Hailey Bieber and Zendaya are obviously reading from the same style page right now. In a departure from some of the more overblown, overly coiffed, laminated-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives get-ups on the red carpet, both beauties have recently set a new standard of cool – from Bieber’s loose, clean braid at the Grammy Awards, courtesy of hairstylist Bryce Scarlett, to Zendaya’s soft up-sweep at the Oscars by Antoinette Hill, and later her voluminous waves and natural, bronzed makeup at the Emmys. After all, while Hollywood has always been characterized by a hefty dose of glamour, it’s not necessarily accompanied by the cool-girl insouciance that makes a modern icon.
Their beauty insignias? Pared-back elegance that transcends age – think the clean silhouettes of Bieber’s white strapless Saint Laurent gown by Anthony Vaccarello, and Zendaya’s crisp Valentino shirt and silver sequined skirt. “Zendaya’s mood for the Oscars was modern meets elegance,” says Hill, who created a “fresh spin on a classic silhouette for a modern Hollywood look”. However, while this all-American beauty muse may share many of the same hallmarks of the Rive Gauche French girls and east London musicians whose looks we’ve all come to covet, this iteration is understated, but with a tad more polish. The delicately teased tendrils are more considered than Jane Birkin bed hair, for example, as is the tonal makeup and brushed-up brow. In short, it’s about just-so nuances – and happens to be a look that seems to suit everyone. Want in? Here’s how…
Skin is in
The key to a modern take on classic glamour rests first and foremost on expensive-looking, glowing skin. Both Bieber (who is known for her ‘glazed-donut’ complexion) and Zendaya (who tagged aesthetician Joomee Song in her Oscar look) are well versed in the benefits of a comprehensive skincare regimen. But moisturizer can only go so far. In order to take it to the next level, add in some targeted collagen-boosting, free-radical-fighting, dead-skin-cell-sloughing actives, plus complexion-boosting tools that mimic the magic digits of A-list facialists.
In a look where skin takes the starring role, it’s all about enhancing what you’ve got and choosing balmy, skin-like textures. “These subtle looks work on anyone – it’s about magnifying your natural beauty and [creating] the A+ version of yourself,” says makeup artist Andrew Gallimore. “Reference the classic looks, but move with the times. Embrace newer technologies and formulas – for example, most complexion products now contain excellent skincare benefits, too.” Gallimore also recommends using primers in place of blanket coverage and keeping application light, whether you’re going for a classic red lip – “a soft-focus, ‘snogged-off’ lip is much more modern” – or enhancing your eyes with a sweep of brow gel and mascara for your lashes, but better.
Think ‘no makeup-makeup’, but the hair equivalent. The key to creating timeless looks that feel fresh is playing with textures and balance within your style,” says hair guru Sam McKnight. “If your outfit and makeup are chic, mixing it up with a more undone, effortless texture keeps it feeling modern, whereas denim and a white T-shirt can be elevated with a polished blow-dry.”
Again, it’s all about the nuances, whether that be making sure the ends are finished, or, in the case of Zendaya’s Oscar look, ensuring that the overall impression is one of relaxed glamour. “Don’t worry about neatness,” says Hill. “The look is more about tousled hair in an updo, which gives this classic style a current feel. After backcombing the crown and gathering the hair into a mid to low French twist, I gently sneaked out a few wispy strands to add softness to the hairline, too.”