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Image / Style / Beauty

Pandemic pink beauty to rouse your face from a colourless year

Forget millennial pink. Pandemic pink is rousing us from the apathy and ennui of a colourless year.


by Holly O'Neill
23rd Aug 2021
Pandemic pink beauty to rouse your face from a colourless year

For a long time, we’ve been blue. The perfunctory, bland, spiritless blue of the Zoom app. This might be why so many of us turned to bright, semi-permanent pink hair dye over lockdown – Boots reported that searches for ‘pink hair dye’ shot up by over 900%.

Like a post-break-up fringe, a dramatic hair dye is a way we re-establish control of who we are when things feel unsettled and stressed, and that pink is so popular is not a coincidence – pink is pure positivity, fun and joy in any tone. It doesn’t hurt that pink hair looks better when it’s a bit rooty (see: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You, Kurt Cobain in a green cardigan, Gwen Stefani in a slip dress).

Pink has had its political reawakening over the years, from when it became punk in the 70s via the Sex Pistols to when it became power during the Trump administration, pivoting from being relegated from Barbies to pussy hats. As Paul Simonon of The Clash said, “pink is the only true rock ‘n’ roll colour.”

The pink we’re craving now is not that subtle beige blush that trickled into Instagrammable restaurant interiors and onto iPhone cases, but a louder appropriation in any raucous shade, from bright bubblegum to acid neon. You want a pink that’s a shock to the system, an electric jolt of prodigal promise and potential, be it sugary or shocking, from flamingo to fuschia. The spring/summer 2021 runways were immersed in pink, with shocking pink shirting at Valentino, Chloe’s candyfloss bohemian dress to Molly Goddard’s fizzing peach ruffles. The beauty looks were vibrantly pink too, with blurred-edge, freshly kissed fuschia lips at Bora Aksu, delicate rosy tones at Ulla Johnson, vivid high-shine lips at Versace and the glossy lucid pink lipstick at Tom Ford.

“I opted for vivid make-up as an expression of joy,” said Tom Ford. “Like perhaps there is a party to go to – even if there’s not.”

Photography by Catwalkpix. This article originally appeared in the Spring issue of IMAGE Magazine.

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