TikTok Trends: Gardencore Is the Ethereal Aesthetic of Our Dreams

TikTok Trends: Gardencore Is the Ethereal Aesthetic of Our Dreams

By Keisha Wilson
Friday 05/08/2022

Gardencore promotes not just stopping and smelling the roses (or heirloom tomatoes) but specifically those of the garden to which you personally tend—and getting your hands' dirty while at it.

Much of this, of course, was inspired by living through the height of COVID-19.

“We were forced to be ‘still’ during the pandemic, and this brought out a lot of self-awareness and how we are living, including the clothes, the makeup we wear, and foods we eat,” Code8 global makeup artist and brand trainer Sasha Ghodstinat says of what inspired the shift.

“We spent more time in nature appreciating the simple things in life.”

Clearly, this impacted everyone's interests—and therefore the TikTok trends we saw unfold online.

Beauty content creator Doeneseya, who is known for her own take on the gardencore aesthetic, echoes this, noting that lockdown also allowed people more time and space to experiment with what truly made them happy. “Some may see makeup and fashion as a form of therapy,” she tells Glamour.

“Gardencore embodies a soft life, and there is the ethereal and whimsy side.

Who doesn’t want to be seen as ethereal?” And thus gardencore was born.

A close cousin of fairycore and coquette, gardencore is garden-gnome adjacent, mushroom-hued, and earth-toned, pulling inspiration from and honoring fairies, fruit, flowers, plants, and miscellaneous woodland creatures.

It embodies the provincial essence of Shrek's Princess Fiona, The Smurfs’ Smurfette, and Beauty and the Beast's Belle meets Tinker Bell, meaning the GardenGore girl has a green thumb (and a matching manicure) and a compost bin but loves a good tea party, emerald green makeup palettes, and a plantlike perfume—think Gucci’s Alchemist Garden Collection and/or By Rosie Jane's Leila Lou Perfume.

“People are creating this other-world fantasy in their bedrooms, and it sparks instant joy for others,” Matt Woodcox, beauty influencer and skin-care expert, says of the lifestyle.

“We have all felt super confined and down, and many of us have been longing to escape to a beautiful place after being inside, and looking at our TVs and phones for so long.

Why not pretend to be a whimsical figure from another far-off land?” And, of course, it does this while simultaneously prioritizing the environment: “It's giving ‘save the planet,’ and I love to see it.”

The most important of all gardencore girls' defining characteristics, however, is having fun.

Why else would she be a combination of everyone's favorite childhood characters in one?

“Over the past few years, we’ve really seen the collective culture approach beauty in a fresh, new way,” Yasmeen Gharnit, senior content and art director at Glow Recipe, tells Glamour.

“There’s been a shift away from adhering to traditional beauty norms, and instead toward more creative expression.

Fairycore and gardencore approaches beauty in a much more lighthearted, fun way that brings fantasy and escapism into the everyday.”

The rise in this playful persona isn't a coincidence.

Gardencore and similar aesthetics are intentionally subverting conventional beauty standards and social expectations that have been forced upon women for centuries.

“In the past, the beauty industry has been constricted with trends and rules that have told us who to be and how to look,” Ghodstinat concurs, noting that whimsical garden creatures and fantastical critters have since evolved into symbols for unfettered self-expression—hence their omnipresence in gardencore beauty.

Really, the movement has transformed into a safe space for women to redefine and reclaim beauty, style, and joy on their own terms, sans the patriarchal male gaze.

“Gardencore is delicate, feminine, and easy,” Doeneseya concludes.

“Not much effort goes into gardencore, yet it’s beautiful.It’s about taking in the beauty of nature, literally.” And doing so while playing by just your—and the forest's—rules.

Source: Glamour.com

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