It's nearly impossible to use TikTok without being exposed to an expansive world of aesthetics. Unlike its social media predecessors, the app's rise to notoriety depended heavily on escapism during what could only be described as a worldwide shutdown following the rise of COVID-19. Recently, we've seen the emergence of an aesthetic that embraces romantic, hyperfeminine, and youthful style with a touch of sensuality: coquette. The word "coquette" itself, borrowed from the French language in the mid-17th century, is defined as a woman who enjoys attention or admiration without developing serious feelings for them. In other words, she's a flirt.
The unique makeup style associated with this aesthetic draws from this very idea. Makeup artists Sasha Ghodstinat, Katrina Klein, and Jeanine Lobell who have previously created looks inspired by the TikTok-viral aesthetic were able to give me the scoop on what it means to them and how to re-create it using a few key products. Scroll on to see what it takes to bring this makeup look to life.
Meet Sasha Ghodstinat: a renowned international makeup artist and brand trainer. She's worked with top brands like Laura Mercier, Charlotte Tilbury, and Giorgio Armani in addition to creating looks for celebrity clients like model and actress Cara Delevigne. "I feel like this look is trending especially right now, as we are in an era where we can loudly celebrate our womanhood," Ghodstinat shares. "This right now is being expressed through the different looks and trends all around social media."
She then goes on to highlight what she believes are the defining characteristics of coquette makeup, fresh pink and rose hues to create an ultra-feminine look. Ghodstinat approaches the aesthetic with simple techniques and minimal products, using just six products to create romantic makeup look defined by a soft radiant glow and a feminine finish. Sounds like a look you'd like to recreate? Shop her go-to products below.
The next makeup artist I had the pleasure of speaking to was Katrina Klein, a British, Los Angeles–based celeb makeup artist who has worked with talent including Bailee Madison, Lucy Hale, Brianne Howey, and Sophia Bush. Her work can also bee found in publications such as Cosmopolitan and Billboard. "I think [coquette] has become so popular because it's another nostalgia-based trend, which people are loving at the moment," Klein begins. "We have had Y2K, grunge, and now coquette too, which is very early 2000s." Like Ghodstinat, she defines coquette-inspired makeup as feminine, flirtatious, and playful while also highlighting touches of pink, shimmer, bows, and flushed cheeks as its characteristics.
Her favorite recent takes on the coquette makeup trend? Lizzo's look on the Grammy's red carpet and on the runway, as well as Simone Rocha's recent fall 2023 show that featured the addition of silk bows under the eyes of models. Another source of inspiration this makeup artist looks to is none another than Netflix's hit historical fiction-romance Bridgertoncreated by showrunner Shonda Rhimes. Scroll on to see which makeup products Klein reaches for when creating a fun and playful coquette-inspired look.
I also contacted celebrity makeup artist and founder of Neen Makeup, Jeanine Lobell for the scoop on all things coquette. Lobell, who has created iconic makeup looks for celebs including Jessica Chastain, Dakota Fanning, and Jessica Alba speaks to the versatility of the trend: "It's a pretty easy look to create and evokes a flirty, happy mood. Trends seem to take off when they look great on everyone and doable for all," explains Lobell. She also breaks down her take on coquette-inspired makeup: a super-flushed look that starts with blush placed high on the cheek before being brought to the temple and the eye crease area of the lids combines with fluffy lashes and a pretty pink lip.
To create this look, Lobell recommends starting with a dewy foundation (avoiding setting powder until after the cream blush cheek color has been applied). Next, she fans out the blush into the under-eye area, brings it to the temples, and then finally to the eyelid crease and lid. After applying a shimmering baby pink highlighter to the inner eye corner and as a highlighter for the cheeks, she focuses on softly powdering the face. The finishing touch is patting on a lip color that matches the same color used on the eyes lips and cheeks without using a liner. "If you can't live without lip liner, use a very soft pink close to a natural lip color to get a little definition… and why not go for broke with a liquid liner as a beauty mark?" she says.
Ready to try it? Check out Lobell's must-have products and more editor favorites below.