Skip to main content
Beauty Trends

#CultBeautyTrendWatch: the 2018 beauty trends you need to know right now

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Verity Douglas's profile

It used to be that beauty brands and glossy advertising agencies dictated what we thought was 'beautiful' but this year, consumers are forging their own definitions of beauty - ripping up the tired, narrowly prescriptive 'rule book' and embracing individuality in all its gorgeous forms. Searching for enhancement not perfection, a beauty revolution is in motion and we couldn't be more thrilled... So, from conscious consumption to cannabis (yep, weed is all set to take over your bathroom cabinet), we've rounded up our 2018 trend forecast. Watch this space...

'Intelligent' tech...

Gadgets are becoming indispensable - as crucial to one's daily skin care ritual as cleanser for a lot of today's beauty-and-tech-savvy individuals. An overdue meeting of minds, the new swathe of gizmos have 'brains' - providing tailored treatments and anticipating your skin's needs. We've recently launched the {WaySkin Analyzer} - a cult diagnostic device from Korea which maps your complexion to monitor moisture and measure exposure to UV and other aggressors. It can even by synced with your cycle to help you anticipate hormonal changes.

And sales of ZIIP's app-powered {Nano Current Skincare Device} continue to soar. You can control the program via iPhone to target acne, fine lines, sagging... simply switch between settings to access a wealth of skin-changing impulses.

Try: {ZIIP Beauty}, Wayskin {Skin Analyzer}, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare {Spectralite EyeCare LED Pro} and Nurse Jamie's {TRIangle Beauty Tool}

Skin care for hair...

The 'skinification' of hair care has been underway for a while now, but 2018 spells a new dawn in mane-tenance. As we carefully weed out (more on that later...) the cocktail of ingredients we don't want in our skin care, we've stayed pretty blasé about our shampoo and conditioner - ironic given that our scalp's are especially 'porous' because of the osmotic action of strands drawing toxins straight into our blood stream.

Undergoing a stealth revolution, we're witnessing a new crop of hair care brands focused on cutting the from our hair-cleansing rituals. Boasting pure, plant-derived ingredients primarily reserved for our visages, we'll soon be making more discerning choices when it comes to what goes near our heads. We'll be treating our scalps as we do our complexions - ever-so-gently with regular masks to 'feed' roots and ensure healthy hair from the source.

Try: Briogeo {Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Cap System} and {Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment}, OUAI Haircare {Supplements} and SILKE London {Hair Wraps}

Cannabis (yep, you read that correctly)...

Okay, okay, so 'hemp' has been around for aeons (hands up if you've bought your dad a hemp hand cream for Father's Day??) but cannabis in all its forms is tipped to be the next 'big thing' in beauty. Hot on the heels of widespread decriminalisation, the science community is focusing its energies on probing this plant's untapped skin-healing, age-defying and potent medicinal properties.

Our skin has native receptors for cannabinoids, which makes hemp extracts incredibly bioavailable - recognised by the body and utilised accordingly. Ideal for sensitised or irritated skin, it's great for healing chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, as well as for balancing easily-upset complexions. It's even making its way into fragrance... trust perfumery's enfant terrible Geza Schoen to put pot in his avant-garde perfumes...

Try: Escentric Molecules {Escentric 04}, Allies of Skin {Fresh Slate Purifying Cleanser}, Therapie {Slumber Pillow Spray}, The Nue Co. {Plant Protein + Gut Food} and Josh Rosebrook {Balance Conditioner}.

Glow, gloss, glitter and glass...

Originating in (you guessed it) South Korea, the {glass skin} 'thing' is slowly infiltrating Western ideology. Starting with a glossy eyelid - demonstrated beautifully by Insta-famous make up artist Katie Jane Hughes - a burgeoning obsession with a high-shine, vinyl finish is about to knock matte products off their pedestal (for the time being). What we're terming 'billionaire skin', this is all about looking impeccably polished - luminous, 'backlit' and semi-translucent, like somebody just flicked a switch in your head.

Accomplished by layering skin care and glow-giving primers, this 'sandwich' creates a smooth, 'filtered' effect while a wet-look highlighter lends cheekbones and eyelids a chic, editorial edge. And ditch your velveteen lip pigments - switch your liquid mattes for patent, juicy-looking lacquers.

Try: BECCA's {Jet Set Glow Duo}, Cover FX {Glitter Drops}, Kevyn Aucoin's {Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss}, Suratt's {Lip Lustre} and Charlotte Tilbury's {Brightening Youth Glow}

Mask mania...

The obsession with face masks shows no sign of waning, with new and game-changing technologies flooding the market place... it's nowhere near saturation. Everything from dry sheet masks ('waterless beauty' is a growing trend-within-a-trend) to 'patch' masks and a burgeoning new breed of body masks, everything from bums to scalps and décolletés will stand to benefit from masks' fast-acting benefits. With ongoing investigation and development when it comes to delivery systems, coupled with the infinitely 'grammable impact of a great, brightly-coloured 'pack', we've just scraped the tip of the iceberg...

Try: Nurse Jamie {Neck & Décolleté Wrap}, Charlotte Tilbury {Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask} and Gisou {Honey Infused Hair Mask}

Get in line...

With individuality the new 'normal', uniqueness, creativity and freedom of expression are what modern make up's all about. 'My make up, my way' defines the seismic shift away from limiting, runway-inspired guidelines and heralds a new dawn in the way we approach and appreciate 'beauty'. Whether you favour a full face of make up or like to keep things understated, the ever-growing rise of social platforms means we're constantly inspired and encouraged to be more experimental. Blue lipstick? Sure. Glittery eyebrows? Why not? And when it comes to eyeliner, your choices no longer begin and end with subtle, 'feline flick'.

Underlined eyes, Winehouse-esque wings, Twiggy-worthy lashes or a graphic, multicoloured look that Cleo would be proud of, eyeliner is your means of self-expression. In a spectrum of colours, its h-eye time you ripped up the rule book...

Try: The Vamp Stamp's {VaVaVoom Stamp}

Next gem-eration...

Whether finely ground to produce a new, subtle 'breed' of glitter and then blended with your skin care, body cream or even fragrance, or used as inspiration for rich, jewel-toned lip and eye colours, gems and semi-precious stones are going to be BIG this year. Harnessed for their skin and health benefits - you'll find ruby crystals in Goldfaden's {Doctor's Scrub}, and powdered amethyst in Therapie's detoxifying {Himalayan Salts} - a palette of jewelled hues will also invade make up bags.

Glitter isn't going anywhere, but things are getting slightly more sophisticated. From sparkling sapphire to deep, emerald greens, these ultra-fine sparkles will soon be enhancing your lids, lips and... earlobes? Nowhere is deemed undeserving of added adornment.

Try: Goldfaden MD's {Doctor's Scrub}, Therapie's {Himalayan Detox Salts}, Sarah Hill's Pigment in 'Emerald City', NYX Professional Makeup's Pigment in shade 'Constellation', SkinOwl's {Body + Trio}, Cover FX {Glitter Drops} and BECCA's beautiful {Prismatic Amethyst}


Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...