12 Birthstone-Inspired Beauty Looks That You’ll Enjoy Way More Than Your Horoscope

Sable Yong

The Zodiac is about as mercurial as the weather, with all of us taking cosmic cover every time mercury goes into goddamn retrograde. Whether you buy into them or not, it can get annoying to get pigeonholed into your sun/moon/rising signs’ behavioral traits (doubly if you don’t buy into them). Let’s not forget about our other divine categorical assignments—birthstones. Okay, if you’re not a horoscope person you may not be a spirituality-through-crystals person either, but everyone can appreciate and draw inspiration from a beautiful gemstone, even if you just like wearing them.

No mere baubles, birthstones are said to grant the wearer special powers and enhance the attributes of each star sign. But if you can’t bleed out your savings account to surround yourself in sapphires or rubies, you can at least incorporate them into your beauty looks. Not sure how? We went ahead and did it for you.

Photos: Tiffany Hagler-Geard
Art & Graphics: Candace Napier
Hair: Caeleb Bosscher

01_Jan_GARNET

The intense red of garnets represent strength and loyalty—so our model became a fiery, dedicated warrior. A great way to subtly glow like an ember? Lots of gold powder highlighter and a hint of warm-toned red lipstick.

Makeup: Yuui
Model: Dakota Madison (Q Models)

02_Feb_AMETHYST

Amethysts are often associated with love, lust and romance—this intense violet blush recalls the flush of a lover’s cheek and the cool purple sparkle of the stone itself. While this is a dramatic example, plum-toned blushes look amazing on most skin tones—our makeup artist Marika suggests choosing a warm plum blush and applying with a fluffy blush for a more subtle look.
Makeup: Marika Aoki
Model: Patty Alexandra (Q Models) 

03_Mar_AQUAMARINE

Sky-blue aquamarine is a stone beloved to sailors, as it’s said to confer protection while at sea. Our model was transformed into a beautiful guardian mermaid, with unstructured blue markings around her oceanic eyes and skin like an iridescent rainbow fish. Makeup artist Yuui used loose makeup pigments to create this sea-like look. “The beautiful thing about pigments is that you can throw them for a free-form look,” she said.
Makeup: Yuui

04_Apr_DIAMOND-2

Before they were ever set in an engagement ring, diamonds were thought in many cultures to be the tears of the gods fallen to Earth—which inspired this sparkly yet sad look. Though we’d probably live very rich lives if WE wept diamond tears, we’ll settle for lots of iridescent glitter and good times.
Makeup: Yuui

05_May_EMERALD-2

It’s said that Cleopatra owned all the emerald mines in Egypt during her reign, as they were her favorite stone. You never can have too many rich green gems as the Queen of Egypt, now can you? And when it comes to really editorial makeup looks, you can never have too many glittery paillettes. Bright green stones adhered beneath eyes and enhanced with dark cat eye liner speaks both to the intensity of this birthstone and the majesty of Ancient Egypt.
Makeup: Marika Aoki

06_Jun_PEARL

The stone of elegance and class, pearls are also a symbol of purity. The virginal sheen of this gem was recreated with shimmery, minimalistic skin and baby pink lips. Makeup artist Yuui reminds us that pearls also come in shades of gold, pink, silver, and even steely black—all of which she incorporated into this understatedly brilliant look.
Makeup: Yuui

07_Jul_RUBY

Known as “The King of Gems,” Rubies have long been associated with giving power and protection to the wearer. Red on the eyes is always a fierce look—if you’re a Queen looking for the strength to rule, we recommend firey red eyeshadow worn around your temples and onto your forehead any day of the week. If you’re looking for the strength to get through your workday, we recommend a bright red lipstick instead.
Makeup: Yuui

MORE: Susan Miller: The Woman Behind Astrology Zone And What It All Means

08_Aug_PERIDOT

Peridots are romantic stones, associated with loyalty, love, prosperity and dignity—and yellow-green eyeshadow is a shade that flatters every skin tone, whether worn lightly or applied with a heavy hand. Sometimes associated with the radiant beauty of the sun, multicolored glitter dabbed on the eyes and lips recalls peridot’s natural sparkle and intensity.
Makeup: Marika Aoki

09_Sep_SAPPHIRE

Sapphires were actually the original gemstone of choice for engagement rings since they were so associated with fidelity. Though they’re usually thought of as being a rich blue, makeup artist Marika tells us that sapphires can be any shade from azure to almost black—so she chose shimmering cobalt and sky blue to suggest the shade of these gems, with highlights of fuchsia to suggest the less common (but still beautiful) pink sapphires.
Makeup: Marika Aoki

10_Oct_TOURMALINE

There are several variations of tourmaline in shades ranging from black to green—though pink is the color most commonly associated with this feminine stone. Guardian of emotional expression and intuition, tourmaline shines with hidden strength. Makeup artist Marika mixed different shades of liquid highlighter to create a multifaceted, radiant look that embodies the dreamy radiance of this stone. Definitely a look for strobing.
Makeup: Marika Aoki

11_Nov_TOPAZ

Topaz is a symbol of tenacity and fiery dedication: a golden sparkling gem that clarifies emotion and strengthens resolve. Bronze glitter paired with shimmering copper eyeshadow is as warm and bright as the gem that inspired this beauty look; makeup artist Marika says that for a more wearable take on topaz, switch up your black and grey smoky eye shadow for a bronze hue instead.
Makeup: Marika Aoki

MORE: Do You Know How To Dress To Your Zodiac Sign?

 

12_Dec_TURQUOISE

Possibly the rawest of gems, turquoise’s bright color and earthy origins often associate it with Native Americans, who used it in many healing rituals. The shade of a summer sky criss-crossed with darker veins, turquoise is still said to grant protection to those who wear it, as well as being a symbol of loyalty. To capture the feeling of a piece of sky held as a stone in your hand, makeup artist Yuui painted a bold stroke of azure on the side of the model’s face. Think of it as a little window to the heavens.

Makeup: Yuui

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