In a digital, selfie-ready society, reality and virtuality keep flirting with each other, each one inspiring the other. The latest #instaception hashtag (29 300 mentions) took Instagram by storm, questioning the very notions of realness in the Beauty world. 


August 2018 was the "instaception" month on Instagram, the neologism referring to Christopher Nolan famous's movie Inception, a sci-fi tale questioning reality through the overlap of dreams.

How do you #instaception? The aim is to create an optical illusion through a transformist makeup, mostly referring to Instagram, like James Charles's post (@jamescharles). The young influencer drew an Instagram post around his eye, using only makeup. The look is then photographed and posted on Instagram, creating an endless "mirror effect" (or "mise en abyme").

Other influencers have gone further using both makeup and photoshop, and thus overlapping digital and artisanal work.

"There's a constant hacking game between what is real and what is virtual", explains Leïla Rochet, founder of Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation, "both universes tend to infiltrate each other, and are a wonderful resource of creativity for consumers."

Whilst virtuality has invaded our day-to-day life, the Instaception trend shows how reality can take over Instagram, transforming the digital object (a post) into a real one (a makeup look). A trend also driven by the boom of transformist makeups and self-representation.

Is this "realness" fighting back? Or is it the natural evolution of two worlds deeply connected to each other? Good news is creativity is still going strong - IRL, and of course, on Instagram.


As part as their prospective research on trends, the Cosmetics Inpiration & Creation agency releases a monthly "Insta Book", with the latest insta-worthy hashtags and looks. Contact us for more informations, and follow @cosmeticseeds on Instagram