What’s the Tonal Glam Beauty Trend?

Over the years, beauty standards have changed from techniques to trends that can alter Afrocentric features from nose contours to under eye highlights. When you dive into the social construction of beauty that society has started, the focus is on Eurocentric standards like light skin, light eyes, and smaller facial features.

With lesson styles and content evolving to incorporate fresh trends, the latest course to check out is Tonal Glam. This new technique challenges older methods we’ve studied and shows the conformity many of us have practiced to achieve a certain makeup aesthetic. You can look at what you like about your natural features and enhance them instead of overshadowing them. In the beauty and pop culture space, we’re seeing many of our favorite artists and influencers toning down their previous overdone, gingerbread looks with a more natural and bouncy finish.

Makeup artist Annie James has experienced the changing landscape of beauty in her seven years of artistry on stars like Arie Lennox, Carrie Fox, Kehlani and Baby Tate. She has taken her talent to social media, creating beauty content and educating thousands around the world over the years with tips and skills. “My relationship with beauty has become more of an authentic space of personal expression,” James tells GU. “For so long I, and many others I’m sure I can relate to, have fallen into the trap of emulating the beauty of others or parts of their beauty that we may find flattering or attractive to ourselves, and we try to emulate that in ourselves.”


Uh-oh!! As predicted, the blush took a back seat to the glam! If the attendees were *even* wearing blush, this is the approach the professional makeup artists working with them would take! Products Mentioned: Bare Minerals “Blurred Buff” (disc) Juvias Place Saharan Vol. II “Yara” Morphe “Tantabulous” (disc?) Beauty Bakeri “Deja Brew” ABH “Terra” and “Chocolate” (disc.) As promised, here’s part 2 of the more pro-pro blush theory – featuring “bare “Blush”! Now you REALLY need to have an eye for color theory, and if you do, you’ll totally understand the something-but-nothing approach. Want to know how to figure out your glam-friendly undertones? Comment more below and I’ll make a video! #tonalglam #tonalblush #lowcontrastmakeup #nudeblush #blushfordarkskin

♬ original sound – Annie ❀

When diving into the toned glow trend, the main focus isn’t the products behind the look, but the amount of product you use. Technique should be the priority for a seamless and easy look, not a specific brand. “After my second adult growth spurt, I realized that many of the makeup techniques I had even worked out no longer suited my face,” says James. “Part of that realization came with age itself, but not a reflection of me, but rather a state of identity.”

With so many different trends happening online from latte makeup to soft glam, these techniques are still completely different. Soft glam and latte makeup are the looks you use for weddings and a fast pace, but are still heavy on the product. Extremely bright under the eyes and a sharp nose contour, your natural features are transformed and ultimately hidden. Tonal glam lets you customize your makeup for your face and your face alone. “With some nice superficial analysis, you’ll notice that most of the trends of the modern age, when applied to makeup, involve changing facial features,” says James.


After showing you the whole concept of tonal blushes, I felt I had to show you how to actually achieve a tonal glow for an everyday approach! The key to this is strategic placement and taking the concept of color theory to high degrees, as I literally use my *one* shade of foundation to ‘highlight’ and ‘bronze’ my face! This really uses undertones to a degree that I’ve loved for years to achieve an even tone. Products Used: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Concealer and Foundation (500C) About Face Sponge Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Loose Powder (Cashew, Honey and Hazelnut) Traditional Setting Powder (no, you can’t use a triangular powder‼️) In Part 2 we’ll cover brows and eyes, two other key components to achieving a clean, tonal glow! #tonalglam #tonalblush #lowcontrastmakeup #everydaymakeup #forblackgirls

♬ Jazz Bossa Nova – TOKYO Lonesome Blue

As we dig deep into what 2024 is taking on, the state of beauty is returning to embracing the uniqueness of people’s features rather than looking like everyone else. “When you use your natural features, you never have to worry too much about blending out the harsh lines or constantly checking in the mirror to see if the illusion is still there,” she says. “You no longer rely on the aforementioned drawbacks of looking after your appearance, so you can feel comfortable in any scenario and on any occasion.”

When it comes to beauty content, there is a shift away from the average content consumption now that we have more options for reviews and tutorials. The need to convince viewers to buy products is outdated. The rise of conversations around sustainability has become an important topic for many Zillennails. By understanding the harm of overspending and buying a lot of one product, it now allows beauty content creators to move from a different angle when sharing new makeup tips.

While the industry can always improve in terms of inclusion, trends like Tonal Glam point us in the right direction of focusing on your natural beauty instead of conforming to a fashion beauty guru.

“If you need help finding the direction of what tones generally suit you best, start by learning the basics of color theory, then move on to color analysis,” she says. “These themes flow into all aspects of beauty, so a tonal glow can really teach you about your beauty in all avenues if you dig deep enough.”

About Kenyatta: Graduate of Clark Atlanta University and Medill School Victoria Kenyatta is Girls United’s staff writer, covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle and investigative stories. When she’s not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or bingeing on her favorite comfort shows.

beauty trends content creator tonal glam

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