The Kardashian beauty movement is dead. Here's why 'stealth wealth' face is taking over.

Word on the (TikTok) streets is there's a new beauty trend slinking around. And chances are you might've already seen it doing the rounds in the fashion world.

It's called the 'stealth wealth' trend — and we're going to need to talk about it.

Inspired by the hit HBO series Succession, the trend was quite brilliantly summed up by The Atlantic like this: 

'Stealth wealth' or 'quiet luxury' are "terms describe a particular mode of dressing said to be favored not by the rich, but by the genuinely, generationally wealthy — forget trust funds, think family foundations." 

We're just going to leave this here:

@amyodellwriter What is stealth wealth? What is quiet luxury? Tom’s reaction to Greg’s date’s bag in Succession’s season 4 premiere explains it. #succession #successionhbo #tv #tvshow #fashion #fashiontok #fashiontiktok #tiktokfashion #stealthwealth #stealth #luxury #luxuryhandbag #luxuryfashion #burberry #handbag #handbagtiktok #handbags #cousingreg ♬ Witch Familiar (Classical) [Classic](143628) - dice

And while much has been written about the trend in reference to the way we dress, it seems the trend has now crept from our wardrobes and into our beauty cabinets.

Because apparently nothing screams 'rich girl' quite like clear, flawless skin.

Watch: Speaking of beauty trends, here's Leigh Campbell talking about the 'diamond lips' viral hack on You Beauty. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Forget Kardashian-levels of full coverage makeup, contouring and false lashes — we're talking about skin that looks healthy, glowing. Skin that looks like it's subject to high-end skincare products and regular professional treatments. 

Skin that exudes a whole other level of subtle elegance. And while it may look effortless on the surface, it takes time, consistency, commitment — and, well, money.

Here, we take a deep dive into the 'stealth wealth' beauty trend — and why it might actually be more problematic than you think.

What is the 'stealth wealth' beauty trend?

Similar to the 'clean girl beauty' aesthetic that dominated our social feeds, 'stealth wealth' beauty is pretty much #richgirlskin. It's flawless. It's perfect. And it represents money.

Think, 'less is more'.

You use luxury, top shelf skincare — from Augustinus Bader to Dr. Barbara Sturm. Your makeup bag is exclusively made up of Westman Atelier. You have your skin therapist on speed dial. An Omnilux or Dr Dennis Gross LED mask at home.

Put simply, your skin is your investment. And you look like you take care of yourself.

You can see it right now, can't you?

Okay but why is it so popular?

Over the last few years, the 'clean look' has been quietly (loudly) taking over the beauty space, and it put the spotlight on embracing your natural features.

Slicked back hair. Glowing skin. Minimal coverage. Tinted lips. 


Thousands of beauty tutorials that've racked up millions upon millions of views dominate the hashtag #cleanlook on TikTok, each showing users how to achieve the off-duty model look championed by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid. 

You know, this kind of treatment:

@evarankiin Reply to @yoodaddydre how to achieve the ✨clean✨ look ib: @millieleer #cleanmakeup ♬ Manhattan - Ella Fitzgerald

Now, the newest vibe shift: the 'stealth wealth' beauty aesthetic — appears to run through the same vein. 

Leaning towards natural beauty and away from the Kardashian beauty movement, this low-maintenance beauty approach champions healthy skin over makeup. It signifies a shift in desire to 'cover up' and trade it in for less-is-more approach.

However, while a certain level of effortlessness may be at the crux of this trend, it's almost impossible to look past the amount of time and money required to obtain this new beauty standard.

Why is it problematic?

As with the 'clean girl beauty' aesthetic, 'stealth wealth' beauty is a trend that's riddled with issues. While it looks good on paper, arguably, it's makes the beauty game even more unattainable.

It's just too... perfect. Alienating. Narrow.

And while there's a push behind skin positivity and acceptance of real texture and real conditions in 2023, that doesn't mean there aren't still people struggling with significant stigma and self-esteem around their skin. 

It then comes as no surprise that people have started revolting against these kind of 'clean' and 'rich' beauty aesthetics. They're tired of being told the standard is perfect skin and perfect hair. Because it's not for everyone.


When people with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation are already struggling with stigma and self-confidence, the 'stealth wealth' movement can be viewed as just another unaccessible beauty trend.

Further to this, in the current climate (see: financial crisis), there's a shared feeling that this specific beauty aesthetic is a little... tone deaf? Irrelevant? Silly?

However, despite this, it doesn't look like the trend is going anywhere, anytime soon.

Ultimately, it's a reminder not only of how often beauty standards shift and turn but also how important it is to stick with what suits you and what makes you feel great. 

So, if you love the 'stealth wealth' or 'clean girl' beauty trend, go for it! If grungy, 'party girl' makeup is more your thing, awesome! If the Kardashian-level makeup look is still your go-to, that's great!

You do you. After all, that's what beauty should be all about, right?

If you'd like to hear more from Erin, follow her on Instagram.

What do you think of the stealth wealth beauty trend? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty, HBO (Succession), Canva, Mecca, Net-a-Porter.

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