Chances are you’ve indulged in the cottagecore aesthetic over quarantine and you didn’t even know it. If you’ve fantasized about leaving society behind to live in the woods somewhere or you’ve taken up new hobbies like baking bread, sewing your own clothes, pressing flowers, or anything your grandmother would enjoy, you’ve already participated in the cottagecore subculture. You may have even found yourself drawn to more floral patterns and soft color palettes than normal or listening to Hozier on a loop and playing an endless amount of Animal Crossing.
This aesthetic has sky-rocketed in popularity thanks to COVID-19, which locked us in our houses and turned nature into a luxury safe haven. Frolicking in the woods, picnicking in a meadow, and berry picking on a farm have been romanticized for their ability to make social distancing easy. Plus the smell of flowers and warmth of the sun on our skin provide an instant shot of serotonin when we can't see our friends or participate in normal life activities.
If you're looking to escape the world through the aesthetic of the cottagecore lifestyle, keep reading to learn more about the elements that define cottagecore and watch two cottagecore makeup tutorials by Supergreater and cottagecore expert Allison_Perez and myself.
Cottagecore is a subculture primarily found on TikTok and Tumblr. It’s rooted in the fantasy of escaping capitalism to live in a cottage in the woods and a desire to enjoy a simple life where everyday tasks like baking and gardening are romanticized. Those who participate in cottagecore are often chasing some form of nostalgia from their youth or searching for some calm in their chaotic life. It’s an extremely feminine aesthetic full of flowers, ruffles, and lace. There is also an element of fantasy to this aesthetic from pretending you’re a fairytale princess to imagining yourself as a woodland fairy. Though this aesthetic is dominated by woman and members of the LGBTQ+ community, everyone is welcome to participate in cottagecore. TikTok user faythegayy told Paper Mag, “If you want to live in a cottage, you’re in.” It’s as simple as that. Welcome to cottagecore.
Cottagecore makeup can be interpreted in many ways, but the main theme is a look of innocence inspired by nature. Below, Supergreater allison_perez shares her everyday cottagecore makeup look and I take her look a step further by adding floral freckles inspired by fairies and fantasy.
Allison Perez’s everyday cottagecore makeup look:
“Cottagecore is a nice escape from what we’re dealing with right now. The idea of simplicity in cottagecore really appeals to me. Obviously making bread and tending to a garden is a lot of work, but it’s work I’d rather spend time doing. Growing up I loved baking, hiking, and nature-oriented activities, but I also love makeup! I think with cottagecore you can be very simple with makeup or go over the top with warm/pastel colors. As a Latina, seeing this aesthetic being predominantly shown with white women was a little off-putting but eventually, as I began to see more Queer/WOC into the aesthetic, I found myself loving it even more. When I think of cottagecore I think of fairies, The Shire, picnics, linen dresses, flowers and ribbons in your hair, warm, pastel colors, pink stained cheeks, and lips!”
My fairy cottagecore makeup look:
I didn't even realize it until I started researching for this article, but I unintentionally joined the cottagecore subculture over quarantine. I hiked in the woods, made jam with my mom, and learned how to sew. I even started to prefer more feminine silhouettes. My entire summer wardrobe now consists of pink and white floral skirts and dresses with ruffles and bows. It doesn't get more girly than that. For me, this makeup look was like entering my final form. Even though I live in New York City where the sound of sirens and car horns constantly interrupt my thoughts, I felt like I lived in a cottage in the woods somewhere and it was very comforting.
If you’ve been fantasizing about moving to a cottage in the woods, try this aesthetic out and leave a review of your look below. Everyone who participates before July 29th will receive 15 Supercoins.
This challenge is now closed—but that doesn't mean you can't try it yourself.