For every Kardashian, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
And while these reactions ripple right across the fashion and beauty spectrum (see the loose silhouettes of current French crush Sophie Fontanel or Bobbi Brown calling contouring “so wrong”), the latest rebel without a Kause is the humble eyelash.
If 2015 was the year of the eyelash extension, the super fanned-out, sleek shock of permanent wakefulness, the summer of 2016 is offering something fuzzier, furrier and at times barely perceptible. Lashes that genuinely woke up like this and then walked right down the summer runways at Miu Miu, Céline, Joseph and Burberry Prorsum.
The new lashes are wispy, naked, clumped together, dancing in different directions, or even just-out-the-shower wet. But they most definitely are not Kylie-style eye-framers: neat little rows of uniform black curls admirable for their length and volume. And like all great beauty clashes, the stand-off is playing out on Instagram, where each side has staked out their territory in liner (or lack thereof).
Glossier’s Instagram is a textbook in how to achieve this low-key look, best accompanied by dewy summer skin and the kind of lit-from-within smile that comes from knowing you’re a Glossier model.
But this is not just a natural lighting, high fashion thing. No, no. It’s also a look recently adopted by former members of the glam lash squad, like Irina Shayk, Beyoncé (on the May cover of ELLE UK, no less) and even Victoria’s Secret models like Taylor Hill. Low-key lashes are like yoga pants for the face: once only to be worn in private, now suddenly and unexpectedly chic.
Make up artist Dick Page has dismissed mascara as one of our “little beauty crutches”, while Diane Kendal (who deemed mascara “pedestrian” way back in 2014) has been leaving models mascara-free for seasons now at shows like Alexander Wang and Jason Wu.
Make up artist Lottie Stannard, queen of the untouched lash, took it even further to play with bold colors and geometric shapes around the eyes.
OK, so it’s a trend. But what’s changed? Isn’t just a backlash to the flicked lash; it’s also a continued fixation on the Cara Delevingne brow. Every one of these fluffy-lashed ladies has serious brow game, whether thick, arched and dramatic a la Maryna Linchuk, straight, flat and fuzzy like a young Brooke Shields or painted gold in the style of Lily Aldridge.
Which means that if you thought lashes au naturel lends itself to a sped-up beauty routine, not so fast — you’re just putting down the tweezers and swapping the mascara wand for the brow brush.
Speaking of eyebrows, though, the Kardashians, man…
Follow Clare Kane on Twitter, @clare_kane and check out her MR story on cartoon makeup. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Ana Khouri earrings.