Story by Sandra Song / Photography by Oscar Ouk / Video by Byron Spencer / Hair by Iggy Rosales / Makeup by Ana Takahashi / Styling by Julia Ehrlich
GOOGLE and PAPER came together to highlight the SMALL BUSINESSES that are LEADING the BIGGEST TRENDS of the summer based on Google’s trending search data.
My deep love affair with fake nails began with an Instagram post featuring a set of mile-long acrylics. They were black with pops of silver foil, and I vividly remember thinking about how glamorous I’d look with an absolutely beautiful pair of my own. Without further hesitation, I Googled “long press-on nails,” clicked on the first result and paid for the expedited shipping from Australia. Now I’m known as the “girl with the nails,” and it’s all because of an impulse decision to try something new.
From makeup to hair dye to piercings to tattoos, our beauty choices have always acted as a visual shorthand for identity. They’ve become a way to differentiate and define ourselves; a clear and distinct way to communicate to the outside world who we are on the inside without uttering a word. And in an era where beauty rules and boundaries continue to be regularly blurred, bent and, at times, completely broken, it’s evident that experimenting with your look — whatever it may be — is actually today’s most prevalent trend.
The internet makes this even easier, giving us an incredible amount of access to a never-ending number of radically different beauty trends influenced by pop culture and social media. Faux-freckle pens and semi-permanent hair dyes are just a click away, delivered to your doorstep and ready to instantly transform you for as little or as long as you want.
Maybe you’ve wanted to give the baddie beauty craze a try, which is easily achievable with a batch of iridescent body glitter, a sheet of stick-on face gems and some sparkly press-on nails. Or perhaps you’re more of a Scene kid, in which case there will always be a hair stencil, bleach, backcomb brush and magnetic snakebites out there for you. Gravitating more towards the e-girl look? Just add a dusting of red blush on your nose and a heart stamp or two on your cheeks before sticking on a pair of sky-high false lashes to accentuate the pair of non-prescription contacts that instantly turn you into a real-life anime character.
You can even try experimenting with punk rock’s rebel vibes, which focus on bold, brash and over-the-top beauty statements created through styling products with enough hold to sculpt your hair into a mohawk, badass temporary tattoos that can last from two days to a year and enough fake septum rings, eyebrow bars and upper ear barbells to set off a metal detector.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’re also seeing a resurgence of more androgynous beauty looks that can be easily attained with brow powder and a palmful of gel to create a slicked-back hairstyle. Think classic male Americana icons from the 1950s, whose influence can still be spotted in looks sported by contemporary pop stars. It seems that there’s always a new way to interpret this tough, suave masculinity that never goes out of style.
Underlying this entire trend is the idea that our true “identities” aren’t static. Indulging your inspirations day-by-day is an ever-evolving exercise in experimentation that’s all about figuring out what you like and combining these elements together in a way that only you can. So give everything a shot and see what sticks, because you never know what will end up becoming your “signature” look — even if that look is “beauty chameleon.”
VP Production, Talent: Katie Karole / Digital Director, Talent: Justin Moran / Art, Fashion Director: Malcolm Mammone / Executive Creative Director: Jordan Bradfield / Managing Editor (SBLBT): Laia Garcia-Furtado / Managing Editor (PAPER): Eliza Weinreb / Photographer: Oscar Ouk / Video Director, Editor: Byron Spencer / Hair: Iggy Rosales / Makeup: Ana Takahashi / Stylist: Julia Ehrlich / Nails: Eri Ishizu / Music Design: Dorian Electra / Count Baldor / DP: Ben Montague / Gaffer: Paloma Criolllo / Technical Production Assistant: Keona Shimuzu / Digital Art FX: Michael Renassia / Editor, Motion Graphics: Hayley Brown / Hair Assistant: Rainbow Koala / Makeup Assistant: Yasmin Istanbouli / Stylist Assistant: Antonina Getmanova / Set Design: Eric Vidmar / Skye Whitley / Marie Sommers / Producer: Amanda Kahle / Market Editor: Suea Cho / Partnerships: Caitlin Sharp, Bonnie Monk / Web Design: Composite