E-girls have made blush the it-makeup product of 2020
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E-girls could be considered the it-girls of current teen culture. The group defines what’s cool online, dictating style and beauty trends for youth. In short, it-girls — and e-girls — know what’s up.
E-girls are cool cousins of the outcast girls of decades prior, like emo girls of the 2000s, grunge girls of the ‘90s and punk girls of the ‘80s. There’s debate what the “e” in e-girl stands for, but most agree that it indicates the girl in question is heavily influenced by online culture. She’s constantly on TikTok, keeps her IG updated, and may even be streaming on gaming platform Twitch. In fact, Vox goes so far to say an e-girl’s defining quality is that she’s “hot and online.”
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As much as internet culture and alternative style is core to an e-girl’s identity, so is beauty. Colorfully dyed hair and quirky makeup styles are staples of an e-girl. And the thing most centerpiece to e-girl makeup — even more than hearts drawn in eyeliner or fake freckles — is blush. In fact, blush arguably hasn’t had this much of a moment since the heavily flushed cheeks of the 1980s.
In a Vogue video titled Doja Cat’s Guide to E-Girl Beauty, rapper Doja Cat says her e-girl makeup style consists of her looking like she “just woke up and blew [her] nose and [has] pneumonia.”
Doja Cat uses two different types of highly pigmented NARS blushes — a powder and a liquid formula — to achieve her look. She says she applies it high on her cheekbones, then “scrubs” her nose with the product. She also applies the pink hue to her eyelids and lips.
“I remember being on Pinterest,” Doja Cat says in the video. “I didn’t even know what an e-girl was. I just saw these Tumblr girls who were like super cute and they looked like they were sick, but it was intentional. You could see they were wearing a lot of makeup. And I fell in love with that”
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To get the e-girl blush look, use a deep blush or put on several layers of a soft pink hue. The trick is to apply your blush as usual, then bring it across your nose, connecting your blushed cheeks in a pore strip-like look.
Chances are you’ll need a deeper blush than you’re used to for the look to work. But it’s all in the name of the flushed, “ill” beauty trend.
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Both Doja Cat and many e-girls credit Japanese makeup styles and Harajuku culture for the makeup techniques. Some also credit Igari makeup — or Japanese “hangover” makeup — for the look.
But not everyone sees the beauty look as a simple trend. Outlets like The Cut and Vox have claimed that e-girls use makeup to look like “they’re in need of protection, innocent, or helpless” and to appear submissive.
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While e-girl style may be hinging on a cutesy ultra-femme stereotype, there’s nothing is saying an e-girl can’t be powerful and independent. There’s also nothing wrong with choosing to be submissive in certain contexts — and the suggestion that there is has obvious undertones of sex and kink-shaming.
But let’s remember e-girls are often teen girls, who are commonly feminine and, yes, innocent as all teens are. And these teens deserve to experiment with style as punks, goths, and emo girls did before them — even if that means rocking sickly blush that other generations just don’t understand.
To riff off of e-girl makeup — or to just add some killer blush to you collection — check out these deep, gorgeous blushes below.
Shop: PÜR Skin Perfecting Blushing Act in Berry Beautiful, $26
Shop: NARS Blush in Aroused, $30
Shop: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty, $29
Shop: ColourPop Super Shock Blush in Birthday Suit, $8
Shop: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain, $18
Shop: Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trios in Berry Adore, $30
Shop: Morphe 8C Cool Pro Blush Palette, $22
Shop: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff, $18
Shop: Kaja Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush in Feisty, $24
Shop: Milk Makeup Lip and Cheek in Quickie, $28
Shop: NARS Liquid Blush in Dolce Vita, $30
Shop: Dior Rouge Blush in Poison Matte, $44
Shop: Lilah B. Divine Duo Lip and Cheek in B. Fearless, $46
Shop: BareMinerals Gen Nude Powder Blush in You Had Me At Merlot, $24
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