Matte Makeup is Coming Back in a Big Way in 2024 (But Not How You Remember It)

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Matte Makeup is Coming Back in a Big Way in 2024 (But Not How You Remember It)
January 2, 2024

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“It's about time matte makeup came back, with that dreamy blurred skin, because it looks good on everyone,” exclaims Val Garland, worldwide artistic director of makeup at L'Oréal Paris. Like most experts, the artist stresses that “if you have acne or any kind of skin problem and you choose to wear the glazed donut skin you will be highlighting your imperfections, whereas a matte makeup or a cloud skin [as this finish is called in TikTok] can help camouflage them.”

In addition, she believes that the popular glass skin of the past few years “goes well in the fashion world, in editorial and advertising productions, but in the real world it's like 'do I look glowy or do I look like I'm sweating?' So I'm embracing matte foundations because they flatter everyone, regardless of skin type; it just works.”

But...wait a minute. Didn't the rise of juicy, healthy skin represent a reaction to those same criticisms? Didn't contouring, the predecessor makeup trend, working wonders in front of the camera and looking artificial in real life? Xabier Rodrigues Lucena, national artist at MAC, replies: “Contouring comes from the old theater contouring, but in 2008 it spread under the impulse of the Kardashians as a repeating pattern, almost recreating a mask. The new matte makeup also looks like contouring, it is true, but it is characterized by the naturalness of the nineties, when less product was used and only in areas that needed it.”

The matte makeup of 2024 is a direct reference to the aesthetics of the late 20th century: a minimalist, soft, and opaque finish that does not overuse compact powders. In Rodrigues' words, “we have evolved to a matte but luminous (not shiny) skin;” which translates, according to Garland, into a face that is “matte in the center and radiant on the sides, the perfect look for the red carpet and makeup that works on a day-to-day basis.”