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#YogaSkin Is a Thing

by Marianne Navada

cover image | @sarahillmakeup

“Yoga skin” is a 2019 beauty trend and a makeup routine that celebrates the glowing skin you get after exercise or physical activity. Movement and exercise increase blood flow, and since blood carries oxygen and nutrients, the process nourishes the body, including the skin. The makeup routine aims to mimic this dewy look but not from the inside out, but through beauty products artistically applied.

The Backstory

Yoga, the word, surely has positive connotations in today’s society with endless branding possibilities. Yoga skin is an offshoot of the “no makeup, makeup” made popular by celebrities like Alicia Keys. It was a reaction against the contoured and heavily concealed look in previous years, where one used makeup to hide what society considers as imperfections, such as deepening the cheekbones, covering freckles, enlarging the eyelids, or puffing up the lips.  

Neither the “no makeup makeup” or “yoga skin” however, shies away from piling on beauty products. In a yoga skin tutorial posted by makeup artist, Sarah Hill, she used 6 products to get yoga skin, which totals more than $200. 

Alicia Key’s makeup artist, Dotti, revealed that to get the “natural” eyebrows, the artist needed to:


“…cut individual false eyelashes and use them on the eyebrow to have that realness.”

source: into the gloss


How is this yoga?

Technically, this beauty trend could have been called “post work-out skin” or “exercise skin” but adding the yoga to it certainly evokes feelings of natural and organic, contrary to the amount of products it takes to get this look.

Aside from the exercise yoga provides, what exactly makes this type of beauty routine, yoga? Right now, the connection seems unclear. What we have is clever branding and commodification of an ancient practice. It is also a testament to the fact that yoga is no longer a foreign concept, but one associated with positivity and beauty. These associations might seem common sense to most people now, but that hasn’t always been the case in popular culture. Here is a snippet from the Piña Colada song from 1979:

“If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you´re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
I´m the love that you´ve looked for, write to me, and escape”

Rupert Holmes


If all this publicity on #yogaskin sparks curiosity in someone and decides to learn more about yoga, that’s a good thing.

On the other hand, for yoga to maintain what it currently stands for, we have to be careful not to overuse the word randomly. The fear is for the word yoga to be hackneyed.

Next Steps

Like most trends, #yogaskin will evolve. The hope is that the word yoga in #yogaskin will become more than just a catchy word, but will embody the essence of the practice. Here are some ideas:

  • Use products not tested on animals.
  • Yoga skin makeup should hold up in a yoga class, so you don’t have to worry about taking off your makeup before class and risk being late.
  • How long does it take to put on the makeup? Does the amount of time it takes to put yoga skin makeup prevent you from getting 8 hours of beauty sleep?
  • Use products that are non-toxic and eco-friendly.
  • You feel so pretty looking at your yoga skin makeup that it will encourage you to actually practice more yoga.

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