By Pema Bakshi

Year in Review: The Best Beauty Moments From 2023, According to a Makeup Artist

CHANEL makeup artist Victoria Baron breaks down her favourite looks of the year, how to recreate them and what to leave behind for 2024.
Best of Beauty 2023

As the year’s end draws closer, we look back at the most memorable moments of 2023. And in the world of beauty, there’s been plenty to fawn over. Food served as unlikely makeup inspiration. Emma Corrin proved the buzzcut’s modern marketability, and honey blonde hair overthrew the years-long reign of ginger hues.

Despite strikes delaying much of the usual red-carpet fanfare, a great deal of creativity and bold trends still landed on our radars. Just think of Hailey Bieber’s instantly viral lips, Margot Robbie’s Barbiecore throwback looks and just about every time Jodie Turner-Smith stepped out.

But as CHANEL makeup artist Victoria Baron declares, beauty in 2023 was less about the hyper-specific aesthetics that dominated 2022 and embraced a more collective vibe shift.

“I think a mood and attitude defined 2023 rather than a specific makeup look,” she tells GRAZIA. “The makeup looks from the runways and red carpet were all about expression and creativity and celebrating individual beauty.”

We eschewed convention more than ever but did so in the name of expression over clout.

“There were bold, bright lashes, metallic gold eyes, bold, unexpected lip colours and a return to grunge holding hands with glamour,” Baron notes. “Whatever the look, it was all designed to create a mood of freedom and boldness. With makeup, it was more of a feeling and air of confidence.”

To reminisce about the year that was, Baron shared her favourite beauty looks of the year and her tips and tricks for recreating the looks ourselves with CHANEL’s new Holiday 2023 collection.

Kristen Stewart, Met Gala 2023: Dare To Bare

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: Kristen Stewart attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Karl Lagerfeld)

Where everyone else was clamouring for our attention with colour and accessories, Kristen Stewart blew so many out of the water with her simple but punchy ’20s look—of which Baron says the secret is all in the skin and brows.

“Create a look of flawless skin and the hard-to-nail ‘no makeup’ makeup look,” she tells us. “It’s all about utilising effective skin preparation and light-handed application using my cheat product for effortless natural skin, Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint.

“For a more wearable brow, brush upwards and outwards and fill in the spaces where needed to create a natural and full shape before using a brow gel to set them into place.”

And for a natural sheen, she recommends highlighting the cheekbones with Chanel Duo Lumière Exclusive Creation, a luminescent powder highlighter duo rendered in festive champagne hues.

Margot Robbie, Golden Globes 2023: Pretty & Defined

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 10: Margot Robbie attends the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)

Margot Robbie‘s bright and lively appearance at the Golden Globes was a masterclass in summer holiday makeup that is light but still feels dressed up. To achieve the look, Baron recommends washing a brightening iridescent eyeshadow over the eyes before applying a generous layer of Chanel Noire Allure Mascara to the top lashes—post a good curling—from roots to the tip.

“Use the tip of the mascara wand to redirect and separate any unruly lashes,” she advised before moving on to lips.

“Dab Chanel Rouge Allure L’Extrait Exclusive Creation in 867 Roaring Purple, a highly pigmented and hydrating lip colour, to your lips straight from the bullet and blot and blend with your fingertip.

“Use the excess from your fingers and add to your cheek for a subtle and natural flush.”

Whitney Peak, Met Gala 2023: Vintage Drama

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: Whitney Peak attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Whitney Peak’s Met Gala look solidified the actress as a bonified beauty muse. According to Baron, channelling this ethereal Old Hollywood glam look is all about reflection.

“To replicate this highly pigmented effect, try using a slightly dampened eyeshadow brush and press the shadow on the eyelid rather than brushing it,” suggests Baron. “That way, the product stays contained and equally vibrant.”

Follow it up with a highlighter under the brow bones and the tops of the cheeks with Chanel Duo Lumière Exclusive Creation for an impactful glow.

Lily-Rose Depp, Cannes Film Festival 2023: The Modern Smokey Eye

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 22: Lily-Rose Depp attends “The Idol” Premiere Afterparty at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palm Beach on May 22, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

If one look defined 2023, it was Lily-Rose Depp’s seductive smokey eye game throughout the press tour for The Idol. Modernising retro graphic liner with an effortless blurred effect, it’s a look set to stick around for the new year.

“After creating a flawless base, use a small eyeshadow brush (try Chanel Pinceau Ombreur Contour No. 203) to line the eyes with a shimmering black shadow from Lumière Graphique Exclusive Creation,” says Baron on replicating the bold eye.

“Line the upper and lower waterline with Stylo Yeux Waterproof in 10 Ebéné, and add mascara on top and bottom lashes.”

Baron recommends opting for a nude shimmering lip colour like Rouge Allure Laque in 90 Golden Beige to balance the eye.

CHANEL Holiday 2023 Collection

What makeup trends are we leaving behind in 2023?

Of course, along with her favourites, we simply must ask her about the trends and looks best left behind in 2023. And according to Baron, less is more for the year ahead.

“The longstanding trend of a heavy base and contour is thankfully on its way out,” she explains. “There was a moment when complexion products were thickly applied with multiple layers of contour, shaping and highlighting products needed to be blended with tricky techniques, creating a mask-like appearance. Now, skin feels and looks fresh and effortless, and there’s more of a focus on colour (bold or subtle) and effective skincare to create effortlessly natural skin.”

Assuring us rookies that it’s all too easy to go too far, the makeup artist has some sage words to guide us.

“Try pulling back on one element of your makeup process,” she says. “If you have decided to highlight your eyes and lips, pull back on blush and bronzer. If it’s all about skin and brows, opt for a barely there lip balm.”

“Often, makeup needs a little help to feel like it’s a part of the face rather than sitting on top of it.”

This story first appeared on GRAZIA International.