Why #Mermaidcore's Making Waves RN + Pro Tips To Nail The Trend


Source: Vogue

We’re officially done with the cold and dreary winter weather, and people are looking to capture that feeling with sunshine-y, shimmering goodness. And what better mascot than a mermaid who splashes through balmy waters with wavy hair and a trail of shimmer in her wake? That’s right, #Mermaidcore – also referred to as #sirencore – has officially resurfaced, and we are fins in for this glowy, shimmery, colorful aesthetic. 

What Is Mermaid Makeup? 

In a (sea)shell, “Mermaidcore is flowy outfits, sheer fabrics, silks fabrics, and wide fishnets,” says celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello. Obvs, makeup is a key part of nailing the mermaid look as well. Lovello notes that the beauty hallmarks of the mermaid aesthetic include pearly accents, slick eyeshadow, and no restraint on glitter and shimmer.

Mermaidcore-Huda-VogueSource: Pierfrancesco Artini/Vogue

Celeb makeup artist Nydia Figueroa agrees, adding, “Mermaidcore is a style that is romantic, ethereal, and inspired by mythical underwater beauty. It [combines] glossy/ “wet skin” with bright colors – think seaweed green and aqua blue. For hair, you want to do a wet look and even slicked back for that fresh out of the water look.” You could also go full volume waves for hair for a romantic, “just slowly dried off in the sunshine” sorta vibe.  

Vogue-Arabia-2023-HudaSource: Pierfrancesco Artini/Vogue

Figueroa says the trend most definitely came straight off the runway of NYFW Spring/Summer ‘23, and that it even popped up at award shows like the Golden Globes. That said, Huda nailed #Mermaidcore for her Vogue Arabia February cover, and it’s the ultimate makeup inspo mood board for the trend! You can also expect to see an uptick in #mermaidcore across social media and the real world as people embrace that glossy wet skin and fresh, bold color choices as we get closer to spring.

Mermaidcore Beauty Essentials 

Want to dive into this beauty trend and live your best mer-life? These treasures will help unlock your inner sea goddess.

1. Hydrating Face Oil 

The focus of this look is wet and glossy skin, Figueroa says. “I would go for a hydrating face oil [or serum] under your foundation to keep the skin looking dewy.” This means really zeroing in on a top-notch hydrating skincare routine and going big in the finale with an ultra-hydrating, glossy serum or oil.

Some of our faves are Herbivore Botanicals Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil, $48, Tatcha The Dewy Serum, $34, and Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50, $38 (yep, even mermaids wear SPF). 

Mermaidcore-1Source: Herbivore Botanicals, Tatcha, and Supergoop!

2. Face Gloss 

Remember: The goal of mermaid makeup is to go all-in on the glossy wet look. To get even more shine, Figueroa says to “use a face gloss for highlighting the high points of your face.” One of her faves is the Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment, $18, in clear. Some people are also using straight-up Vaseline to get the look. 

Mermaidcore-2Source: Danessa Myricks Beauty

3. Glittery Eyeshadow  

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For even more of a shimmery moment, “Use glitter in the inner corner or anywhere outside your eyelid,” Lovello says. “I like to use glitters that are already infused with glues like the Stila Cosmetics Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, [$25], or e.l.f. has a version for $6.”

You can also try ColourPop Cosmetics’ Super Shock Shadow, $7, in shade Ritz (sheer with silver glitter), Empire (rich emerald green), Mint 4 U (midtone mint with gold flecks), Dream Much (pale periwinkle blue with multi-glitter), and Sail Away (pale peach with pink and silver glitter). Have fun with the glitter; apply as much as you want. And if you’re feeling it, you can even use a little glitter as your highlight.

Mermaidcore-3Source: Stila Cosmetics, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and ColourPop Cosmetics

4. Juicy Lips 

To keep with the wet theme, pick a lip product that delivers the juiciest lips possible – no matte lippies here. Think lip oils and glosses that lend a nice slick finish, like NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Lip Drip, $9, and Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss, $22.

Mermaidcore-4Source: NYX Professional Makeup and Kosas

5. Pops of Color

You can incorporate pops of color via eyeshadow, of course, and Figueroa says you can also play with eyeliners. She recommends sticking to cooler tones. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, $25, comes in lots of colors that fit the theme, including Deep End, Electric Empire, Viper, Roxy, Overdrive.

@nazliayunus Mermaid makeup 🐚✨ #mermaidmakeup #mermaidcore #angelicmakeup #douyinmakeuptutorial #aestheticmakeup #sparklymakeuplook #glittermakeuptutorial #blueeyeshadowlook #shimmerymakeup ♬ High By The Beach – Lana Del Rey

Also, check out the color selection for Sephora’s Ultimate Gel Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, $13. BTW, if you’re feeling really bold, you could always throw on some pearl stickers too. 

Mermaidcore-5Source: Urban Decay, Sephora, and HANSAMU

6. Wet Hair 

For that quintessential “just popped out of the water” aesthetic, go for a wet hair look. We created an entire guide on how to get wet hair depending on your hair type, so check out the full tutorial there. We even included product recommendations. 

7. Wavy Hair 

@hindash Mermaid Bride ✨🧜🏽‍♀️💧 featuring @dliviaa @florasis.official #hindash #makeup #foryoupage ♬ Hot In It – Tiësto & Charli XCX

Along with a wet hair look, you can go for big, voluminous waves. Lovello says her favorite way of getting this look is with a 3-barrel curling iron, which “creates mermaid-like waves.” The Alure Three Barrel Curling Iron Wand, $29, on Amazon has over 25,000 reviews and a 4.3 rating, so you know it’s gonna deliver.

If you love experimenting with your look, give some of these top 2023 beauty trends a go.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.