Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a far future, post-apocalyptic world. Can someone explain to me why Aloy looks like an ad for Glossier, then?
Illustration: Angelica Alzona
Beauty trends in 2016 and 2017 have been gravitating to an idea of a "no make up" make up look. This doesn't mean not wearing any make up — what are we, robot dinosaur-hunting tribal future vikings? — but the method for achieving this look is a lot less arduous than the cycle of priming and contouring of yesteryear.
Brands like Milk and Glossier are focused on products that enhance your natural imperfections rather than hide them. You'll find cover up and foundation, sure, but the coverage is meant to be light and airy. It's also meant to be applied with your hands, which I love because I am incredibly lazy. The end result of my go-to face for work or day-to-night is someone not completely polished, but with a natural looking glow to their skin.
What I've just described is Aloy. Of course, in her future no one's selling serums and oils to give bounce back to your skin. Nevertheless, she looks like she's hella exfoliated. Where'd you get all that pumice, girl?
Aloy's skin looks amazing — it's bright and clear, with a bit of a natural glow — but what I love are her brows. They're in that perfect in-between of "shaped" and "natural." Ever since big, bushy brows came back in, I've been trying to perfect my brows. Glossier sells a product called Boy Brow, which just fills out your brows ever so slightly and doesn't require me to painstakingly draw on new hairs. I sincerely doubt that the society that Aloy lives in prioritises eyebrows in the same way I do, but it's fun to imagine her uncovering a cache of my favourite beauty product, like a time capsule from a long lost beauty blogger.
Horizon Zero Dawn's Aloy probably has a lot of help looking sun-kissed from the actual sun, which helps for non-video game characters as well. My friends who have incredible skin do a lot of things I don't, like not spending a significant amount of their free time playing video games. While human beings can make up for these shortcomings by buying creme or powder highlighters to put a spotlight on their cheekbones, Aloy is mostly running around outside. Maybe, someday, I'll try that.
Of course, nothing about the "natural" beauty trend is natural. This is all marketing that's meant to sell you an idea of beauty so you will buy a product, and marketing fucking works. But Aloy isn't natural either. She's a collection of pixels that only exists when you play her. Doesn't mean she doesn't have bangin' eyebrows though.