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Beauty Trends At UNC

Health editor Cameron Shaw walks through some of the biggest beauty trends around UNC Chapel Hill’s campus for the 2022-2023 academic year.

This article originally appeared on page 9 of the Spring 2023 issue of Coulture Magazine.

2023 is all about simple looks with fun accessories. Whether it’s a clean makeup look with goth elements, natural hair with bold clips or headbands, or nude nails with bright accents, people are loving the basics and playing around with pops of color and sparkles. By now I’m sure you’ve heard that the 90s and 2000s are back, and UNC is no exception. Although students can be spotted sporting a wide variety of styles, there are a few trends that stick out. Here’s a collection of UNC students’ favorite beauty trends.

Clean Girl Aesthetic

Simple, glowy, natural makeup with slicked back or seemingly effortless hair is all over your social media feeds.

“I like dewy makeup over matte and I think that’s been popular recently,” says Natalie Torres, a UNC student. Cream and liquid makeup and lip tints and glosses are UNC staples. Students are mainly using neutral, brown eyeshadow and natural-looking brow products.

Simple hair styles are dominating such as slicked back buns, natural waves, heatless curls and claw clips. Almond shaped and neutral colored nails are more popular than the coffin-shaped neon nails of the 2000s.


“I’m only wearing sparkles right now,” says Mary Barbour, a sophomore at UNC, gesturing to her face. “I love shiny stuff.”

Shimmery, metallic looks are in this year, a throwback to the early 2000s. Expect to see sparkly highlighter, eyeshadow and body glitter all over campus.

Makeup isn’t the only thing shimmering this year. Glazed donut and chrome nails are trending as well as sparkly hair clips.

Clean Beauty Brands

Students are being more conscientious with their beauty choices whether out of concern for the environment or their own health.

“Clean brands are in right now,” Barbour says. People are choosing brands based on their cute, simple packaging and environmental impact as well as the ingredients list.

“My friends are really into organic makeup, cruelty free, paraben free, no chemicals,” Barbour says. From skincare to makeup to hair products, green products are filling up the shelves and are here to stay.

Soft Goth

A grunge 90s makeup look is back with a modern twist largely in part to the hit Netflix original “Wednesday.” Pair some dark eyeshadow or eyeliner with a clean, natural makeup look and you’re ready to go. The rockstar girlfriend looks combines this trend with other makeup trends by adding sparkles.

“I love the rockstar girlfriend look because I think it brings back the 80s and the 90s,” says Sarah Brooks, a UNC student. A dark eyeshadow look or lip paired with light or no makeup has been super popular around campus this year.

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