You’re standing barefoot on the creaky but well-made wooden porch of your oceanfront Southampton home. You wrap your plush oatmeal-colored cashmere throw around your glowing skin, gaze out at the water, and wonder what might’ve happened to your college lover, separated by time and distance so long ago. Welcome to the beige-swaddled world of the Coastal Grandmother, the internet’s aesthetic du jour. It’s breezy, it’s natural-adjacent, it’s wholesome with just enough mystery (complicated romantic pasts! unabashed but tasteful displays of wealth! cuffed linen pants!) to be interesting. While the sartorial style is easily identifiable, its beauty equivalent, Coastal Grandmother makeup, can be a bit trickier to nail. Fortunately, all it really requires is some top-rated no-makeup makeup, a touch of summery glow, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Diane Keaton movies in which she wears a jaunty little hat.
Grab some cheese and wine from the good part of the grocery store, settle into a wavefront rocking chair, and light your most decadent candle in preparation — it’s time to explore exactly how to get the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic.
The first thing to understand is what the Coastal Grandmother is. Beauty-wise, the aesthetic occupies a sort of in-between land that combines typically mature makeup sensibilities (matte skin, carefully coordinated colors, a fixation on looking “presentable”) and classic coastal casualness (sunkissed complexions, general irreverence). It’s not quite the buttoned-up Martha’s Vineyard scene, but it’s definitely not the typical beachy, coconut girl vibe typically associated with the coast, either. The patron saints of the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic include people like Meryl Streep, Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, every Nancy Meyers protagonist ever, and Oprah — especially when she’s proffering a leafy bounty from her own garden. In a somewhat meta twist, even younger celebrities are starting to embrace the atheistic. The past few days have seen Selena Gomez and Anne Hathaway both showing off their cream-colored Coastal Grandmother ensembles, with Hathaway (herself a Nancy Meyer movie veteran) even describing her outfit as exactly that.
The best beauty brands for the Coastal Grandmother look are the same ones you’d turn to for securing the “clean” look that also went viral on TikTok. Minimalist favorites like Ami Colé, REFY, and Merit come to mind, as well as their slightly beachier counterparts like Jones Road, Rare Beauty, and Kosas. The makeup worn by Keaton’s character in the summertime staple Something’s Gotta Give is perhaps the ultimate example of the look — matte skin complemented by a delicate, satin blush, just enough eyeliner to define and accentuate the eyes, and a hint of some frosty lip color that seems like it could be either from a lipstick or leftover from last night’s glass of merlot. In the world of Nancy Meyers, brows are given about as much consideration as synthetic fabrics — as in not at all — so just capitalize on what you have naturally with some brow-building fiber gel or clear gel, skipping the more defined pencils and pomades for now. Bronzer might not be the first Coastal Grandmother product that comes to mind, either, but a subtle sun-kissed radiance is crucial — especially when there’s so much ivory involved in your wardrobe.
And though it’s not makeup, another key aspect of the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic is clean, natural nails. If you do opt for an acrylic or tip, keep the color a delicate nude lest you veer into the Baddie Grandmother aesthetic (that should be a thing any day now). All in all, the vibe is just relaxed beauty — like the sands of time have left you less concerned with a full face of makeup but not entirely indifferent. After all, Coastal Grandmothers are always running into ex-husbands at the neighbor’s backyard wedding or falling in love with their son’s boyfriend whilst they’re home for a visit.
In a society so obsessed with youth, it’s nice to see a style so distinguished by advanced age be so thoroughly embraced by very young people. This Coastal Grandmother aesthetic is also one marked by an embrace of imperfection and simplicity. A few products, all of which combine to enhance rather than transform or erase any features, bring the face to life with sumptuous fabrics and neutral color palettes round out the wardrobe. It couldn’t be a better choice for a fun, breezy summer — no thoughts, just romantic intrigue, chilled white wine, and vibes.
Below, shop the TZR Coastal Grandmother makeup starter pack for everything you need.
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