Earlier this year, we warned you that a “tomato girl” summer was imminent. Think spritzes, saltwater waves, pendant necklaces, and lots of linen. Now, the trend’s vine has officially spread from the confines of TikTok explainers and Mediterranean vacation Instagram dumps to our beauty drawers, as tomato girl makeup is taking over as the perfect late-summer trend.
Here’s what you need to know about the sun-soaked, somewhat-confusingly-named trend that’s dominating our feeds and sent Saie’s Dew Blush ($25) in spicy to the top of our wishlists.
So, what is a “tomato girl”? Allow me, a self-described berry girl (not only are tomatoes fruit, they’re berries!), to explain.
A tomato girl, at her core, is someone with the essence of a garden in late August. She learned a lot from her grandmother (nona? baba?) and applies these lessons to her day-to-day life. She’s always hosting dinner parties, listening to Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid,” and being complimented on her sun-kissed flush.
On the makeup side, being a tomato girl is about leaning into the intrinsic ripeness and rosy cheeks of late summer. Earthy color palettes? Yes. Faux freckles? Absolutely.
While The White Lotus season two aired last year (Mia and Lucia def have Tomato Girl energy) and Sophia Loren has been a beauty icon forever, there’s a reason this particular makeup style is in season right now. Celebrity makeup artist Kasey Spickard keyed us in.
“We saw a huge surge in Barbie Pink blush, which really ushered in the era of full blush looks. With summer upon us, it’s time for less makeup in the heat but with a strong blush continuing through from the full-glam, super blushy pink cheek and under-eye [look],” he said. “Also, every trend online is being tied back to food which I love, so ‘tomato girl’ makeup is playing into that.”
How to do Tomato Girl Makeup
TikTok users @zoekimkenealy and @julianaherzwastaken shared their takes on the trend, separately supplementing their brick-red blush with matching lips, plenty of bronzer, and self-applied freckles (plus a “lil something extra” by way of gold highlight, in Zoe’s case). Nevertheless, red cheeks are obviously the star of the show here.
According to Spickard, a cream blush is your number one necessity to achieve this super-easy look. He likes RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek ($36) in the shade Beloved and Tower 28’s JuiceBalm ($16) in the shade Squeeze.
The key to Tomato Girl-y application? Make like summer produce/Sheryl Crow and soak up the sun, highlighting areas where the rays would naturally hit your face.
“Start by warming up the red-toned cream blush on the back of your hand. Then, using the base of your Beautyblender or ring finger, dip into the product on the back of your hand,” Spickard instructs. “With a light tapping motion, apply to the apples of the cheeks, along the nose bridge, and a dash on the top of the forehead.”
Finally, buff the product into your skin using the side of your sponge or clean fingers. And remember, if you’re looking to emulate tomato girl makeup without… actually looking like a tomato, less is more—just like the drizzle of good olive oil on top of your pan con tomate.
“You want to use something with a more sheer coverage and a balmy texture for this trend and start light! Don’t go crazy with the blush.” Spickard says. Add some subtle fake freckles and you’re ready for a gorgeous pasta dinner on the Amalfi Coast—or in your apartment.