Navigating the world of beauty on TikTok can be difficult: new looks, subcultures, and lifestyles often fade as fast as their rise to the top. But it is undeniable that some trends manage to transcend their status as niche internet communities and permeate the world beyond the platform. In an exclusive report for Beauty News, Social Standards spotlights the constantly evolving and increasingly esoteric landscape of what is broadly referred to as Internet Aesthetics (trending looks) and provides backgrounds on what each look stands for and how they could further break into the mainstream. As a testament to their wide range of influences, these looks (Old Money, Grunge, Clean Girl, Kawaii, and Soft Glam to name a few) all embody wildly different appearances which are seeing impressive growth not only on TikTok, but on Instagram as well.

The Old Money aesthetic, for example, is more subdued, and seeks to portray generational wealth through muted colors and subtle makeup, while the Clean Girl aesthetic centers around effortless beauty – characterized by brightly blushed skin. The Grunge aesthetic is interpreted as opposite to both Clean Girl and Old Money, as she embraces an edgier look emphasizing darker, bolder colors reminiscent of 1990’s alternative rock. The Kawaii aesthetic is similar insofar as its cultural influences are more immediately obvious, but its own related looks are quite different, drawing heavily on Japanese pop culture. The Soft Glam aesthetic centers more around a specific cosmetic look, relying heavily on blending to remove hard lines.

All of these disparate appearances have seen considerable growth on TikTok but determining which will stick and translate best to Instagram is yet to be seen, as crucial as they may be for predicting consumer needs.

To read about the different Internet Aesthetics trending on TikTok be sure to check out Social Standards’ Thought Leadership: TikTok Aesthetics Report exclusively for CEW Members.