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‘Mermaidcore’ is the ‘It’ Look — How to Capture Shimmery, Sea-Inspired Style

Naomi Campbell with blue eyeshadow
Getty Images

Maybe it’s because we’re all excited for Halle Bailey’s upcoming The Little Mermaid movie, or maybe it’s because it’s so hard to resist a little gloss and shimmer this time of year. Whatever the reason, “mermaidcore” is the latest must-have aesthetic, and some of the most stylish people and celebs are hearing the call — nay, siren song — for this season. From under-the-sea-inspired makeup ideas to must-try colours, textures and silhouettes, we’ve rounded up five ways to get the mermaidcore look right now.

Related:  Pantone’s 2023 Colour of the Year is the perfect pink-red — get the look.

What is the ‘mermaidcore’ aesthetic?

Much like the coastal grandmother aesthetic that had us reaching for our linen blouses and sunhats this spring, the mermaidcore trend is more of a spectrum of vibes than it is one or two specific pieces. Think: aquatic hues (from seafoam green to ocean blue), wet looks (from shimmering sequins to glossy hair and makeup), sea-themed silhouettes (fishtail hems) and touches of iridescent shimmer (imagine the glint of the setting sun hitting a cresting ocean wave) — that’s mermaidcore.

Now that we’re clear on the mermaid vibe, let’s look at some ways to get the look via hair and makeup. 

Related: Our favourite beauty products this December.

Mermaidcore hair and makeup ideas

Florence Pugh with wet-look hair
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Wet-look hair

Florence Pugh brings a touch of edge to a definitively mermaidcore hairstyle with her wet-look hair at The Fashion Awards 2022. 

If you want to get the look of dripping wet hair (without stopping to douse your tresses all day), the key is product. While the exact combo of products that you use depends on your unique hair texture, a lightweight hair oil and hair gel are typically a good place to start.

Try: JVN Complete Nourishing Hair Oil Shine Drops, Sephora, $30, and Garnier Fructis Styling Wet Effect Gel, Amazon, $4.


Kim Kardashian with long hair
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Beachy waves

Not into the wet look, but still want siren-worthy tresses? Beachy waves like Kim Kardashian’s are the perfect middle ground. If your hair isn’t naturally wavy, a triple-barrel curing iron could be a key mermaid-hair tool.

Try: 3 Barrel Curling Iron, Amazon, $38.

See also: The best clean nail polishes to try this season.

Naomi Campbell with blue eyeshadow
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Ocean-hue eyeshadow

Model Naomi Campbell hits right mermaidcore notes in a few ways with this look (see: the shimmering silver sequins), but we can’t help but swoon over her ocean-blue eye makeup.

Try: Sephora Colorful® Waterproof Eyeshadow & Eyeliner Multi-Stick in Magnetic Blue, Sephora, $19.

Related: Are these ’90s beauty trends making a comeback?

Mermaidcore fashion ideas

Ashley Graham in a blue dress
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Feeling blue (hues)

When it comes to the perfect mermaid-core colour, nothing screams “water” better than blue. Make like model Ashley Graham in a dreamy shade of blue. 

We like the contrast of a soft blue with a cozy, warm puffer for the winter.

Try: Super World™ The Super Puff Shorty, Aritzia, $250.

Emrata in a sheer dress
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Scale it

From paillettes to sequins to sheer fishnet textures (see: Emily Ratajkowski’s jaw-dropping sheer gown), aquatic textures are ideal for night-time looks.

Try: Semi-Sheer Dress, Zara, $100.


Lily James in a fishtail gown
Getty Images

Fishtail silhouettes

Of course, for the most mermaid-like look, you can’t go wrong with a fishtail or mermaid silhouette — just see Lily James’ dreamy fishtail gown.

Try: BIUBIU Women’s High Low Bodycon Fishtail Dress, Amazon, $63.

See also: Workout onesies are the latest athleisure trend, thanks to celebs.


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