9 beauty trends for 2024, from a millennial nail throwback to doll-like blush applied like a K-drama actress, to AI-based apps

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The premise is simple: instead of using fresh ingredients, brands are using waste – everything from wood pulp to petals – to develop their fragrances.

“By supporting upcycled perfumes, you’re contributing to environmental conservation and also getting unique scents,” says beauty and hair specialist Kate Ross.

Ross can see other environmentally friendly practices gaining popularity within the fragrance space in 2024.

Take London-based Ffern, which makes a limited quantity of one unisex perfume per season based on a pre-order system. The brand’s plastic-free packaging is made with mycelium fungus, which is biodegradable and compostable.
Clé de Peau Beauté’s Correcting Cream Veil is an example of a make-up product that nourishes the skin. Photo: Clé de Peau Beauté

2. Skincare/make-up crossovers

Dermatologist Hamdan Abdullah Hamed, co-founder of online retailer Power Your Curls, believes make-up products that nourish the skin will become popular in 2024.

“Clean beauty” brand Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint, Westman Atelier’s Vital Skincare Complexion Drops and Clé de Peau Beauté’s Correcting Cream Veil are a few examples of sunscreen-infused make-up.

“These products, enriched with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamins or SPF, provide both beauty and skincare benefits,” says Hamed.
Smart beauty tech can provide people with skin-scanning services and personalised recommendations. Photo: Shutterstock

3. AI beauty breakthroughs

By allowing customers to virtually try on products, augmented reality can help cut down on returns and waste. Meanwhile, smart beauty tech – think beauty apps – can provide people with skin-scanning services and personalised recommendations.

Ian Michael Crumm, aesthetician and co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast, sees beauty AI becoming more of a game-changer within the medical industry.

“Most beauty AI-based apps would have a greater impact within dermatology or in virtual cosmetic surgery simulations, such as seeing the features of a patient’s face after skin grafts,” says Crumm.

A still from the movie “The Godfather: Part II”. A “mob wife” look like this is gaining popularity on social media. Photo: Getty Images

4. Bordeaux beauty

From the 90s revival of the past few years to the most recent “mob wife” look (dark clothing, furs and big jewellery), dark red has been having a moment.

According to Simone de Vlaming, a beauty expert and founder of beauty blog Beautymone, the colour particularly suits people with long faces and fair skin – but if social media is any indication, the shade is almost universally flattering. “This classic and versatile colour trend will feature deep red hues for cheeks, lips, and nails,” Vlaming says.

Brands like Bottega Veneta are doubling down on the timeless colour, and Gucci creative director Sabato de Sarno centred his recent collections around an oxblood shade he has dubbed “Rosso Ancora”.

5. Go big or go chrome

Millennials may suffer flashbacks to the 2010s but shiny, metallic nails are primed to make a comeback.

While it is about evoking mirrors and sleek metal for a futuristic look, the trend can also be channelled through different colours and statement-making nail art.

6. Exosomes

Exosomes are a popular skin booster in South Korea, and 2024 could be the year they go global.

“Extracted from human stem cells and stabilised by freezing, exosomes are applied topically as a serum or gel,” explains Nancy Park, founder of US-based medical spa Lavish Beauty. “They’re a game-changer, especially as we age and our skin cells become less active, leading to issues like sagging and wrinkles.”

Exosome therapy reactivates these cells, boosting collagen and elastin production that leads to plumper, firmer, and smoother skin. According to Park, these are a longer-lasting alternative to Botox.

Using exosomes as a post-laser treatment add-on is a great way to try the therapy out, according to writer Devon Ableman.

“I finished up a round of Clear & Brilliant laser treatment followed by exosome therapy, particularly one from Exovex. My skin was instantly soothed, and my healing time was cut in half,” she wrote for fashion magazine Glamour.

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7. Looking within

There is a growing focus on maintaining a healthy skin microbiome. “Products that support the natural balance of skin flora will be in demand,” says Megan Cox, founder of beauty lab Genie Supply. “More brands are focusing on prebiotic and probiotic skincare to balance the skin’s microbiome.”

Prebiotics provide nutrients for beneficial bacteria, while probiotics bring the good microbes directly to the skin. According to Cox, supporting microbiome diversity improves skin barrier health and may help with conditions like acne and eczema.

Korean actress Han So-hee at a Christian Dior show as part of Paris Fashion Week 2024 in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

8. Be a doll

Blush in 2024 will go on the apples of your cheeks. “After exploring nearly every other high area on your face, blush is making a comeback to the apples of your cheeks,” says Paul Charette, founder of US-based medical spa Charette Cosmetics. “Doll blush is all about soft, pastel colours that make you look youthful and charming.”

Gentle pinks and subtle corals are perfect for bringing out an innocent look.

The trend is already being pushed by K-beauty stars like Blackpink’s Jennie and Korean actress Han So-hee.

9. Wellness skincare

Taking care of your skin is not just about looking good in 2024; it is also about feeling good.

Mental-wellness-focused skincare is a trend that highlights products designed to relax and soothe your skin and mind,” says cosmetic medicine doctor Phyllis Pobee.

That includes skincare routines with calming scents, mindfulness practices, ingredients that promote relaxation and giving your skin and mood a little pampering session.

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