Quiet luxury is 2023’s biggest fashion trend – here’s what it means for beauty

Vogue has declared ‘quiet luxury’ “2023’s biggest fashion trend”. So, what is it and what does it mean for your beauty bag?

‘Quiet luxury’ is all about a low-key, pared-back approach to ‘investment dressing’. On the runway, it’s logo-less, high-quality pieces intended to stand the test of time – think stylish, rather than fashionable: cashmere sweaters, neutral-toned blazers and sleek silk shirts. On TV, it’s the stealth wealth of Succession’s Shiv Roy and her enviable, always-composed-and-never-over-the-top outfits (or her brother Kendall Roy’s US$625 baseball cap – no, it’s not gold-plated; it looks like… a cap). [Both pictured here. Image credit: Instagram/@succession] On social media, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s tasteful-yet-casual courtroom wardrobe from her legendary ‘ski trial’ – immaculately put together outfits with an ‘I don’t need to worry about this’ air.

The rise of quiet luxury – currently sitting at more than 60 million views on TikTok – can be seen as a response to more uncertain economic times; suddenly, wearing head-to-toe designer logos could come across as a bit insensitive. But by no means is it a new trend; the phrase, ‘Money talks – wealth whispers’ was coined more than three decades ago. In the same way, quiet luxury in beauty is not entirely new. Decadent face creams have been a skincare secret for years, whether it’s classics like Crème de La Mer or the coveted (and celebrity loved) Augustinus Bader.

Undeniably, a particular aesthetic of upgraded minimalism is closely tied to the quiet luxury of today; elevated scented candles from the likes of Byredo and Diptyque are clear leaders in the field and an easy way to add a touch of understated elegance to your daily life.

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This restrained extravagance appears in more unexpected places, too; Officine Universelle Buly’s apple-flavoured toothpaste is the favourite subtle indulgence of several Team MECCA members (and had its own moment of TikTok fame), while DedCool’s scented laundry detergent is quickly becoming one of our favourite ways to make household chores at least slightly more enjoyable. Other beauty editor insider picks include D.S. & DURGA’s car scents and levelled-up hand soaps like those from Boy Smells.

Despite its fashion roots, quiet luxury isn’t just about the price tag – it’s an approach that prioritises timelessness over trends: the ‘investment basics’ that make every day an indulgence and always perform as promised, with an ‘if you know, you know’ quality. Perhaps no makeup brand epitomises the concept quite like Westman Atelier. The neutral-toned packaging would be right at home alongside a wardrobe full of The Row and Céline, but more importantly, their formulas embody quiet luxury’s premium, high-performance element. The Vital Skincare Complexion Drops create a barely there base enriched with the best of skincare for a deceptively natural-looking finish, while their stick-form complexion products (including contour, blush, highlight and foundation) are multitasking, easy-to-use essentials with the most satisfying magnetic closure you’ve ever experienced.

These examples may strike some as unnecessary, but the quiet luxury approach reminds us to prioritise the things that bring us lasting joy – daily. It’s a rejection of the ever-quickening trend cycle in favour of the quality essentials that never go out of style. So if you’re the type of beauty lover that lives for neutral-toned eyeshadow and apple-flavoured toothpaste, embrace it!

However, if your look is more on the shimmery, brightly coloured side and you’ve never met a beauty trend you didn’t have to try right this second, this is a judgment-free zone; after all, true luxury is indulging in the little things that make you feel like your best self every day.

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