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Dopamine Beauty: What You Need To Know About The Rainbow Beauty Trend


Ever since Covid-19 lockdowns, makeup has beat a familiar drum: barely-there foundation, nude lips, and minimalist eye makeup. But that’s all about to change. Dopamine beauty, the makeup equivalent of a retina-burning fluro catsuit, is about one thing: injecting joy and colour back into our makeup routines. 

Recently, divisive terms like ‘clean girl’ makeup have been used to describe the ‘no makeup’ makeup look on TikTok, clocking up 834.6 million views to date. But with the world recovering from the pandemic and brighter times ahead, it all started to feel a bit, well, beige. 

Enter dopamine beauty, or what Beyonce’s makeup artist Sir John has dubbed “dopamine glam,” which represents the polar opposite and taps into our renewed sense of optimism.  A spin-off from ‘dopamine dressing’ that’s taking the fashion world by storm, dopamine beauty is about wearing bold, bright hues with the intention of boosting your mood and activating the physical release of dopamine.  

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But first a quick science lesson on this neurotransmitter. “Dopamine is an essential hormone that stimulates the ‘feel good’ factor,” explains psychotherapist Annie Bennett. “Good dopamine levels are important for our mental health as they activate chemicals in the brain and drive our motivation for having pleasure and fun. Everything from positive affirmations to exercise release endorphins but so does surrounding yourself with lemon, pink, blue and orange, all hues used in colour therapy that are proven to lift mood.”

Newby Hands, global beauty director at Net-A-Porter, originally predicted that dopamine dressing for the face would be a key beauty movement in 2022 and an “antidote to all that contouring and shaping.” Instead, we should see dopamine beauty as “cheerful, easy shots of colour blended over skin, ideally with fingers,” she says, adding that sales of coral, red and pink makeup are already experiencing an uptick on the luxury fashion site. “You don’t even need a brush – it’s not perfect or contrived but it’s that easy dab of colour on eyes, cheeks and lips.”

You don’t need to overhaul your entire makeup routine, either. According to Newby, the focus is more on rosy cheeks (Rose Inc’s blusher “sums up the new feeling”), glossy lips and lots of colourful eyeliner. “It can be as simple as swapping your usual black eyeliner for a beautiful bronze or burgundy, or maybe a pink or turquoise,” she adds.





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