With music festivals and concerts back in full swing, beauty is embracing the rave spirit.
From eye gems and decals to glitter and color, rave-style aesthetics have made their way to the beauty world in a big way. Pop culture, DJs with style influence and a light party mood have all helped drive the trend, and flashy looks are making their way from the dance floor into real life.
“Rave”-themed beauty products are increasingly popping up in brands’ collections. Half Magic, the brand launched Tuesday by “Euphoria” makeup department head Donni Davy, has an “Angel Rave” lip kit among its products. Colorful, sparkling eye shadows and music festival-favorite eye gems are among the products hitting the market.
In an interview for the Glossy Beauty Podcast released on Thursday, Davy said part of the inspiration for her makeup looks comes from rave culture mixed with a range of other influences. She described her aesthetic as “one giant bucket.”
“I might have 1,000 different images that I’ve seen [and] that I have in my mind that have affected how one makeup look comes out,” she said.
The impact of “Euphoria” in mainstreaming rave-style beauty is undeniable. Romero Jennings, the creative director of makeup artistry at MAC Cosmetics, cited “Euphoria” as the main driver of the rave trend. MAC Cosmetics released a neon “Raver Girl” palette in 2019, a few months before “Euphoria” first aired.
“Let’s talk about one of my faves, ‘Euphoria,’ and the creative liner, glitter, neon and microcrystal looks that dominated the screen this season,” he said. “I continue to see ‘Euphoria’ vibes on social and on the streets of New York, daily.”
According to Google Shopping data compiled by online coupon site WeThrift, searches for “color eyeshadow” have increased 717% in the past 12 months, while “color eyeliner” has gone up 17%, “glitter makeup” 12% and face gems 48%.
Face Lace, which has collaborations with Davy that are available for sale on the new Half Magic site, has also seen an influx of festival-goers buying its products. Originally launched for use by makeup artists on film and TV sets, as well as fashion shoots and runways, Face Lace’s role in “Euphoria” catapulted interest in the face sticker trend among the general public. Even before “Euphoria,” the stickers were known among music festival-goers.
Phyllis Cohen, founder of Face Lace, said she was surprised when she started seeing sales pick up around festival season nearly a decade ago in 2012. Although the brand had not done any festival season marketing, people had organically found the stickers. Now, she still doesn’t do festival marketing, but Halloween and festival season are big sales surge periods on the brand’s B2C side.
“We were always learning, ‘OK, that’s the market. This is what we should do,’ and sort of experimenting,” she said. When the brand launched neon stickers, it was a hit in the club scene. “People take lots of pictures wearing them in clubs, going in and out of the UV light because it’s a dense material and it’s neon under ultraviolet light. You can see it across the room in a club,” she said.
Perhaps the brand that has recently leaned the most heavily into rave culture is Simihaze Beauty, which sells a brightly colored “Rave Pack” of eye stickers as well as a silvery and bejeweled “Dance Pack.” The brand recently held a rave-themed influencer party in Los Angeles in between Coachella weekends and is promoted by DJs such as Peggy Gou.
The influence of female DJs has been noticed by brands. Gou is among several DJs embraced by both the beauty and fashion mainstream, while DJs Vashti and Brittany Sky have also emerged as fashion and beauty influencers.
Raver beauty also overlaps with other subcultures that have influenced mainstream beauty. Last week, ’90s “Club Kid” member and Heathertte founder Richie Rich announced the launch of a new online platform called Btykwn focused on various aspects of subculture beauty, with many bedazzled and colorful looks featured on its landing page.
Makeup experts agree the rave aesthetic is making its way from parties to everyday life.
“At 2 pm in the afternoon, you see people wearing some pretty wild stuff,” said Cohen. Jennings had a similar observation. “I can see [the aesthetic] at 6 am at my local Starbucks and on the streets,” he said.