As 2023 comes to a close, Allure dives into those moments when beauty took center stage this year: the trends, the people, and the technologies that filled our feeds and captured our imaginations. As always, we’re here to chronicle, to celebrate, and to make sense of it all — or at least try. Welcome to the Year in Beauty.
On August 23, Beyoncé released a message asking fans to arrive in silver to her Renaissance shows in celebration of her birthday — but the Beyhive had already picked up on the call. When I got to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for her June stop in London, there were flashes of silver seen across the Beyhive, mixed with re-creations of custom outfits Bey had worn on past tour stops. I wasn’t in silver, but I had other hardware: yellow, black, and silver Gel-X nails inspired by the Mugler custom bee ’fit she wore to perform “America Has a Problem,” a practical reminder of a summer marked by America’s changing ways and current rifts.
This summer did not bring the recession Americans had been waiting – no, bracing – for. In the midst of economic uncertainty, it was Beyoncé and Taylor Swift whose names and likenesses were often attached to a redeeming quality of the economy. The hospitality sectors of national and international tour cities saw an uptick in ways that would’ve made you think the Superbowl was in town. Economists said it was the result of revenge spending after the pandemic or a fixation on enjoying experiences (and buying things to edify those experiences) over material objects.
Beyoncé and Swift built the worlds to do just that. Both artists are known for creating entirely new universes in which their fans can have cathartic experiences (like the chance to dance for two and a half hours as a version of yourself that might not get let out often enough).
But for many fans, the event begins long before they get to the stadium: Figuring out what you’re wearing to the Renaissance or Eras tour is not a decision you’d make lightly or last minute. The references must be pulled and the Pinterest boards made. A complete look including hair, nails, and makeup, must be accounted for with appointments booked in advance.