the most unusual beauty trends of 2018
What a year.
Bawdy, via Instagram
With every passing year it feels like the beauty world gets more absurd. 2015 brought us clip-on man buns, 2016 was the year of succulent nails and 2017 was responsible for the condom foundation applicator. What a time to be alive! Although, surely these phenomena were designed to spark Instagram virality rather than revolutionise any beauty routine? 2018 didn’t disappoint on that front. This year brought us a tonne of equally unusual products, rituals, behaviours and trends, some of which might have induced an eye roll or two, but others -- like the fascinating rise of pan porn -- actually made us look at beauty in a whole new light. Here’s five strange beauty trends that defined the past 12 months.
People masked places you should probably never mask
You might only dabble in the occasional sheet mask, but 2018 was undeniably the year of full body masking. And I mean full body. Beauty obsessives masked their backs, butts, armpits and vaginas in the quest for smoother skin. And brands launched the wares required to do so. Bawdy brought out buttock-shaped sheet masks of various specialities, from ‘Slap It’, which contains caffeine to ‘retexturise and detoxify’ to ‘Bite It’ that uses plant-based collagen to ‘hydrate and tone’. As for the vagina? Two Lips (imagine the brainstorm session that landed on that name) brought out this charcoal-infused lacy number, that apparently “soothes, detoxifies, brightens and moisturises the vulva.” Thank u, next.
‘Pan porn’ got us hot under the collar
You might think your fetish is niche, but have you ever tried getting off on the bright flash of silver that appears once you’ve buffed your way through your favourite eye shadow shade? For some, including the 35.7k subscribers (aka pan pornographers) within Reddit’s r/panporn channel, that stuff is wild. But as we investigated, it does play into a rather positive, plant-friendly anti-excess movement in beauty.
Celebs continued to peddle extreme facials
No, not that kind of extreme facial. But not that far off either. Although she’s since deleted the Instagram post, good ol’ Kate Beckinsale was the latest name to advocate the ‘penis facial’, which, as if it didn’t sound bad enough, involves applying a serum reportedly made out of proteins extracted and then cloned from the circumcised foreskins of babies. And to think that you were wincing the time KKW got that vampire facial.
Dandruff scraping became the new pimple popping
Believe it or not, people go wild for videos of others scraping their scalps to harvest up a fresh batch of dry skin flakes. Just search ‘dandruff scraping’ on YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of videos of crumbling scalps. Occupying the same corner of the internet as other ASMR fetishes, like whispering, soap-scraping and casual insults, it’s just one of those things that some of us can’t help but find ridiculously satisfying.
The perfect smile changed colour
Put down the whitening toothpaste –– the new perfect smile comes in a whole rainbow of colours. Well, that’s the vibe tooth make-up brand Chrom is trying to push anyway. This year it launched edible tooth paints, a little like nail polish, that temporarily tint teeth one of ten colours, from Fairy Dust (glittery baby blue) to 24 Karat (blingy metallic gold). The new grills? Only time will tell.
Can’t wait to see how 2019 stacks up!