spills. However, we are in a new era now – and fallout is officially hot.

2022 was the year of the micro-trend; a slipstream of styles and an abundance of beauty inspiration ricocheting from utopian to dystopian on a bi-weekly basis. In beauty, as in the world at large, 2022 chose chaos. Celestial eyes, a hyper-sparkly evolution of messy make-up that rejects the traditional rules by creating fallout, epitomises this chaos and brings it into the new year.

The first big make-up trend of 2023, celestial eyes brings together all of our favourites from the past year. Combing the dreamscape sparkle of Euphoria glam, the nonchalant messiness of indie sleaze, the glitter tears of the ‘crying girl’ aesthetic, the romanticism of fairycore, the rule-rejecting ethos of ‘ugly beauty’, the emphasised under-eyes of the ‘tired girl’, the fun of dopamine glam and the supernatural shimmers of mermaid make-up, celestial eyes set 2023 up as the year we embrace experimentation and continue down the anti-perfectionist path.

The aim of celestial eyes is to look otherworldly, with a focus on shimmer applied not only to the eye but to the cheeks, brows, under-eye and bridge of the nose. It’s a look rooted in the magic of escapism, whilst retaining the raw, real-world romance of the morning after the party – of care-free club nights and journeys home in a euphoric haze. You’ve been up all night, your make-up is sweaty and your glitter is smudged. You haven’t had a chance to get home yet and wash your face. It’s Effy Stonem coming back from a rave and heading straight to school (if she was an alien). “I wanted to create an imperfect festive look, like someone who has been partying all night and has woken up covered in glitter,” make-up artist Aimee Twist told Dazed about a purple glitter look inspired by club culture and old pictures of her mum going out.

Instead of going to great lengths to avoid fallout when applying glitter, celestial eyes encourage you to get messy and reframe beauty as a form of play. There is no prescriptive step-by-step routine here, more a feeling in the air, an eclipse of rigid beauty binaries, and an invitation to escape to the fantasy, no matter who you are.

“The majority of recent make-up trends – like siren eyes – draw beauty and power from embracing femininity. While this is beautiful, it isn’t particularly inclusive of non-feminine make-up lovers,” says Madeleine Favreau, co-founder of beauty brand AppleDoll, who coined the term after noticing the look being increasingly worn by her friends and LA creatives. “The goal with celestial eyes is to create a look that draws its beauty and power from transcending gendered expectations of beauty. It invites everyone to embrace exploration and fluidity.”

This fantasy face has been seen on the SS23 runways from Cormio by make-up artist Alice Dodds to Pat McGrath’s creations for Andreādamo. In October, when Ganni teamed up with zero-plastic beauty brand Submission Beauty, the campaign embraced under-eye glitter. Online the trend has proved very popular, with make-up artists like Twist, Julian Stoller and Grace Ellington leading the trend with coloured pigments, shimmer toppers, glitter and metallic shadows. “I wanted the make-up to be beautiful and make the models look beautiful but in a sort of slightly dirty cinematic way, like you might not want to touch it,” Ellington said about a recent shoot for Dazed where she referenced hot, sweaty skin by using a really fine glitter everywhere including the t-zone and chin.

There’s a beauty in the way that sparkles just go where they want to on the face, they can’t be contained or controlled,” says make-up artist Eden Symone Lattanzio. “The celestial eyes technique allows us to embrace fallout and let the shimmer fall on the natural curves of the face. It’s a more optimistic and fun approach to beauty – reminiscent of Ke$ha’s looks in the late noughties before beauty tutorials took over and homogeneity was instilled.” It also signals the move into the “post-wellness party girl” phase of beauty that trend forecaster The Digital Fairy predicted last year.

Reaching into both the past and the future, celestial eyes call on the childlike sense of wonder that comes with early experiments with make-up and identity curation, while looking forward to a boundary-free, post-beauty future.