25 Beauty Trends We Would Never, Ever Wear

We’re nothing if not adventurous in our primping choices, but even we have our limits. After decades of experimentation (most of which occurred in our awkward middle school years), we’ve zeroed in on those trends that just do not work for us — and no amount of cajoling or pleading will get us to change our minds.

Now, before you all start freaking out, we’re not saying that these trends don’t work on anyone — we’ve seen plenty of ladies (and gents) rock the majority of these hair, nail, and makeup looks to varying degrees of stunning. Sadly, in our own cases, the success rate has been practically non-existent. To see what we mean, click through for the25 beauty trends you won’t see us rocking anytime soon.


Baby Bangs
“I LOVE the idea of them, but whenever I get that familiar pang to start snipping, I remember a photo of me as a bridesmaid in the ’90s with baby bangs…suffice it to say, they’re just not for me.”
— Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief 

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh; Photo: MCV Photo


Heavy Foundation
“I would never wear heavy foundation. I’m by no means a ‘no makeup’ type of girl and I wouldn’t even call myself that low-maintenance, but I definitely aspire to seem that way! I want my makeup to enhance, not hide, and if I’m going to wear something that stands out, it’s going to be on my eyes or lips. I’d rather show a few flaws than look like I’m wearing a mask.”
— Piera Gelardi, creative director

Guerlain Parure de Lumière Light Diffusing Foundation, $58, available at Neiman Marcus.

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh


Red Lipstick
“I can’t wear red lipstick. I feel like Cam fromModern Family as Fizbo the Clown or even worse — like Iris Apfel’s OLDER sister. I see all my adorable workmates rockin’ a red lip, but I gotta go neutral or nothin’. Bobbi Brown’s Nude Lip Gloss is my go-to — or Homeoplasmine (French-pharmacy Aquaphor) foreva!”
— Susan Kaplow, VP, editorial operations

Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Infatuation, $34, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Photographed by Samantha Mancuso


Sparkle Eyeshadow
“I just can’t do it. In my head, I totally get that there are cool, subtle options when it comes to glittering eye shadow. But in my heart, every sparkly offering out there just makes me think of my freshman year in college, and the aggressive reliance on body glitter (and tube tops, and black pants…sigh) that was an integral part of any night out. So, I’ll stick to my matte neutrals and avoid the flashbacks, thankyouverymuch.”
— Neha Gandhi, deputy editor

MAC Pressed Pigment in Jet Black, $21, available atMAC.

Photographed by Erin Yamagata


“I cannot ever see myself rocking a perm. Ever! While loose waves are lovely, corkscrew curls are simply not my jam — and sound like a hair disaster of epic proportions. I have incredibly large cheeks, so certain hairstyles just aren’t complementary — and, well, poodle hair is one of them.”
— Jessica Teves, managing editor

Photographed by Chantal Adair; Photo: MCV Photo


“I’ve always wanted to be someone who wears perfume because it involves everything I love about beauty: The ritual of putting it on every morning, the whole concept of having a signature scent you’d wear forever, the display of the bottle on your nightstand… It’s too bad that anything that smells stronger than sunscreen makes me feel incredibly nauseous for some reason. It’s such a shame!”
— Connie Wang, senior global editor 

See By Chloé Eau de Parfum Spray, $78, available atNordstrom.

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh


Bikini Waxing
“How do I say this delicately? I understand the need for a little trimming, but when you’re faced with the full monty, you don’t always want the full monty. Bluntly, I’m referring to the recent phenomenon of bikini waxing for men — we’ve written about it, the NYT did a huge piece on it, and I expect an upcoming Girlsepisode to deal with this (literally) delicate subject very soon. I’ve never been tempted to go bare down there, but, full disclosure, I have seen it on someone, and man, was I surprised. Maybe it does make your package look bigger, but there’s something gnarly about completely smooth skin in that particular dude region. Disturbing, even. Needless to say, our fifth date didn’t have a happy ending.”
— Kristian Laliberte, senior editor

Completely Bare Salon Quality Bikini & Body Wax Kit, $16.99, available at Completely Bare.

Photographed by Chantal Adair


Nail Art
“While I’m impressed by some of the crazy-intricate designs I’ve seen, I’m a manicure minimalist — my nails are either nude or coated with a single color. I use this ‘less is more’ justification, rather than the fact that I’m a shaky-fingered klutz, to explain why you won’t see those Mondrian designs and pointillist patterns on my nails. (Unless, of course, outsider nail art comes into style. Then I’m a shoo-in.)”
— Annie Tomlin, beauty director

Photographed by Samantha Mancuso; Photo: MCV Photo


Feather Hair Extensions
“My disgust for these things knows no bounds! Unfortunately, with San Francisco being ground zero for Burning Man fans, it’s also hard to escape ladies with these earthy extensions sticking out of their heads. It’s just tragic, trying too hard, and ruins an otherwise okay head of hair. The only people who can be excused for wearing these things are grade-school kids. And even then, I judge them a little.”
— Katie Hintz-Zambrano, senior editor, West Coast 

Sultra Feather Hair Accents Clip Extensions, $18, available at Sultra.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory


Perfect Hair
“I honestly just don’t get the appeal of smooth, flat, straightened-into-submission hair. To me, that whole ‘not a hair out of place’ thing is just so boring and expected. I prefer my hair to have those weird bends and pieces that don’t quite lay flat — I think it adds character and helps with that effortlessly gorgeous vibe I’m trying to cultivate. I want my hair to appear like it just happened to look good, not like I spent three hours making it look good.”
— Megan McIntyre, senior beauty editor

Photographed by Erin Yamagata; Photo: Gregory Pace/BEI Images


Hot Pink Lipstick
“Maybe it’s because I didn’t really like playing with Barbies as a kid or because my younger sister was addicted to anything pink and magenta, but my big beauty don’t is hot pink lipstick. It reminds me too much of ’80s makeup gone bad and being plastic and fake. I’ve tried bright red and I’ve even tried a dark purple once, but I don’t think I’d ever wear fuchsia lips. No offense to the hue, because my mom rocks it beautifully, but it’s just not for me.” 
— Lisa Dionisio, production editor

Smashbox Megatint Long Wear Lip Color, $20, available at Ulta.

Photographed by Shanita Sims


“You couldn’t pay me to apply Latisse to my lashes. Not just because I’m obsessed with my el cheapo (and amazing) L’Oréal Voluminous mascara, but I feel like you can spot a user a mile away. The serum really, really — creepily — works! In my opinion, the lashes look less like pretty whiskers to bat at boys, but more like arm hair that grows at odd angles. Also, the warnings about it possibly affecting your eye color give me the willies!” 
— Brenna Egan, Los Angeles editor

Latisse Lash Enhancer, $125, Latisse for locations.

Photographed by Hailley Howard


Bleached Brows
“I would never ever try bleaching my brows. I just don’t understand why someone would take away such an important feature that is responsible for framing the face. Find a great brow artist and keep what your mama gave you.”
— Rebecca Taras, Chicago editor

Photographed by Lia Schryver; Photo: Courtesy of NARS


False Lashes
“I’m the world’s biggest wuss when it comes to suffering for style — uncomfortable heels, itchy sweaters, heavy earrings — I just can’t handle it! (And I’m notoriously low-maintenance when it comes to beauty.) So, falsies are just never gonna happen for me. I love the idea of long, luxurious lashes, but the extra weight and that nagging feeling that something is stuck to my eye makes them a dealbreaker.”
— Holly Thomas, Washington, D.C. editor

Gorgeous Cosmetics Mini Faux Lash, $16, available at available at Nordstrom.

Photographed by Kate Hoffman


Overly Tweezed Brows
“Brows are a game changer for me. I definitely love the look of a strong brow (who doesn’t?) and while I enlist the help of a handy-dandy pencil, the idea of skimpy, ’80s-style tweezed ones give me nightmares. I guess there is really is such a thing as too skinny, particularly when it comes to eyebrows.”
— Angela Tafoya, San Francisco editor

Tweezerman Ultra Precision Slant Tweezers, $35, available at Sephora.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory


“I would never get a bob — again. When I was nine, my mom let the butchers at Vidal Sassoon hack off eight inches of hair — which I then clutched in my hands, staring in the salon mirror at a nine-year-old boy who needed a haircut.”
— Kelsey Miller, SEO editor

Photographed by Chantal Adair; Photo: Greg Allen/RexUSA


Acrylic Nails
“Being that I’m on a computer, typing away for eight+ hours a day, I like to keep my nails as short as possible. So, I put a personal ban on any type of acrylic or fake nails…until I learn to love the sound of clickity-clacks echoing off my keyboard one day, which will be never. Also, I’m a messy eater. Food just gets caught under those babies too easily. (Hello, hot wings?)”
— Diana Nguyen, top editor

Photographed by Chantal Adair (headshot); Anna Moller (Kate Spade)


“I’d never even try guyliner eyeliner. First off, it makes most men (outside of Adam Lambert and actors) look crazy-spooky in person. Secondly, it doesn’t have anything to do with my arrow-straight, American-heritage look. Finally, my eyes are arrestingly beautiful as is — they require no adornment.”
— Gabriel J. Bell, staff writer

Bobbi Brown Kohl Eyeliner in Black, $24, available at Barneys New York.

Photographed by Chantal Adair



“Despite the myriad how-to videos I’ve watched (and the handful of times I actually got my makeup done), eyeshadow of any shade makes me look like a middle schooler who’s dipped into her mother’s makeup bag, no matter how conservatively I apply. I’ll stick with a few swipes of mascara to highlight my big browns.”
— Lauren Caruso, contributing editor

Benefit World Famous Neutral in Easiest Nudes Ever, $30, available at Sephora.

Photographed by Chantal Adair


“I can dig it as a base layer, or a matte, subtle color worn like regular lipstick, but there is nothing — NOTHING — that bothers me more than lipliner taken literally. That ’90s, Pam-Anderson outline around the mouth, filled in with metallic lipstick, is just the worst.”
— Lexi Nisita, associate community editor

Too Faced Perfect Lips in Neutral Pink, $17, available at Too Faced.

Photographed by Chantal Adair


Tanning Beds
“I have never fully understood the appeal of fake baking. For me, a little bit of bronze glow (ideally after a week-long vacation at the beach) should be a natural occurrence, and in my case, one that happens despite the SPF 45. Although, I admit, I have been in a tanning bed before (maybe five times total?), the results were nothing more than painful patchy burns on the palest parts of my body that don’t typically see the sun. So, yeah, I’ll be forgoing the sunburned bottoms, fake orange-y color, and voluntary UV damage from here on out.”
— Gina Marinelli, assistant editor 

Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan, $50, available at Kerstin Florian.

Photographed by Chantal Adair;


Hair Extensions
“I know that extensions are all the rage in Hollywood, but I just can’t stand the idea of someone painfully tying new hair into my scalp. Plus, it’s totally cheating — that long hair may be gorgeous, but it’s not actually yours! Maybe I’m old school, but I like to grow my own locks.”
— Seija Rankin, editorial assistant, East Coast

Photographed by Samantha Mancuso; Photo: MCV Photo


Pink Eyeshadow
“I remember when I was in middle school reading that pink or red eyeshadow would complement my slightly pale skin tone. One night, as I was heading out to a party, my father told me I couldn’t leave the house — he thought I had caught pink eye! I was so mortified and haven’t worn that shade since.”
— Sarah St. Lifer, editorial assistant, West Coast

Dior Cherie Bow Twin Set Eyeshadow in Ballerina Pink, $30, available at Nordstrom.

Photographed by Hailley Howard


Crunchy Curls
“As a beauty junkie, I am usually game to try anything and everything out there, but on a recent vacation when I spotted a woman with crunchy, wet-looking curls, I was reminded of the one beauty look that I absolutely hate. As a gal with natural waves, I struggled with my hair all the way through middle and high school, desperately trying to find a product that actually made my naturally limp waves look decent. As a result, I ended up with a bathroom full of mousses and spray gels that promised ‘touchable’ curls, only to have my hair end up crispy and tangled — not a good look. So I ended up hitting the flat iron all the time, convinced that I had the worst hair type ever. I remain terrified of all mousse-and-gel-type products to this day.”
— Tara Rasmus, assistant beauty editor

Photographed by Chantal Adair; Photo: MCV Photo


French Manicures
“I really have no right to judge since I keep my nails in terrible shape (though NYC’s obsession with nails is making me want to be better), but French manicures really give me the heebie-jeebies. Something about them just screams creepy, no matter what length.”
— Chloe Daley, editorial production assistant

Sally Hansen Salon Effects French Manicure Strips in Excusez Moi!, $7.79, available at CVS.

Photographed by Chantal Adair


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