From decorative pearls and iridescent shimmers to marine blues and seaweed greens, hair and make-up looks are embracing mysterious underwater narratives. Wet hair and glossy skin are also key, with designers such as Dion Lee, Dries Van Noten, Dilara Findikoglu, Blumarine and Etro embracing aquatic creatures and ocean-inspired beauty styling for the Spring/Summer 2023 catwalk season.
Meanwhile, chiming with Gen Z’s post-perfectionism movement, darker mermaid aesthetics, such as hypnotic siren eyes and dishevelled hair, appeal to consumers striving for more grungy glam. This darker take on #mermaidcore (more than 230 million combined views on TikTok) is championed by beauty influencers like Isamaya Ffrench and Danielle Marcan as a gloomier alternative form of escapism, leading on from goth glam and the #darkfeminineenergy on TikTok, driven by hit show Wednesday.
Elsewhere, product packaging is leaning into mermaidcore licensing. Chinese brand Flower Knows’s Moonlight Mermaid Setting Powder is adorned with glistening prism-cut gemstones, a starry night sky and raised mermaid figure. Likewise, Kiko Milano has collaborated with Disney on a line of The Little Mermaid-inspired beauty products, focusing on mermaid iconography, such as shells, coral and waves, across its packaging. Pearls also feature in new launches: for example, New York City-based JinSoon’s Akoya nail polish is an opalescent white inspired by cultured Akoya pearls.