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Soft glam - no thanks!

Two young women wearing makeup in the soft glam style

Big Ben has yet to strike midnight on December 31 but makeup trends for 2024 have already been written in stone. According to a vast swathe of the beauty community, that is. So, like it or lump it, soft glam is where fashion is going to be at.

Anyone else get a sense of deja vu? I’m seeing more lattes, highlighter, immaculate brows, and dabs of shimmer. In essence, a roll-over from 2023. It’s nude, folks, plain nude - with a hint of blush and sparkle plus the odd smokey eye. 

There are already palettes dedicated to this look. The likes of Anastasia Beverly Hills and Charlotte Tilbury have literally banked on it having market staying power. So too have the TikTokers and YouTubers churning out tutorials like there’s no tomorrow. 

Of course, this trend wouldn’t be completely boring if everyone who wanted to could pull it off. 

When I think of ‘soft’ and ‘glam’ in the same sentence, my mind automatically hones in on the likes of Jennifer Lopez. It goes without saying, I’d forsake a month of Sundays to look like her but I’m a realist. Not in a whole year of Sundays am I ever going to look anything like her, regardless of how much or how little makeup I wear.

So, where does this trend sit with the over-50s? Especially those with very pale or very dark skin tones? I had a double-take when an image of Nicole Kidman on a red carpet was accompanied with a caption that suggested she was sporting a soft glam look. Yes, some of the elements were there, like the natural, flushed-looking cheeks - but bang on trend? No. 

It seems to me, apart from being a clever way to shift a load of palettes with pans that look like they’ve been stuffed with cocoa powder, that most of the marketing imagery we’re seeing for this look features women with medium tanned skin. That’s not Nicole Kidman, and it’s certainly not me. 

Achieving the soft glam look

I’m writing this trying not to let my attention wander to the neon green shade in my Gothic Beach eyeshadow palette. Yep, I am asking myself how the hell it is going to feature either side of Halloween. And what about all those blue/green duo chromes I’ve managed to hoard over the past 12 months? Redundant already?

I may be ‘old’ but I’m still a sucker when it comes to attempting to be relevant. Boring as I find it, I can’t entirely ignore what is likely to matter. Not if I want to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, so to speak, in the beauty stakes. 

I’m never going to be able to replicate the soft glam look, as depicted in magazines, but I am sure I will try to muster up my own version. Even if it’s just once or twice, for special occasions. 

It is going to entail meticulous attention to detail when it comes to prepping the skin. ‘Luminous’ is a word that is being hurled around in much the same way as ‘glow’ has been getting on my wick for the past 24 months. That means investing in a good primer, full coverage foundation and then all the ‘hint of a shimmer’ products to go on top.

Thankfully, my trusty Laura Geller blush does have a slight sheen. I may get away with no highlighter.

When it comes to contouring the face, harshly chiselled cheeks are going to be out. However, bronzing products will still be very much in - albeit to achieve a softer finish. Maybe, I should just bake the stuff all over my face and pray it gives me the sultry, tanned tone of all the models being wheeled out to promote the look.

Soft glam is all about flawless skin, neat brows and glamorous eyes. Oh, and another follow on from 2023, plenty of lip oil! In a nutshell, glowing skin and elegant eyeshadow.

Anyone else fancy soft goth instead?

A model is seen wearing soft glam makeup

Alternatives to glowy natural makeup for 2024

The quickest way to move this trend on before we all die of boredom is to identify potential disruptors in the beauty space and give them a bit of patronage. Brands that are ‘out there’; experimental, if you like. Disruptors with new, exciting colour stories and face products that are decidedly matte. Glowing skin has dragged on a bit now, don’t you think?

My everyday looks over the next year will include:

  • Edgy pastels (on the eye and below the eye)

  • Duo chromes paired with graduated mattes

  • Green and gold (seems influencers haven’t been paying attention to Technic’s head-turning grunge quad)

  • Heatwave shades

  • Heavy mascara

  • Matte blush, well blended and taken over the nose

The best thing about makeup is that it can reflect our individuality. We don’t have to follow trends just because some MUA or women’s magazine says that is what is in fashion. Nor do we have to buy products that brands tell us are trending. We make our own rules. We choose our own colour stories.

You are more likely to know what is going to suit you than an influencer.

While it’s always good to try new things, there are some that you just know aren’t going to do you any favours. There’s nothing wrong with that. Try something else that will better reflect your personal style and skin tone.

Glam doesn’t do it for me, not even soft glam. Guess I’m not a glamorous granny after all. 

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Hellbent on trying soft glam? Here's a tutorial by Sammie Leigh Artistry that you may find useful.


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