Dopamine Beauty Looks To Boost Your Mood

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Facing the monotony of the COVID-19 pandemic, some turned to online shopping, buying clothes for future versions of themselves. From patterned pants to clashing blouses, colorful outfits became an escape from boredom. This is what's known as dopamine dressing, or using your wardrobe to lift your spirits. 

"Dopamine dressing is all about wearing what makes you feel good. For some people, that's a certain fit or silhouette, and for others, it's a particular color, print, or texture," Stitch Fix style expert Whitney Keefe explained in a conversation with Byrdie, adding, "For all of us, confidence comes when we feel our best." In the past few years, maximalist creators like the Amiaya twins and Thalia Casto-Vega have taken off on Tik Tok and Instagram, sharing increasingly experimental and colorful street styles.

Although a healthy diet, exercise, and humming along to your favorite song can all boost dopamine, our brain's "feel good" chemical, clothes offer a unique opportunity for artistic expression. Now, dopamine dressing has expanded to include dopamine beauty — or as Beyoncé's makeup artist Sir John calls it, "dopamine glam" (via Hypbae). Here's how you can use dopamine beauty to boost your mood no matter your skill level. Sometimes it just involves a swipe of glitter ...

Inner corner pop of color

When it really comes down to it, all you need for this look is a glitter palette and a clean finger. Keeping the rest of your makeup minimal — or simply opting for a simple base of skincare — add sparkle to the inner corners of your eyes, liberally applying with the end of your pinky or index finger. This trick will make your eyes pop without requiring too much product or precision. If you're feeling up to the task, elevate the look with a black double-winged liner like Jonet Williamson (pictured).

Futuristic graphic liner

Aniyah, an NYC-based content creator, uses a small liner brush and palette from Gavissi Beauty to free-hand a cream-colored geometric design. She paints planetary rings, draws stars in her inner corners, and accentuates retro-inspired wings with delicate dots. The beauty in the design lies in its negative space. When it comes to graphic liner, make sure your eyelids are fully prepped and primed. "The key to this look is creating the shape outline with the eyes open, gazing directly into the mirror," makeup artist Nick Lujan told Glamour.

Colorful eyebrows

The bleached eyebrow trend has been around for quite some time now, popularized by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Lizzo. However, there's no harm in upgrading your blonde brows with a little bit of pigment. For starters, match your dyed hair or extensions with bright blue brows. Although it's always best to consult a professional colorist when applying chemicals this close to your eyes, if you're set on an at-home transformation, use a spoolie brush and protect your skin with Vaseline. 

Aiming for something a bit less permanent? Use a colorful eyeliner pencil to temporarily enhance your eyebrows.

Create a mishmash of decades

Although the 2020s might not be as roaring as the 1920s, there's no better time to revive flapper-inspired makeup. Especially if you combine it with elements of "Daisy Jones and the Six" '70s nostalgia. Start with a smooth powdered base, adding dark lipstick and a generous helping of pink rouge. Next, draw ultra-thin Greta Garbo brows. These are easiest to replicate if your natural hairs are bleached or shaved, although you can achieve a similar barely-there look with concealer. Finally, add a dusty blue metallic smokey eye to incorporate that classic rock and roll flair.

Decorate with pearls

If a string of pearls can improve dopamine when you wear them around your neck, imagine what they can do when glued to your face. Artist and Instagram creator Rowi Singh is a trailblazer when it comes to embellished looks. Starting off with a base of pale green shadow, she adds dimension with dark, cool-toned green in the center of her lids, accentuating her inner corners with a warmer shade. Self-adhesive, 3D pearls encircle her eyes. If you want to replicate this look, you can find similar pearls easily online.

Colorful cat eye

As psychotherapist Annie Bennett outlines for Glamour, "Everything from positive affirmations to exercise release endorphins but so does surrounding yourself with lemon, pink, blue and orange..." With this in mind, it's time to upgrade your standard black cat eye, opting instead for a brighter color. It's certainly easier than going for a run. Although Katie Jane Hughes is a fan of a bright blue liner, orange or pink wings can also do the trick (as per Bennett's recommendation). Compliment this look with neutral-toned lips and a smooth, slightly-flushed base.

You can't beat a bright red lip

TikTok's so-called "clean girls" have embraced no-makeup and neutral colors. According to Beyoncé's makeup artist Sir John, dopamine glam exists in opposition to minimalist trends. "While I'm super inspired by everything that's happening on TikTok and Instagram lately," he explained to Refinery29, "I'm going for more of a whimsical approach. When I say dopamine, I mean a slick of red lipstick or lots of blusher — anything that's unorthodox and against the standard, but with lots of fun color." Ultimately, when it comes to mood-boosting makeup, you can't beat a classic bright red lip.

White double wings

Whether you're experimenting with the four-dot white eyeliner trend or going for that wide-eyed doe-eye look, white eyeliner is having quite the moment across social media. At the same time, retro-inspired double wings have grown in popularity. "Double winged liner is on-trend right now for a multitude of reasons," Keri Blair, Senior National Artist at MAC Cosmetics tells InStyle, adding, "It carries so much duality: It's sexy and glamorous, and it also expresses strength and showcases one's technical prowess in the world of makeup application." Combine both trends with a bright white double-lined eye, completing the look with a matching white balaclava and winter pink lips.

Use eyeliner stamps for an easy upgrade

Especially if you lack confidence in your makeup application skills, this one is for you. Using a heart, star, or moon-shaped eyeliner stamp from Amazon, add drama to the outer corner of your eyes. All you need to do is press down — no precision necessary. Alternatively, pay homage to old Hollywood glam (or the French aristocracy) and use stamps to create delicate beauty marks on your cheekbones. This technique can also be used to creatively transform your pimples.

Don't shy away from bottom lashes

In an Instagram how-to, makeup artist Erin Parsons shows followers how to best create a dramatic bottom lash look. For starters, add spiky lashes to your Amazon cart. Next, divide the lashes into individual pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors. Use clear eyelash glue and rounded tweezers to evenly place three small spikes on your lower lash line. As advised by Parsons, the top lashes should mirror the bottom. Finally, recognizing that this look might not be for everyone, the creator notes, "Makeup is art and art is subjective."

Experiment with cloud makeup

Starting with a base of powder and foundation, take inspiration from beauty creator Mei Pang and stipple blue and white clouds on the bridge of your nose with a cue tip. She next paints golden rays emanating from the center using a thin eyeliner brush. "For my makeup," Mei Pang tells ClichéMag, "my plan is to just go bigger and bolder with it..." Ultimately, dopamine beauty is all about experimentation — it's time to start treating your skin like that canvas it is. 

Fun with polka dots

Not only is TikTok and Instagram creator Sara Camposarcone a self-described maximalist when it comes to her wardrobe, but her makeup takes a larger-than-life approach as well. It's dopamine dressing at its finest. To mimic her polka dot look, start with prepped and primed lids, and use a round-tipped eyeshadow brush to draw multi-colored dots. Camposarcone also decorates her lids with much smaller white pencil marks for variety, completing the look with fanning false lashes and hot pink lips. Tie everything together with chunky neon jewelry and a ruffled collar.

'60s mod revival

Inspired by icons like Twiggy and Diana Ross, '60s makeup is on the rise. "The modern mod looks I happen to see are characterized by eyeliner along the edging of the eye, particularly in the middle, a defined cut crease, and lower lashes coated in mascara," Giuly Valent, a fashion makeup artist based in Milan, explains in a conversation with The Zoe Report. Modernize the look with a metallic shimmer, or like Emily Riboflavin, stick to an era-appropriate pastel yellow hue. Finally, don't be afraid to take your blush up a notch, even carrying it to the tip of your nose.

3D liner is for the crafty among us

To create your own 3D eyeliner, all you need is a hot glue gun and metallic eyeshadow. On a sheet of metal or glass, lay out your design — perhaps something of a futuristic, "Mandalorian"-themed pattern? — and let it dry before covering it with shimmery eyeshadow. It may take a couple of tries before you fully master the art of 3D graphic liners. If you're struggling to get the hang of it, you can always take the easy route and invest in eyeliner stickers from Ulta Beauty. 

Unconventional lip colors are all the rage

Hoping for a quick dopamine boost? Opt for an unconventional lip color, ideally something outside the red or pink umbrella. Cool tones are a great start — look to stars like Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, and Kylie Jenner for turquoise, gray, and, green lip-spiration. Specifically, royal blue lipstick pairs nicely with bold pink eyeliner. Makeup artist Nick Barose has some advice: "Adding some shine and iridescence to a bold lip makes it more forgiving and skinlike," he tells Allure. For dimension, don't shy away from layering eyeshadow on top of your liquid base. 

Rainbow freckles

Faux freckles took 2021 by storm. They got so popular that some even opted for semi-permanent freckle tattoos. This time around put a colorful spin on the trend. As advised by the YouTube creator Samantha Ravndahl, liquid lipsticks work the best for rainbow freckles — not only do they allow for a range of blended colors, but they'll also stay put throughout a long day of wear. Using your hand as a palette, mix shades according to your preference and apply small dots with a precision liner brush. Headed to your city's pride parade this June? Personalize your freckles to reflect your respective flag.

Create your own kiss print stamp

After setting a face of foundation, apply a bold red lip. Next, kiss a piece of saran wrap. This will become your stamp. Press the plastic (kiss first) onto your cheekbones and around your eyes, really wherever you want an imprint. Most likely, you'll need to reapply lipstick in between kisses, so get ready to do a lot of puckering. Lastly, set the look with a light dusting of powder, swipe on mascara, and finish off with a brown lip gloss. This will contrast with the matte red around your eyes.

Gems aren't just for jewelry

HBO's "Euphoria" inspired things like cut-out fashion, lots of metallic manicures, and glue-on eye gems. For this "Euphoria"-Esque look, let your lids steal the show. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal, opting for a simple highlight and allowing your natural skin to shine underneath regardless of texture. "Skin is not good or bad, it's not interesting or a point of conversation, it just is what it is," rosacea influencer Lex Gillies explains in a conversation with Vogue. Unlike some aspects of the filtered "clean girl" aesthetic, dopamine beauty isn't limiting. It's simply colorful.

Colorful mascara goes a long way

Especially if you're new to the world of makeup, this look is for you. Mascara requires minimal effort. For starters, add Pat McGrath's colorful mascara trio to your cart, swiping an unconventional color onto your lashes, and completing the look with a glossy lip. Once you've grown more confident with dopamine beauty, take inspiration from Jael Dorotan. She uses three shades of mascara at once, applying pink to her outer lashes, turquoise to her center hairs, and dark blue in the inner corners of her eyes. Got clumps? No problem. This look is about embracing so-called "imperfections."

Aura blush is having a moment

Once you've experimented with a mascara trio, move on to a blush trio. Celebrities like Tessa Thompson and Dove Cameron have experimented with viral "aura blush." Although Aoife first tried the look with Glossier's viral cloud paint trio, it's easy to replicate with virtually any cream or liquid blush. Start by applying a light base color high on your cheekbones — this makeup artist chooses yellow — and layer darker shades in smaller circles on top, bringing the color all the way to your eyelids. It's a shadow and blush look all in one.

Reverse cat eye

Finally, pull out your most dramatic shade of eyeliner for an edgy reverse cat eye. In fact, "A reverse cat eye is often a far easier way to create the iconic 'cat eye' shape," Emma White Turle, a celebrity makeup artist, points out to Byrdie, adding, "It works well on every kind of eye shape and is especially good for hooded eyes..." After finishing off your long wings, add a touch of shimmer to your inner corners. This will really make your eyes pop.