From Pearl Accents to Wet and Glossy Strands, Mermaidcore Will Be Huge This Year

With the upcoming release of Disney's The Little Mermaid (which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, one of the most recognizable characters), it's easy to see why there's been a surge of interest in aquatic-inspired style recently. I'm not sure if this is tied entirely to the aforementioned film or just a widespread interest in the mythological creatures of the sea, but I do know I'm all for it. There's something so ethereal and effortlessly romantic about the worlds of fashion and beauty gravitating towards the style that its admirers have affectionately dubbed as "mermaidcore."

Simply put, mermaidcore is all about embracing the overall aesthetic of these mythological creatures. From opting for an extra swipe of highlighter across the cheekbones and decorative pearl accents as a replacement for your everyday eye shadow to nail designs that resemble the movement of the ocean, mermaidcore has taken creativity to a whole new level. To better understand how some beauty experts are making this trend their own, I turned to celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay Braha and manicurist Brittney Boyce

Keep reading to discover how these beauty masterminds are pulling off mermaidcore in 2023.


(Image credit: @sarahhsol)


For expertise on makeup trends on and off the runway, I reached out to Judi Gabbay Braha, a celebrity artist based in New York. Braha's work has been published in Seventeen Magazine, Vogue Italia, Marie Claire, and more. "Chic mermaid makeup is all the rage right now. Think, a spinoff off Euphoria-inspired glam and siren eyes," Braha explains. "It could be the unhinged excitement of Bailey's performance in The Little Mermaid live action [film] as well— whatever the case may be, I'm always down for a mermaid-inspired glam." She describes the look as calling for long tresses, waves, or wet-looking hair with glossy skin, sparkling lids, and pops of ocean-inspired aquas and pastels.


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Her favorite mermaidcore look that she created for a client was a mix of Euphoria glam and aquatic inspiration. "There are so many ways to draw inspiration to create a mermaidcore look," says Braha. "My take would be open, fluffy brows, a wash of lavenders or sheer aqua blue across the lids, or a pop of color in the inner corner of the eyes. Glossy, fresh skin and lips complement this look well, too." While mermaidcore may appear overwhelming to create at home, there are a few go-to products Braha suggests using Makeup by Mario's Master Crystal Reflector in Quartz, Gucci's Luminous Face and Lip Gloss, and Natasha Denona's Mini Pastel Eyeshadow Palette.

"Quartz can be used on lids over pastel shadows or used alone on lids or in inner corners. Use Gucci's face balm under makeup on cheekbones for a wearable dewy effect," Braha begins. "Natasha Denona's mini pastel palette has the perfect mermaid vibe and can be worn individually or paired together for dimension and depth on eyes." She also proposes adding extra details like delicate jewels, stones, or pearls sporadically near the eyes for an ultra-chic approach to the trend.

Shop Mermaidcore Makeup


To better understand the mermaidcore trend in nails, I reached out to celebrity manicurist and founder of Nails of LA Brittney Boyce. The dazzling nails of her clientele can be spotted on red carpets and magazine covers. Boyce's idea of the perfect mermaid-inspired manicure is the ever-popular chrome nails. "They've really been in for the last 6-plus months," Boyce begins. "I think it's a cool way to have a try at a design without anything too distracting." 


(Image credit: @nailsbyzola)

While mermaidcore is still an emerging trend among her clientele, she's noticed a rise in the popularity of chrome nails that take on more aquatic elements. "I've done a lot of chrome nail designs lately, but not in any type of mermaid form," she says. "However, we've also begun to see aquatic-inspired looks make a reappearance on [the] runways." Boyce recommends opting for press-on nails, nail wraps, or chrome finish nail polish if you'd like to recreate this fashion-forward trend at home.

Shop Mermaidcore Nails

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated. 

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Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.