Glowing skin will always be in—there’s a reason the glass-skin craze has stuck around so long. But there’s a new trend popping up that’s making us consider easing up on the highlighter: cloud skin.
Coined by makeup artist Dominic Skinner, cloud skin is the latest trend to come from overseas, and if the influx of cloud-inspired products hitting shelves are any indication, it’s about to be everywhere. While glass skin (along with buttery skin and dolphin skin, for that matter) is all about an insane glow, cloud skin is more about a soft-focus, hazy, lit-from-within look. Think about the sun shining through a band of clouds, that’s what we’re going for here. (It’s also worth noting that this is different from the K-Beauty “cloudless skin” trend, which is more about perfecting your skin from the inside out.)
“Cloud skin is so different from the other trends that were big before the pandemic,” says celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg. “People need more dimension because of the virtual time we’re living in.” That dimension she’s referring to is exactly what cloud skin imparts, thanks to strategically mixing skin care and makeup to get an ethereal, cherubic glow, instead of a blinding, almost wet-looking gleam.
“You have to mix the textures of what you’re putting on your skin; think dewy, glowing, and matte,” says Greenberg. That’s what creates the trend’s soft-focus effect, giving a dreamy, hazy quality to your skin that’s so classic and pretty—like a Rococo painting. It’s also way more forgiving on Zoom than a super-shiny base.
One look at Instagram and it’s clear clouds are having a moment—both in fashion and in beauty—since the dreamy vibes feel like an escape we desperately need right now. Glossier, as it usually does, paved the way with its cult favorite Cloud Paint Blush. Cool-girl hair brand R+Co just released a collection of styling sprays called On a Cloud, while Euphoria makeup artist Donni Davy paired up with Face Lace to create cloud eye-makeup stickers. Airy, cloud-inspired textures and iconography are popping up across a range of other skin-care and makeup products too—even fragrances are tapping into the hype.