We’ve gone through trends like the Kim K contour phase to the subtle sun-kissed no-makeup makeup look. Quite undeniably, the past couple of years have been glorious for the makeup industry. Besides celebrities and editorial models, the sudden surge of YouTube and Instagram makeup gurus became the primary source of what’s hot and what’s not.
Just last January, YouTuber Sarah Cheung uploaded a makeup tutorial on a look she called the “boy beat.” What the hell is the boy beat you ask? It’s pretty much like the no makeup makeup trend, only with a twist.
Cheung got the inspiration from Beyonce’s makeup artist, Sir John, as he showcased the technique in this video. He used this trick on Beyonce in the Formation music video. Originally, Sir John defined the boy beat as an “androgynous way” of looking at makeup and of blurring the line between looking masculine or feminine.
To achieve the boy beat, Cheung “highlights” imperfections instead of covering them with with concealer or foundation. It’s kind of simple: Focus on natural-looking, undone brows. Let your dark circles, freckles, sunspots be. Lastly, contour the hell out of your cheekbones to add structure to your face.
Cheung says the this makeup trend aims for the unpolished-but-still-beautiful look, pretty much the opposite of the perfect skin glam headed by Instagram baddies.
There is so much hyperfemininity in the beauty world that sometimes it’s difficult to stop obsessing over how best to hide our flaws and just be playful with makeup. The boy beat is all about dark circles, cheekbones, freckles and unplucked brows. No mascara, no winged liner, no lipstick. 🎥 click link in bio to watch
From Beyoncé to Cheung’s tutorial, the boy beat slowly became a trend among other beauty gurus on YouTube and Instagram. Most went for their own version of the boy beat by adding lipgloss, a luminous shine on the cheekbones, or a smokey eye. The key is to keep it super laidback and simple.
Check out different takes on the boy beat below.
Lil more sandy beach, summer skin, #boybeat makeup 😘 @lizearlebeautyco Sheer Skin Tint in 01 Bare @rcmamakeup VK11 Pallette @hdbrowsofficial 'Vamp' Pallette @barrymcosmetics Bold Waterproof Liner 'Bronze' @mesmereyezcontactlenses 'Caramel Tea' #myartistcommunity_uk #myartistcommunity_ireland #illamasqua #katvondbeauty #androgynous #boybeat #summermakeup #suqqu #theartistedit #glossylids #glossier #fauxfreckles #bushybrows #beach #summer #sun #myartistcommunityrussia #makeupartistworldwide #makeupforever #kevynaucoin #lizearle #barrym #rcma
Perhaps the boy beat makeup look is just another beauty trend, and it’ll pass like all other hypes. However, it’s absolutely refreshing to see users embrace the natural look with all the so-called imperfections. Overall, we think it’s a step towards self-acceptance and a boost of confidence.