Let’s clear this up… what is ‘editorial’ beauty?
May 27, 2020
Make up by Carly Lim

Considering the beauty industry has grown to great extents in recent years, it’s somewhat of a surprise that Google’s top search about editorial beauty is, ‘what is it?’ If you’re a stranger to the editorial world, then perhaps it’s not unusual to be puzzled. For an industry that has major influence in the world of fashion and couture, many are still unaware of what really makes editorial beauty, ‘editorial’. That’s why we’re here to help break it down for you.

In simple terms, editorial beauty is hair and makeup which you will not necessarily see day to day. Stripping back from the world of commercial beauty, when the key purpose is to sell, editorial requires thinking outside of the box and being conceptual. Popular magazines around the world embrace editorial beauty in order to show a different side of makeup and hair, with extremely talented hair and makeup artists working with teams of creative directors, photographers, stylists and more to perfect their shoot. It’s more than applying makeup for a night out or perfecting your cut crease. Editorial beauty is the epitome of experimentation and design and combines the realms of beauty and high fashion.

Like most things, editorial beauty is a fast-changing industry, with looks becoming quickly overdone or outdated. There is always a fight to be the next big thing, to be new, to be fresh, and to be the next best thing. When something is done, it’s done. The industry is full of creators, who are inspired by various different things whether it be their philosophies or their interests and this ensures that the results are varied and unique.

This expansive industry not only adopts and plays on trends but sets them. From bold eye makeup looks to complex concept and visual art, there are no boundaries in editorial beauty. The easiest place to find popular examples of editorial beauty is in the fashion industry, where brands become daring with their looks in order to define their identity and stand out from their competitors. They are often met with questioning eyes or lack of understanding by people who may not be familiar with this side of beauty but also receive magnitudes of appraisal from leading agencies.

Photo by Ben Hassett

However, recently, we are seeing the influences of editorial in the mainstream media as pop-stars and celebrities are embracing bolder looks. Makeup is changing constantly and eras are defined by their looks. Editorial can often play on different eras, meshing and combining them. From the bright colours of the disco era, to the matte trends of the 2010s. Inspired by pop art, illusion, drama and other genres such as sci-fi and horror, editorial beauty sets itself apart from the world of simply aesthetic hair and makeup. Artists are not necessarily concerned with ticking all the boxes but creating their own boxes. It can be simple, it can be vast, nonetheless the looks manifested are statement pieces.

Popstar Lady Gaga

Their tools are not just limited by makeup and hair dyes or sprays. Editorial beauty makes play of props, too, or ordinary items transformed into something chic and avant-garde. Some of the finest examples of editorial manipulate wires and bulbs to tell stories, evoke emotion and show audiences the range of possibilities beauty has.

Editorial beauty is graphic, meticulously created and diverse. There are endless opportunities. Make sure to keep following Beauty Archive to discover the best of the best artists.