Meet the New Beauty Icons of Generation Y


Alexandra Nataf

Marilyn, Jane, Grace, Audrey… What is that enigmatic quality that transforms a rising star into a household name? Whatever the magic is, this select crew of modern-day muses (Bella, Zoe, Zendaya…) has it in spades—and they’re well on their way to becoming the bona fide beauty icons we’ll still be talking about for decades to come.

These women are inimitable and 100% authentic—they wouldn't be making such waves if they weren’t. But that doesn’t mean they don’t remind us of certain muses from eras past. Use the arrow tool on each image to see two sets of It girls: This generation’s fresh faces as well as the longstanding favorites they evoke.

Farrah Fawcett’s flaxen locks, bronzed skin, and sunny attitude to match made her a crowd favorite. Decades later, Hadid has attracted legions of fans with a similarly laid-back, California-girl vibe.

The modern take on tan skin requires a dewy finish—get it with Ilia’s Sway Illuminator ($34).

No doubt that Zendaya can command a red carpet with a head-turning beauty look, to the point that we’re always excited to see what hairstyle she’ll rock next. But she oozes relatability as much as she does confidence—off the red carpet, she’s the girl we want to hang out with. Kind of like Aaliyah, no?

Jeanne Damas is kind of 2016’s answer to Jane Birkin, and not just because of their obvious doppelgänger status: The difference is that in this day and age, embodying that effortlessly cool, coquettish Parisian aesthetic earns you a serious Instagram following.

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With her box braids, glowing skin, and impeccable piercing game, we’re pretty sure Kravitz is listed in the dictionary right next to “cool girl.” But what else would you expect from the offspring of Lisa Bonet?

Every generation needs its resident punk-rocker, preferably with a badass ’do to complete her ensemble. (Just ask Blondie.) Given that her buzzcut is quickly becoming the most covetable hairstyle of the year, we’d say model Ruth Bell fits the bill.

We’re constantly inspired by the ways that FKA Twigs’ ethereal, artistic touch trickles down from her music to her beauty aesthetic. It’s hard not to draw comparisons to another ethereal beauty, Sade.

Bella Hadid and Raquel Welch: two It girls who make subtle look sultry. The trick to this look (Hadid genetics or not) is to keep it natural but enhance what you’ve got. Start with a luminous complexion by way of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream ($100).

K-pop superstar CL’s massive fan base is rapidly expanding west, not least because of her fun-loving, more-is-more approach to fashion and beauty. Her street-glam style (and penchant for colorful eye makeup) isn’t unlike that of a certain other pop queen we know—especially during her earliest touring years.

Makeup is good stuff, but it’s always refreshing to have a muse who does the natural look so well. (And come on—that hair.) Hammam’s down-to-earth nature and warm smile remind us of Beverly Johnson.

Which modern-day icon is your favorite? Sound off below.