From Hair to Nails, These Will Be 2023's Most Controversial Beauty Trends

Whether we decide to recognize it or not, there's no denying that at one point or another, we've all been faced with a decision: Do we want to participate in a trend? Whether a trend has true staying power or is fleeting may very well be the determining factor for many. For others, it could all boil down to understanding how and why something is trending in the first place. Dior's Lip Glow Oil, for example, dominated the TikTok For You Pages of beauty lovers everywhere for months (I own nearly every shade of it available) before completely selling out for a period of time, during which, other lesser-known lip oils and balms rose to the challenge of sparking the interest of Gen Z users.

While it's always fun to keep track of controversial trends as they come and go (seemingly at a lightning-speed pace), it's also useful to know what to keep an eye out for before a movement in the beauty industry becomes recognized as a trend. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to four individuals whose job is to see these trends and create a unique look for their clients. Read on to see which controversial trends beauty experts predict will make an appearance (or in some cases, a reappearance) in 2023.



Metallic Eyes and Highlighting Powders

To better understand which controversial makeup trends may make an appearance in 2023, I reached out Tisha Thompson, founder of LYS Beauty. Specializing in clean beauty solutions for the everyday makeup wearer, Thompson has made it an ongoing mission to diversify the industry across every touchpoint from marketing representation to product innovation. In 2020, Thompson took a leap of faith to launch her own brand, becoming Sephora’s first Black-owned clean color cosmetics brand, LYS Beauty. The company specializes in clean, everyday formulas that satisfy that craving for coverage and performance while still offering the skin amazing benefits. 



For Thompson, the most controversial beauty trend of the year will be glitter and metallic eyes and lip liners. "The pendulum is swinging back to the really artistic and expressive side of beauty, so while many are striving for that 'your complexion but better' look, it’s likely to be paired with a bold eye or lip to take it up a notch," Thompson says. The makeup artist also sees the rising popularity of another product: highlighting powders. "Highlighting powders have been shelved the last couple of years, but I do anticipate them making a comeback," she begins. "Dewy skin is still all the rave, and highlighter can be so helpful in creating a natural glow for those with normal to dry skin types."

While I'll always love the ease of being able to mix my liquid highlighters with my foundation of choice, I'm excited to try adding powder highlighters back into my makeup routine for some variation.

This velvety pressed highlighter power from LYS Beauty (founded by Tisha Thompson) is super-fine, talc-free, and will leave you with vibrant, glowing skin without any unwanted chunky glitter of fallout.

From Milk Makeup, the Sunshine Under Eye Brightening Light Coverage Concealer refreshes the under-eyes with light-reflecting brightening powders, plant-derived squalane, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C.

This tinted moisturizer by Saie Beauty offers light coverage and 100% mineral UV protection with hyaluronic acid, pansy flower, and licorice extract. In other words, you can count on it to keep your skin safe while offering hydration and sheer, dewy coverage.

Merit's vegan lip oil will give your lips sheer color infused with rose-hip oil and shea butter for long-lasting shine and ultra-hydrated lips. The best part? It's available in eight gorgeous shades.

Hop on the metallic eye trend in 2023 with Armani Beauty's Eye Tint Long-Lasting Liquid Eyeshadow. It's a crease-proof, long-lasting product that comes in multiple finishes and boasts a lightweight feel with buildable color.

Minimalist Skincare

Skincare specialist Priscila Fadul is who I went to for answers about all things skincare for 2023. Having grown up in a family involved in the beauty industry for over 50 years, Fadul has been a beauty insider her entire life (her family worked on the exclusive distribution of top beauty brands such as L’Oréal, Shiseido, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, and more). She began her career with a strong background in the industry and is driven by her desire to solve the problems consumers are facing. Recently, Fadul founded Lendava, a skincare brand with the goal of providing a luxury, multistep skincare routine without relying on a high number of products for healthy skin. In other words, it's a unique, minimalistic approach to skincare.



Fadul believes that this year, consumers will shop smarter, finally focusing on quality over quantity. "People want to invest in better products with scientific formulas that actually work and veer away from trendy ingredients," Fadul says. She also sees is skincare extending into bodycare with beauty routines indulging the entire body, "with the same skin-loving formulas as the face." Lastly, Fadul predicts that consumers and brands will move towards supporting sustainable beauty. "Whether it's using biotechnology to formulate products or switching to reusable packaging, our future should put less stress on the planet (and us)," she muses. 

The trend she hopes will make a comeback? Minimalist skincare routines. "The beauty industry has us believing that we need infinite products and steps in our routines, but regardless of age, skin type, or gender, all human skin requires the same things to be healthy," says Fadul. She also identified so major ingredients that should be part of a healthy skincare routine and are making more appearances in products. These include vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin C, peptides, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and mineral SPF

This visibly renewing moisturizer is formulated with retinal (vitamin A); ceramide NP; and green tea and licorice root extracts to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven tone.

The Ordinary's Multi-Peptide + HA Serum has gone viral over the past few months (and for a good reason). Its formula combines hyaluronic acid and various peptide complexes to improve skin smoothness and target signs of aging.

This serum uses vitamin B, marine plankton extract, and panthenol to reduce and refine the appearance of pores for a radiant complexion and boosted skin barrier.

Formulated with marine extract padina pavonica, this ultra-nourishing cream reduces wrinkle depth and increases hydration in the skin to promote suppleness, smoothness, and softness.

Give your skin the protection it deserves with this broad-spectrum SPF. It shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays while it also refines the skin by clearing pores and reducing shine with lactic acid.

"Absurdist" Chrome Nails

Meet Sonya Meesh, a New York City–based celebrity nail artist that's worked in celebrity, runway, commercial, and editorial spaces since 2014. Meesh also possesses a unique background in photography, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, and glass, which they incorporate into their experimental manicure style. In addition to working with celebrities like A$AP Rocky, their work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Allure, and Vogue. What's more is that Meesh has created content for brands like Over Easy, Orly, Deborah Lippman, and Edie Parker Flower. 

In 2023, Meesh wants to see more absurdist nail tutorials or nails that absolutely have no business existing. "I think that nail charms and piercings will come back this year," they explain. "TikTok hasn’t had its day with piercings yet, but it'll be here any moment!" Could this mean an official departure from the chrome look we've been seeing everywhere? Don't throw away your chrome powder just yet; Meesh is all for its continued popularity. "I will continue to push the chrome agenda into 2023 and beyond, especially in really absurd ways. Think orbs or alien blobs on nails," says Meesh.

You've heard it here first: Chrome most likely isn't going anywhere this year; it just may be making appearances in less traditional ways everywhere you look. 

This light white dipping powder by OPI will give your nails the chrome effect, allowing them to shimmer and shine with a gel-like finish that lasts. It also dries instantly, so there's no need to light cure them.

Billions is the perfect eye-catching shimmery gold shade for anyone looking to try absurdist designs with some sparkle. Emilie Heathe's line of nail polishes are nontoxic and enhanced with bamboo extract, coconut oil, vitamin E, and more for healthy, happy nails.

Dior's Nail Glow is a unique nail lacquer that enhances the appearance of your natural nails. When applied to bare nails, the pinks of the nails become pinker and the whites become whiter for a shiny, healthy glow you'll love.

Your search for the perfect cuticle cream is over. This one by Modelones is crafted from a blend of natural vegetable oils and vitamins that are practical, fast-acting, and quick to absorb.

Say goodbye to the strong, offensive odors of your everyday nail polish remover. This nontoxic, delicately rose scented formula carefully removes nail polish and pop-on nails while also hydrating and conditioning them.

Sleek Blowouts and Warm Tones

For this year's most controversial hair trends, I turned to Rita Hazan, a New York–based hairstylist who's created looks for many celebs including Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and Jessica Simpson. Known for her knack for making dark hair blonde without it becoming brassy or damaged, Hazan has launched a line of hair products and most recently opened a new salon location in NYC where they specialize in coloring and styling but also offer services in makeup, nails, and skincare.



Hazan predicts that bangs will be the breakout hairstyle this year, in addition to sleek blowouts that are "not so layered and voluminous." Think effortless glam styles: with windswept tendrils, face-framing strands, and a lot of movement. She also thinks that natural tones will be making a major comeback in 2023. Hazan describes these as being, "easy, effortless hair color with multidimensional highlights in warm buttery, sun-kissed tones." This is a huge departure from one of the biggest trends over the summer of 2022: the resurgence of the bleach blonde. Whether this is due to the excitement around the upcoming release of Greta Gerwig's Barbie and the consequent exploration of Barbiecore on social media platform, it's clear that hair trends are taking a step towards embracing the all-natural.

If you decide to give your hair a fabulous blowout, protect your lovely locks with Verb's Glossy Shine Heat Protectant Spray. It will protect your hair from heat damage while also providing it with shine, body, and moisture.

This viral reparative leave-in styling treatment is infused with bond-building technology that will strengthen and protect your hair from damage. It also promotes faster blow-dries and will help your hair stay frizz-free for up to 72 hours.

Rescue your hair with this lightweight daily spray that hydrates while combating frizz and adding shine. This product is especially great for wavy, curly, and coily hair since it doesn't weigh your strands down.

Leave it to Living Proof to produce a versatile spray that will maximize your hair's volume and texture for that perfect effortlessly cool, lived-in feel. The spray also provides heat protection up to 410°F and lightly absorbs oil to extend the life of your look.

Ideal for all hair types, this nourishing and strengthening blowout cream features ingredients like hydrolyzes quinoa and botanical extracts that will protect the hair from breakage. It also smoothes the hair while maintaining body and movement.