How To Replicate The Trendy TikTok 'Mermaid Skin' Look

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Thanks to social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, creative, editorial-style makeup looks have been brought to a younger generation in a very mainstream way. The internet has created, recreated, and popularized a number of trends, from evocative "Euphoria"-inspired makeup to the revival of thin eyebrows.

One of the newer makeup trends making the rounds is "mermaid skin." Characterized by a complexion that has a dewy glow that's enhanced by makeup with jewel tones, mermaid skin embodies being dipped into a shimmery, iridescent sea of blue and green and returning with a truly ethereal beauty aesthetic. Importantly, the look focuses on appearing wet rather than opting for matte finishes.

As a part of the mermaidcore scene, mermaid skin has gained popularity due to the impending release of "The Little Mermaid" starring Halle Bailey (via PopSugar Australia). A slight departure from minimalist makeup trends that have been popular for about a year or two, mermaid skin still embraces clean, dewy, and fresh skin. However, the eyes and cheeks possess an otherworldly vibe, shunning the neutral looks that are typically more mainstream.

Create a dewy, glowing base

Mastering mermaid skin starts with properly prepping the skin. Cleansing the face and going in with moisturizing products is key to a dewy base. L'Oréal Paris suggests using a hydrating face mist to spritz the face with whenever you need a bit more glow. The Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray is a great option that hydrates the skin while refreshing makeup.

Once the skin is cleansed and toned, go in with a moisturizing or brightening serum that will create a dewy, glistening base for the skin. After using a hydrating primer, apply a lightweight, dewy foundation or tinted moisturizer. In his YouTube for a mermaid bridal makeup look, MUA Mohammed Hindash uses a tinted moisturizer, applying it to the model in all the necessary places to create an even complexion with a lit-from-within effect. 

The key is to avoid a high-coverage look, as mermaid skin favors a fresh-faced appearance. The BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream is a lightweight and hydrating gel-based moisturizer with buildable coverage. Equipped with an SPF of 30, this tinted moisturizer has a wide shade range and clean, vegan ingredients. It's been named one of the best tinted moisturizers on the market, and with a 4.4 rating, reviewers seem to agree. To set the skin, Hindash goes in delicately with a translucent powder, saying he prefers it over pigmented powders because it gives the skin an "airbrushed" effect without taking away the glow.

It's all about the color

When it comes to the mermaid skin makeup strategy, the eyes and cheeks are made up with blues, greens, and purples — jewel tones inspired by the deep sea. In this graphic eyeliner look by Claudia Neascu on TikTok, she layers different shades and finishes of blue, completing the look with iridescent gold. She brings this final flourish down to the cheekbones, a major characteristic of mermaid skin. Rather than viewing the eyes and cheeks as separate entities, the same makeup is applied to both, upping the ethereal vision of the look. Neascu uses the Natasha Denona Pastel Palette to do part of the eyeshadow, completing the lips with a shimmery pink gloss.

To create a dewy finish and really accomplish the "wet" look, try using the Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Cream Pigments. With multiple shades available in metallic finishes, her teal Colorfix pigment, aptly named Mermaid, can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips for a dazzling effect. Using a variety of colors, start with a lighter blue color on the inner corner and a darker shade on the outside. Delsin DuPuy on TikTok illustrates this technique perfectly.

Choose a different hue to put a wash of the shade on the lids and under the eyes. Add a swipe of pink to the outer lid and over the cheeks. Finally, finish off the look with a shimmery silver over the entire eye and cheek area. The Makeup by Mario Master Crystal Reflector in Quartz is the perfect translucent silver highlighter, delivering the illusion of emerging from crystalline waters.