The Rise of Sad Girl Beauty: How Crying Makeup is Taking the Internet by Storm
The Rise of Sad Girl Beauty: How Crying Makeup is Taking the Internet by Storm

The Rise of Sad Girl Beauty: How Crying Makeup is Taking the Internet by Storm

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As the beautyverse evolves, a new trend emerges—only this time, it takes inspiration from crying

Crying selfies are everywhere. A dive into the online sphere unveils photos of celebrities and personalities in tears as they share their most vulnerable moments. One standout entry includes Bella Hadid who spoke candidly about her mental health. “This is pretty much my every day, every night for a few years now. Social media is not real. For anyone struggling, please remember that,” the supermodel captioned. “Sometimes all you’ve gotta hear is that you’re not alone.” While crying on the Internet is not new, its resurgence marks the age of unfiltered authenticity. 

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A post shared by Bella 🦋 (@bellahadid)

And as the rise of crying selfies take over the online sphere, beautytok found a way to turn weeping into a new beauty obsession. Threads like #cryingmakeup garnered 23.9 million views, while tutorials collected 24 million views. And despite its convoluted response, the melancholic beauty of crying seemingly captivated a number of beauty fans. 

A look into sad girl beauty 

The concept of sad girl beauty was always present but rarely became mainstream. In 2000, Malèna made a cinematic impact with Monica Belluci’s iconic cigarette scene, while in 2012, Lana Del Rey popularized a pop melancholic genre that defined the sad girl culture on Tumblr. At the time, the classics cultivated a mysterious yet melancholic look. Smokey eyes and smudge liners detailed the eyes while an oscillation between nude to red lips punctuated the look. 

In 2019, Euphoria reintroduced a softer approach to sad girl beauty through the show’s iconic crybaby, Cassie Howard. Glistening eyes, red nose, blushed cheeks, and puffy lips became the visual equation for a coveted pretty-when-you-cry look. Sad girl beauty cannot be defined by one look, but rather  a genre that constantly evolves with pop culture. 

The melancholic beauty signature

In beautytok, content creators like Zoe Kenealy offer a lesson on how you can achieve the perpetually crying look. In her tutorial that has 4.2 million views, Zoe swatched a soft velvety lipstick on her lips and then lightly blurred out the edges using a brush. The content creator also used a neutral liner to define its key points. Next, she swished the same hue of red on her eyes, cheeks, and nose then reached for a glittered liner to recreate the glistened appeal. To complete the look, she opted for her most trusted mascara and coated her lips with a clear gloss. 

@zoekimkenealy #greenscreen crying makeup look tutorial 😅 Can I go as a crying person for Halloween or is that not a thing #cryingmakeup #tearmakeup #cryingeyes #makeupforhalloween ♬ Show Me How (Album V) – Men I Trust

Our point of view

Crying girl makeup fronted the beauty headlines from the moment it emerged. However, it is also called out for glamorizing trauma and anxiety. Fans also pointed out how the trend promotes a new wave of unrealistic standards and how it contradicts crying selfies’ grounds of unfiltered authenticity. And while it has its allure, it’s undeniable that the trend has its danger. 

It’s a given that a new day marks a new beauty obsession. However, as conscious beauty fans, it’s in our hands to acknowledge, navigate, and manage the good and the bad side of every trend. It’s a call for a more responsible approach to beauty.