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Our Fave Maximalist Icons & Their O.T.T Trends

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 ‘Less is more’, you say? Well we don’t blame you – but we’re definitely going to try and change your mind. Over the past few years, we’ve embraced our scarcity gene; making like the Greeks to exemplify the adage: ‘Everything in moderation.’ But if the year’s décor trends are any indication, it seems we’re now being permitted to invoke the good ol’ excesses again – and we’re not just talking furniture, we’re talking face.
Those of us who were forced – against our better instincts – to become minimal animals can finally get our stripes back. What stripes, you ask? Think larger-than-life hair or a fire-engine, daytime pout, ‘80s lids or wonky, graphic liner.
Just because you weren’t invited to the MET doesn’t mean you can’t sport some casual camp, and who better to teach us how than our favorite maximalist icons?

Here are our favorite celebrities who flaunted bold makeup and beauty trends, well ahead of their time:

  1. 1. Frida Kahlo:
    Bold Brows

    If the past few years have reshaped anything – it’s our brows. We’ve come a long way from the scanty, overplucked and sorry brows of the ‘90s, and it doesn’t seem like we’re going back anytime soon. And for that, we have to thank the lovely ladies who got there first – one of whom is a certain Mexican folk artist, whose musings and signature style turned her into a global muse. 
    Kahlo’s unapologetic unibrow was made immortal by her self-portraits; furry, furrowed frames for the indignant eyes that stared out from beneath them. And whether she intended to make a political statement, or just didn’t give a damn – she definitely made an impact.  
    Not all of us have the guts to pull it off, and even fewer, the resistance against threading it off (leave Kajol, we see and respect you too, homegirl!), but if we had to pay homage to Kahlo, we’d do it with thick, luscious boy brows.

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: Benefit Cosmetics Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit

  2. 2. Yayoi Kusama:
    Siren Lips

    Unlike the above, some trends stayed untouched by the passage of time, and this one is the biggest testament to that fact. All the way from Queen Elizabeth I to our generation’s signature red-pouter, Taylor Swift, the perception of red lipstick has gone from gauche to great and back again – but this bold makeup look never failed to make a statement.
    While the classic scarlet pout has numerous red-carpet takers, none have made us more endeared to it than Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist, known for her psychedelic sculptures and installations that take you down the rabbit hole.
    At 90 years old, Kusama lives a colourful life of her own creation, but stays faithful to a single, defining color on her lips – proof that we won’t ever outgrow red lipstick: at 20, 30 or 90 – and we couldn’t be gladder for it.

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick - Ruby Woo

  3. 3. Diana Ross:
    BIG HAIR

    Whether it’s glitter, bellbottoms or tassels, the ’70s gave birth to some of the most eternal trends the fashion and beauty world has ever seen – and one of the biggest (literally and figuratively) had to do with hair. Think fros and fluffy mops, exaggerated bouffants and back-combed curls – the silver-screen icons of our time clearly thought bigger was better, and we still believe them.
    With a personality to match the size of her mane, Diana Ross was the era’s most formidable lioness – and clearly believed that there ’ain’t no (mop) or mountain high enough’. Her wild, voluminous halo of curls taught girls everywhere the first lesson in embracing their natural texture and selves.
    We might not all be blessed with gorgeous African hair, but there’s plenty of ways to bring some body to yours. Luckily, it’s still right on trend –-a big hair 2.0 we learned from this year’s Versace show, where anti-gravity hairdos were all the rage.

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce Hairspray For Texture And Volume

  4. 4. David Bowie:
    80s AQUA LIDS

    Beauty icons don’t need to be reserved to a single gender, and there’s no better example than our beloved Bowie: ’80s legend, but immortal influencer of style. Bowie’s no -holds-barred beauty decisions were more rebellion than risk, and the most quintessential embodiment of that rebellion were electric blue lids, worn all the way up to his non-existent brows.
    We’re no strangers to blue eyeshadow – so many iterations of the iridescent trend have come and gone – but it’s campest (and by far, coolest) manifestation will always belong to the late musician who wore it more faithfully and fearlessly than the rest.
    Bowie might’ve done it best, but there’s plenty of ways of playing with blue. If you’re not maximalist enough for an arresting, monotone swathe like his, swap out the black in your smokey eye with hints of cobalt or aquamarine blue. The perfect bold makeup look to pull off!

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: Deborah Perfect Smokey Eye Palette - 08 Blue

  5. 5. Lady Gaga:
    FUTURISTIC EYES

    Before this star was born, the beauty world didn’t have as much fun. The millennials’ favorite maximalist, Lady Gaga made a name for herself by always pushing the envelope on what’s acceptable- but more so for embracing the unacceptable. From meat dresses to pyrotechnic bras, Gaga’s always stepped out as a piece of art, and it isn’t just limited to fashion.
    We’ve especially loved her artistic overhauls of eyeliner: glitter-studded and anime, gold-foiled or inspired by the greats (check out her own homage to Bowie), but one of our favorites is her version of negative space liner.
    It’s not only the easiest of her looks to pull off, but it’s also been a hot runway trend for a few years now. Hit it up Google for a Gaga-worthy style that you can sport with some precision liner and a little extra help from tape.

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Super Star Duo Designer - Black

  6. 6. Rihanna:
    TRUE-BLUE LIPS

    Platinum artist turned beauty mogul, this Queen of Extra needs no introduction. Rihanna has been staging red-carpet rebellions for a decade now, blessing us with bada** looks and a devil-may-care attitude that earned her her ‘BadGalRiRi title with ease. Never one to shy away from breaking rules and making outlandish style statements, RiRi is one of the true maximalist icons of our time with her amazing maximalist style.
    One of her most standout looks, and somewhat a signature, since no one does it as often (or better) than her, is blue lipstick. If you thought the color should only be reserved for your Halloween costume, RiRi’s here to tell you that you were dead wrong.
    She’s sported everything from a navy metallic to a powdery matte, shiny and sheer to flat turquoise – and what’s surprised us most, aside from the fact that it looks good at all, is that it looks especially great on dusky skin tones like ours.

    THE XL ESSENTIAL: NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream - Moscow

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