If you’re like us, you might be experiencing a bit of a post-Barbie glow.
The pink daydream doesn’t have to end yet, as you can probably tell by the flood of Barbie hair styles, Barbie products and of course the trending Barbie makeup looks. But you might have noticed a lot of the viral looks and makeup launches have had a (understandably) young slant.
We already covered how to achieve the perfect Barbiecore look, but how do you make it look grown up?
If you want to participate in Barbiecore but are hesitant to reach for a hot pink, we have the answer. We spoke with celebrity makeup artists to learn how best to elevate the key features of Barbie makeup and make it the perfect trend for any age.
Meet the Experts
L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño is no stranger to trending looks or red carpet glam. Known for his work with Sandra Oh, Christina Ricci and Joey King among countless others, Avendaño’s skill as an artist has led him to work red carpets, fashion campaigns and major TV projects (including a 2014 Emmy for So You Think You Can Dance).
A celebrity makeup artist for more than 50 years, Sandy Linter is a living legend. Master of makeup and having worked with everyone from Christie Brinkley to Rita Wilson, Linter’s expertise is unparalleled.
What is Barbiecore?
You’re forgiven if you were under the impression that Barbiecore was all about the color pink. After all, hot pink is a vivid and signature color that’s paired in almost every Barbie promo and collaboration. Tones of pink appear everywhere in the movie, layers upon layers of hot pinks in backgrounds and set pieces to drive home that dreamland world of Barbie.
The trending makeup looks are quick to incorporate those colors too, often with a bold hot pink lip.
“I love Barbiecore because I actually am a huge fan of pink,” Avendaño says. “But some can get intimidated by it. I think pink is a tone that can bring out any eye color. I also love pink blushes. It makes everyone look like they have a healthy flush!”
Hot pink is without a doubt a core building block to the Barbie makeup look, but there’s more to Barbie than just one color.
“Barbiecore makeup is focused on the color pink, but Barbie isn’t putting a lot of pink eyeshadow on,” Avendaño explains.
Most of Barbie’s looks are pretty simple and prioritize her perfect skin, often with a bold lip to round out the doll look. But the Barbiecore trend isn’t about just replicating what looks good on Barbie.
You can kind of think of Barbiecore as being about whatever feels fun, whimsical and feminine to you. That hot pink doesn’t just recapture the fun of playing with Barbie, but it could also bring back your earliest memories with makeup. Maybe you tried that iconic blue eyeshadow when you were little, maybe your goal was to put glitter everywhere or maybe your mom wouldn’t let you wear hot pink lip gloss until you were 13. Barbie makeup looks are really about tapping in to that early, ridiculous creative joy that makeup can give you.
And the best part is, you can adapt it to your own style and comfort.
How to Play with Barbiecore at Any Age
“I think Barbie’s look in general is pretty timeless,” Avendaño explains. “I’d say that Barbie’s look could use a bold red lip from time to time or a good Smokey eye to switch it up and show a vampy side!”
Since Barbie is really all about embracing whatever you like and have fun with, the opportunities are endless. But if you’re looking to emulate a more traditional vision of Barbiecore for grownup-you, we suggest prioritizing healthy, cared-for skin and then jumping right into your favorite shades of pink.
For Linter, taking Barbie from kid to adult is all about employing subtler shades rather than avoiding pink altogether.
“Just remember to keep the tones in nude pink, instead of a direct pink,” Linter explains. “The subtlety of the pinks is what makes it more grown up.”
Even hot pink doesn’t need to be off the table, if you want to step into bolder, more vibrant looks. You just need to be strategic about how you choose to use it.
“I just did a look on Joey King for a Miu Miu event, and it was the perfect way to bring in hot pink without being over the top,” Avendaño explains. “I used it in the inner corners and created a wing with it on the outer corners. It wasn’t just a block of pink. It was eye-catching but subtle and effective.”
Big, bold colors can still be incorporated into more grown up or even professional styles, as long as you’re employing a ‘less is more’ mentality.
“Bringing tiny pops of color can still show fun and personality,” Avendaño says. “I think that playing with makeup has been more accepted for professional adults, but it’s the application that makes the difference.”
You can also employ a subtle flush in the rest of your face without competing for attention with your eyemakeup or drowning you in too much pink. Just taking your lip color from a bold magenta to a soft nude makes a huge difference.
“Again, you want to be careful with the lips and cheeks,” Linter says. “I normally go for a subtle pink on the lips.”
Expert Recommended Barbiecore Products
Linter recommends this 9-shade palette for both Barbie and Latte looks. The combination of soft pinks and warm brown tones makes it perfect for both trends, which both prioritize a sun-kissed radiance.
Remember, you can use some of these stronger, more glittery shades as pops of color to keep your look more elegant and adult.
Peachy shades are complimented by pops of purple, another perfect color for Barbie girls everywhere. A range of mattes, shimmers, and metallics makes this a universal palette that can easily take looks from day to night. There’s a lot to play with here!
A rose-tinted highlighter made to boost your healthy, radiant glow, Linter recommends Heaven’s Hue for a perfect pink flush. “I use this highlighter over my blush or just instead of blush,” Linter explains.
This weightless, long-wear highlighter melts into skin for a gossamer, light-catching finish that leaves your skin looking luminous. Linter’s shade of choice, Incandescence, is a soft pink that helps you look lit from within. And it’s even transfer resistant!
This jumbo crayon lip pencil is a non-drying, high-impact lipstick with the skill and spontaneity of a lip pencil. Adored for its vitamin E–infused formula that keeps lips hydrated all day long, this lip pencil comes in 13 different shades. But for Barbie looks, Linter favors ‘Sex Machine.’
“This is a pink that is soft and grown up,” Linter explains. The light pink mauve is an excellent way to keep your look Barbie and bright, without getting swallowed up by a ton of big strong colors.
But if a bold lip is what you want, this shade range has you covered.