NEW TREND ALERT: DOPAMINE BEAUTY

DENIZ AKKAYA

Recently, new terms like ‘clean girl’ aesthetic and ‘no makeup’ makeup look entered our world, clocking up 900 million views on TikTok to date. But with the world recovering from the pandemic we are looking for something more fun and maybe not so beige…

Dopamine beauty, or according to Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John “dopamine glam”, represents the polar opposite and taps into our renewed sense of freedom and optimism. A branch of ‘dopamine dressing’, dopamine beauty is all about wearing bold, bright hues with the intention of boosting your mood and activationg the physical release of dopamine.

To truly understand the significance of dopamine beauty, it’s important to understand what dopamine actually is and how it is triggered. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone in your nervous system that sends messages between neurons.



Think of dopamine as your body’s very own rewards system. It works on a cycle of motivation, reward and reinforcement, and is activated when your brain is expecting a reward. When you’re doing something that gives you pleasure, like eating chocolate, having sex, or exercising, your brain releases endorphins, and in the wise words of Elle Woods, “endorphins make you happy”.

These endorphins trigger a higher release of dopamine in the body, which makes you want more and so you seek out more of the activity that led to the happy high.

But it’s not just physical activity that promotes dopamine production. Colours such as lemon yellow, pink, blue and orange have also been shown to boost dopamine levels and lift your mood. It’s why colour therapy exists. And also why dopamine glam was coined.

The effects of colors have been studied for several centuries and it has now been proven that warm tones increase power, cool tones increase concentration and others, such as pale greens, increase tranquillity. So, in these uncertain times, even designers have chosen to rely on their powers, encouraging us to dress for any color, print or silhouette that can bring us joy and infecting the beauty world to do the same. Green light to yellow, pink, blue, green and orange in whatever shade, texture or combination our mood of the moment suggests. Pastel shades, sorbet, fluorescent, vibrant, mixed with color-blocking or degraded with tie-dye invade hands and face, leaving creativity free to experiment and invent new impressive solutions. 

Dopamine 2022 make-up is the child of Euphoria and brands like Half Magic and Haus Laboratories, it is a kind of antidote to the technicalities of contouring and shaping. To embrace this style you don’t necessarily need to overdo it, when to aim for blended strokes of color with your fingers, replace the usual black eye-liner with a green or turquoise one, wear coral, bright red or fuchsia lipstick and indulge TikTok’s obsession with an orange blush.


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