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Is ear makeup becoming a thing?

Trends come and go throughout generations. So it’s not surprising that a worldwide pandemic is making people try new things to adapt to the New Normal…

by India Gustin

Having to cover up much of our face with a mask means having to cover up makeup masterpieces. That’s why people are taking advantage of other facial features to show off their artistic talents: ears.

Martha Butterworth, a makeup artist based in Cambridge, showcased her first ear makeup look on her Instagram page in January of 2020. She was asked to collaborate with Jam Ink, a jewellery designer to incorporate their earrings with her work.

“It just seemed a very natural progression,” Martha says, talking about how she first started painting ears.

Martha Butterworth’s first time trying out ear makeup with flower patterns. 

Martha can accomplish a full ear painting in about an hour or so. “Clearly that’s not an everyday look,” she acknowledges. She adds that people who want the look without a lot of effort can hop on this trend by using quicker and easier methods: nail decors and temporary tattoos.

Alternatively, Vivetta, a fashion label from Milan, has included quite a prominent ear accessory in their SS21 collection. Inspired by seeing the world from a small animal’s point of view, or a ‘bug’s eye’, this floral earpiece covers almost the entire ear.

Although different from ear makeup, ear coverings are still making use of an often overlooked body part: the entire ear. This accessory envelops the ear with silver flowers creating an eye-catching yet delicate look.

Vivetta’s Spring/Summer 2021 Collection featuring ear pieces inspired by a bug’s eye view.

Could this be the future of styling? Perhaps – but only during the warmer months. It’s no doubt more of a summer thing seen as during the winter people wear hats and beanies.

The fashion and beauty world has already encountered this trend. According to Marie Claire, Anthony Vaccarello was the first designer to send his models down the runway with this look in 2014. He was going for an almost jewellery-like effect with black ink on the ear lobes.

Then, in 2016, Louis Vuitton’s Spring collection included models with silver ears walking down the runway. In 2017, NYFW hosted some bright yellow and white earlobes, a perfect way to show off some of their larger earrings in their collection.

But the trend never really gained a lot of momentum – until now. The pandemic has allowed us to find creative solutions to an increase in everyday problems. It is possible that, with makeup moving beyond the mask and with a little confidence and bold creativity, this look could definitely become part of everyday fashion. So what if this may be a bit over-the-top? The fashion and beauty industry has gone through much crazier trends…