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Julia Fox attends Welcome to Washington: hosted by VERSUS, Rina Shah & Volcan X.A Tequila at Heist on April 28, 2023 in Washington, DCPhoto by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for VERSUS

Bozo chic: Julia Fox has entered her clowncore era

The muse and #1 hustler has swapped her trademark heavy black eye make-up for a chalky white complexion straight out of La Strada

When Julia Fox stepped out at Paris Fashion Week last January, in what quickly became her signature heavy black graphic eyeliner, she set the tone for the rest of the year. Post-lockdown, beauty trends shifted to a freer, more expressive attitude towards make-up; one that was a little messier and more imperfect – and Fox’s look perfectly captured this more playful, dynamic energy. The new style was about not looking picture-perfect always, but using make-up in a more emotional way; choosing self-expression over prescriptive ideals and palatability.

Now we’re in a new year, and Fox is once again pushing the boundaries of celebrity make-up. And if last time is anything to go by, we are all in for a carnival of a year because it appears that Julia Fox has entered her clowncore era.

It started last week when Fox attended an event called the “Women of Impact Celebration” hosted by Elle magazine. She donned a white silk corseted jacket with a high neck and skirt by Wiederhoeft for the occasion; a statement outfit, no doubt, although it was the make-up that really stood out. Done by her own hand, Fox had chalk-white skin, pink blush which she placed high on her cheeks, pencil-thin brows drawn on and green eyeshadow which she placed directly below the brows but not on her eyelids. The overall effect was a look reminiscent of all the great clown archetypes from Pierrot to La Strada’s Gelsomina.

But that wasn’t the end of it. The following day, Fox made an appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Hilariously, she has decided to start her clown journey while in Washington DC – “She’s in her politician era!” Fox captioned an Instagram post of the ELLE look – in a brave and scathing indictment of the current state of politics and the farcical circus that is the Capitol.

For the event, she once again painted her whole face and neck matte white which she paired with overdrawn lips in a glossy purple-grey shade. The eyeliner, meanwhile, extended from her inner corners up into her temple in a Black Swan-esque shape but unfilled so that it once again was serving clown. Fox’s new look has been embraced by those in the clowncore community. “As someone who loves both Julia Fox and clowns this is the best thing thats ever happened to me” says Dazed’s head of social and unofficial clown correspondent Hatti Rex, who sees this as a welcome relief from clean girl make-up. 

So how likely is it that the beauty cycle once again follows Fox down the rabbit hole and we all start walking around looking like the lovechild of Pierrot and the Queen of Hearts? Probably not quite, but we have been seeing the beginnings of a return to matte skin, after years of the dewy, glazed complexion reigning supreme thanks to the “cloud skin” and “balletcore” trends and the general obsession with Pamela Anderson’s classic 90s make-up created by Alexis Vogel.

If you are looking to bring some of the circus spirit into your own make-up, creatives like Alice Dodds and Vlad Von Kitsch are putting their own modern take on the classic look. Or go fashion old school and get inspiration from Leigh Bowery via Alexander McQueenTime will tell if the clown look will catch on, but in the meantime, we will continue to bring you updates from Julia Fox make-up watch.