I (Actually) Woke Up Like This: Bare Eyelashes are Trending

Barely-there lashes are good for butterfly kisses and looking cool.


For every Kardashian, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

And while these reactions ripple right across the fashion and beauty spectrum (see the loose silhouettes of current French crush Sophie Fontanel or Bobbi Brown calling contouring “so wrong”), the latest rebel without a Kause is the humble eyelash.

If 2015 was the year of the eyelash extension, the super fanned-out, sleek shock of permanent wakefulness, the summer of 2016 is offering something fuzzier, furrier and at times barely perceptible. Lashes that genuinely woke up like this and then walked right down the summer runways at Miu Miu, Céline, Joseph and Burberry Prorsum.

The new lashes are wispy, naked, clumped together, dancing in different directions, or even just-out-the-shower wet. But they most definitely are not Kylie-style eye-framers: neat little rows of uniform black curls admirable for their length and volume. And like all great beauty clashes, the stand-off is playing out on Instagram, where each side has staked out their territory in liner (or lack thereof).

Glossier’s Instagram is a textbook in how to achieve this low-key look, best accompanied by dewy summer skin and the kind of lit-from-within smile that comes from knowing you’re a Glossier model.

@olivia_anakwe wears Stretch Concealer in Rich, Boy Brow in Black, and Generation G in Jam 🍇

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on

But this is not just a natural lighting, high fashion thing. No, no. It’s also a look recently adopted by former members of the glam lash squad, like Irina Shayk, Beyoncé (on the May cover of ELLE UK, no less) and even Victoria’s Secret models like Taylor Hill. Low-key lashes are like yoga pants for the face: once only to be worn in private, now suddenly and unexpectedly chic.

Make up artist Dick Page has dismissed mascara as one of our “little beauty crutches”, while Diane Kendal (who deemed mascara “pedestrian” way back in 2014) has been leaving models mascara-free for seasons now at shows like Alexander Wang and Jason Wu.

Make up artist Lottie Stannard, queen of the untouched lash, took it even further to play with bold colors and geometric shapes around the eyes.

OK, so it’s a trend. But what’s changed? Isn’t just a backlash to the flicked lash; it’s also a continued fixation on the Cara Delevingne brow. Every one of these fluffy-lashed ladies has serious brow game, whether thick, arched and dramatic a la Maryna Linchuk, straight, flat and fuzzy like a young Brooke Shields or painted gold in the style of Lily Aldridge.

Which means that if you thought lashes au naturel lends itself to a sped-up beauty routine, not so fast — you’re just putting down the tweezers and swapping the mascara wand for the brow brush.

Speaking of eyebrows, though, the Kardashians, man…

Follow Clare Kane on Twitter, @clare_kane and check out her MR story on cartoon makeup. Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Ana Khouri earrings.


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  • whoa the index photo feels so chuck close i like it

  • Digging this look. I’m not sure if I can pull it off though… I have ginger eyelashes and ginger eyebrows and if I don’t wear mascara I look like I have no eyelashes despite them being super long. Also, because you babes know all the things, can anyone recommend a brow product for someone with super light brows? Generally I go the mascara no brow route, but maybe with brows filled in somewhat I could do the reverse! xo

    • Guest

      My coloring is similar – I’m a natural blonde that has become a darker more reddish blonde over time, but my brows and lashes are all but invisible. Blinc Eyebrow Mouse in Light Blonde is the best thing I have ever found. http://www.sephora.com/eyebrow-mousse-P379442?skuId=1594027
      I wear it alone for a very natural look, or I will layer it with other products – such as the RMS Contour Bronze – for a more “done” appearance.

      • Ah thank you! Yes, mine is the same, dirty blonde/reddish and my brows are light blonde. I will definitely try this out. Thanks for the recommendation!!

    • Jessie Roselyn

      I received an early sample of a brow combo for blonde brows from Fusion Beauty a week ago and it is awesome! Has gel and pencil but I just realized it doesn’t hit the market till August. It is finally the right color for my blonde brows <3

    • rachel

      I love Essence’s eyebrow stuff (I say stuff because it does color and hold and also has fibers that mimic hair), and at like three bucks a pop it’s not that big of a deal if it doesn’t end up working for you. Hope it does though!

    • Erin

      I am a redhead with sandy-red brows and Glossier Boy Brow in Blond works great for me. Sometimes I use a taupe brow pencil to fill in if i want a bolder/fuller look. In general, I think that blonde brow products work for redheads, too. Also, I feel you on finding it hard to go without mascara, as much as I love the bare face look. The tips of my lashes are blonde and basically invisible. Plus I think mascara on the top lashes makes me look more fresh and awake.

  • Lilly

    see also: Alicia Keys recently

    • Amelia Diamond

      She looks so goreous

      • Quinn Halman

        she *is gorgeous

        • MitzyG

          Yeah, I was just thinking she might be largely responsible for this being a thing. I actually love it because I sort of hate mascara. I wear glasses and do eyeliner and light eyeshadow and no mascara often.

  • M Abbott

    I love it!!! Self-confidence is beautiful. Natural eyes are beautiful!



  • Teaspoon of Taste

    I love this natural look! Hopefully this trend is here to stay!
    xoxo teaspoonoftaste

  • I just fell in love with Sophie Fontanel.

    Also, I’m still #TeamMascara in the sense that I want the light ends of mine to match their dark roots

  • MT

    What’s interesting is despite being a lifelong mascara addict I have lately been liking my face sans mascara and it’s weird for me. Perhaps I’m just ~*~on trend~*~

  • Kari

    Been loving this! Mascara made me feel too made up because of my fair coloring. I on occasion add some boy brow in blonde to add a bit of oomph, and I still curl them which makes a bit of difference (if only to me). I have some white eyelash that I think are too groovy to cover up.

  • Yayy! Now my aversion to dressing my eyes has become trendy! But seriously, maybe these women just know the struggle of wearing mascara and contacts.

  • I look seriously weird if I don’t wear mascara, like ill with a side of eye puff. But if we’re talking literal “woke up like this” then lately I’ve been trying L’Oreal’s new Miss Hippie mascara and it’s kind of impossible to get off so I’ve been sleeping in it and waking up looking more put together in the morning (or so I like to think ;)). Not sure if this is a complaint or not… but I do know my eyelashes are suffering from the sticky formula so I should probably stop using it before they start falling out and my eyes become bald O.O Terri @ The Cactus x

  • Nina

    I’m a ginger with invisible lashes and very light brows and I used to wear mascara religiously because I thought I looked sick, boring or tired without it. Until I completely stopped like a year ago. Even when going out most of the time. It’s been feeling really good getting to love my natural face and just be more chill about ‘beauty’. And the days I do decide to wear mascara I get all excited about it because it’s no longer something I HAVE to do to feel good about my looks, now it’s a fun once in a while thing. Especially paired with a nice lip tint I think the no mascara look is STUNNING.

  • Senka

    If I looked anything like the model on the glossier pcture or maryna linchuk, I’d rock the no lmascara look. Actually, if I had a bit of tan maybe. I don’t know. I’m a Balkan girl through and through, and make up is and always was my crutch.

  • rachel

    Never! I love makeup and the ritual of putting it on, and mascara is a part of that ritual. Plus, a made up face with bare eyelashes can look a bit off. I sometimes worry that I’m falling into a patriarchal trap with the makeup, changing myself to fit what “the man” (and I mean that in all it’s various implications haha) wants me to look like. Foundation and mascara especially feel like they are engineered to to fix “problems” that we don’t actually have. Still, I love it so for now I’m going to stick to it. As I often say, one can be a feminist and also struggle with some aspects of it. I mean hell, even Madeline Albright says fucked up shit sometimes… (if you do not get that joke/reference please know that I respect Ms. Albright a lot and do not mean to belittle her!)

  • Joan

    Finally a beauty trend I can totally get behind (as a Korean girl with non-existent lashes).

  • Catharina Lebowski

    I get my eyelashes colored which makes a HUGE impact! I’m one of those lazy ass people that struggles with taking of their makeup in the evening (#whitegirlproblems) so to just have the black lashes, dark brown brows and a nice tan from running around outside I can skip that whole ordeal – and then go all out on the lipstick!

  • PCE

    Fair enough. My eyelashes are the only feature I love about myself so I pile that mascara on and feel totally insecure if I go out without it. That being said, more power to the ladies that go bare!!

  • Hedda Madlyn Carney

    Wow! Good to know that this is an actual thing! I’ve been laying low on the mascara recently, but I thought that was just a me thing. Love it!!

  • Hellbetty666

    Great for models and those with strong features. For those of us who look like hard-boiled eggs, mascara is never going away.

  • Senka

    Is that Yvone in the picture? Beautiful skin, so I had to comment. Looks like absolutely no make up too, so even more amazing.

  • Marta Millere

    Yes, but the Jeanne way – with a bit of dark red lipstick (rigorously applied with a finger, not directly) http://www.garancedore.com/2014/11/04/a-beauty-minute-with-jeanne/