ELLE Magazine: Face the Rainbow


Rainbows typically don’t originate from beneath a bridge— but makeup artist Yadim made it happen at Marni’s colorful spring 2023 show, held in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. He painted the lids and fore- heads of a handful of models in sky blues, tangerines, and crisp whites, bringing the aura makeup trend out of experimental teen TV show makeup trailers and into high fashion. 

“We’re seeing this trend of aura-like beau- ty, once very organic and painterly, now being expressed in a very fluid way,” says makeup artist and formulator Danessa Myricks, who is known for her eponymous line’s long-lasting and vivid color cosmetics. “Achieving this look in real life can be as simple as extending your blush tones beyond the cheek, upward through the temple.” This can be done with a single shade, or two tones for a gradient effect. 

The migration of blush past the cheekbone also appeared on Christian Cowan’s spring 2023 runway. Meanwhile, Etro’s take was more reminiscent of an actual aura photograph— shades like yellows, pinks, and purples (all great colors to have in your aura) faded into each other. At Dion Lee, Isamaya Ffrench used the Temptu Next Generation Airbrush Kit ($245; alconemakeup.com) to airbrush liquefied eye shadows from her Industrial Colour Pigments Eyeshadow Palette ($115; isamaya.com) for an insect-inspired, but similar, look.
“Nowadays, I use the full face as a canvas rather than just focusing on one feature,” says makeup artist Jo Baker, who cofounded the vibrant, no-rules-based makeup line Bakeup by Jo Baker last year. To create your own ver- sion of the aura eect, all you need are a fluffy makeup brush (Baker recommends a “light- ly packed, not dense, hard synthetic brush” to cover large swaths of the face) and a few complementary hues—plus the other magic ingredient for seamless blending between shades: elbow grease. “Start on the part of your face where you want the strongest placement of color,” instructs Myricks. From there, blend upward and outward to create diffusion. “Finally, take your foundation brush and blend the edges to ensure there are no harsh lines.” 

Blended colors, yes. But blending in is something you won’t be doing with this look.