The “Succubus Chic” aesthetic takes fashion and beauty to the dark side



Will the corpse look be back in fashion in 2023? Since the beginning of last year, beauty and fashion trends have shifted away from the clean, polished aesthetic of the clean girl towards a darker feminine energy. After the resounding success of the Netflix series Wednesday and the explosion of gothic chic looks, the succubus chic trend continues to transform and reinvent itself.

In short, the succubus-chic look features thin, barely-there eyebrows, outrageously black smokey eyes or over-the-top eyeliner, pale skin with hollowed-out facial features, and goth-inspired clothing. Many women sporting this look like to top it off with blood red lipstick or lip liner.

Hair is jet black, straight, sometimes pulled back, accentuating this pale, almost fatal complexion. It’s no longer about looking sexy, it’s about radiating a mysterious and beguiling aura. The succubus chic look is very specific, right down to the pose you have to strike – tilted head, pouting lips, and a mournful look that doubles as a siren’s call and a deadly warning.

A trend that revived from the 2000s

The word succubus comes from the name of a demon who seduces and gets her way with men while they sleep. In the early 2000s, the look became popular thanks to actress Angelina Jolie, who was considered the ultimate “bad girl” at the time.

Proof of that is her Born to be Wild photoshoot for Elle magazine, in which the Tomb Raider star stares into the camera, head tilted, and sporting the look that would later become the hallmark of succubus chic would.

With her thin eyebrows, prominent cheekbones and pouty lips, dressed in leather and covered in tattoos, Angelina Jolie is hailed as the spiritual mother of today’s succubus chic girls.

Years later, around 2019, an influencer/model/singer named Gabrielle Bechtel, whose handle is Gabbriette, revived the legacy of this aesthetic and democratized the look.

READ: Why it’s time to ditch the flat irons and embrace ‘bedhead hair.’

Like other models who have embraced this aesthetic, including Cara Delevingne, she sports very thin eyebrows, hollowed features, and a mullet. But the hashtag “Succubus Chic” has only really been booming on social networks since the end of last year, with a total of 411.5 million views on TikTok.

Proof of the look’s popularity is that Kylie Jenner — the initiator of many trends among the new generations — has embraced this underground vibe in one of her latest Instagram posts. A far cry from her usual polished look, Kylie Jenner has gray eyebrows, a tousled bun, dark-rimmed eyes, sunken cheeks, and stares dead-eyed into the lens.

KylieJenner
The succubus-chic look is gaining traction in the aesthetic of influencers like Kylie Jenner | Photography kyliejenner / Instagram© via ETX Daily

The media was quick to embrace this new beauty aesthetic, and not without causing controversy.

A look that is considered unhealthy

At the beginning of January, the US magazine Dazed discussed the expansion of this aesthetic in social networks. The article was soon picked up by thousands of social media users who criticized the harmful, unhealthy lifestyle the story prompted.

The opening lines read, “It’s Wednesday Addams when she’s grown up, got a job in Milan and picked up a coke habit.” The description follows with “Cheeks are hollow and cheekbones are prominent.

There’s not an ounce of buccal fat in sight.” In response, TikToker Yves Saint Laurel not only denounced the lack of diversity in the images chosen for the article, but also the way the magazine frivolously promotes drug use and thinness. In fact, this notion of thinness seems to have come back to the fore in cosmetic procedures like buccal fat removal, emphasizing the unhealthy side of the succubus-chic look.

Twitter users poked fun at this new aesthetic, pointing to the thinning brow trend originally attributed to Latina women. “Succubus chic? You mean copying Angelina Jolie’s face and wearing 2000s Latina makeup? laugh out loud.”

Others however complain about the overabundance of aesthetics on social media: “Soft Girl, Clean Girl, Luxury Girl, High Level Woman, and now Vanilla Girl and Succubus Chic?!??!! It was cute at first, but now they’re overdoing it…it’s enough.”

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