This year’s SSB theme is ‘tribal’, which of course conjures images of bold prints, wild hair and strategically placed fur. However, while you may think that the SSB is a night where people aren’t going to be looking at your face, looking fabulous from head to toe is a must on the most controversial night of the year. Theme-related drama aside, it’s time to get inspired, so take a look at these tribal beauty traditions for a bank of great ideas. 

1. Fulani Tribe

Our first moment of inspiration comes from the Fulani people, a nomadic tribe of West Africa. The distinctive feature of a Fulani woman is their dyed or tattooed dark lips with henna or indigo, in the name of beauty. If henna tattooing your lips isn’t your thing, then the lipsticks from Illamasqua (, £16) come in dramatically dark shades, such as the deep violet ‘Kontrol’ or pure black ‘Pristine’.

2. Slavic Beauty

Creative Director of Guerlain, Olivier Échaudemaison, created a whole collection dedicated to Slavic beauty. According to Échaudemaison, this includes purple shimmer on eyes, radiant complexion and pretty pink lips; why not contrast the dark debauchery of SSB with this adorably innocent look? For a purple shimmer try Guerlain’s ‘Ecrin 6 Couleurs’ ( Go for trusty Benefit for a radiant glow with their ‘High Beam’ (, £18.50), and team with Bobbi Brown’s new ‘Creamy Matte Lip Colour’ (, £18).

3. Maori Markings

Tā moko refers to the permanent markings carved on to the skin of Maori tribes in New Zealand. It’s usually applied on the mouth and chin on women, but for those who aren’t so up for drawing blood, a great nod to the tradition could be to incorporate the tribal designs in some dramatic eyeliner. Those with sensitive skin could go for Chantecaille’s ‘Gel Liner Pencil’ in Jet (, £28), but for a dependable, basic kohl look no further than Rimmel’s ‘Precision Eye Liner Pencil’ (

4. Native American Secrets

A full beauty regime isn’t just about the fabulous makeup applied; a good skincare routine is imperative for a flawless base. For tribal inspiration for skincare, look no further than the Native Americans. Their intimate knowledge of nature led them to learn all about the benefits of natural plant oils and extracts, and you can find their favourite botanical ingredients in luxury products today. Liz Earle’s ‘Gentle Face Exfoliator’ contains jojoba beads that gently exfoliate skin, and Native American favourite aloe vera is incorporated in their ‘Instant Boost Skin Tonic’ ( Juniper oil is also great for super shiny hair.

5.) Walk like an Egyptian

Hathor, the goddess of beauty for the Ancient Egyptian tribes, is often described as golden, with bright, brilliant skin. To recreate this shimmering look try a highlighter like NARS’ ‘The Multiple’ (, £29) along your cheekbones, brow bone and cupid’s bow for instant radiance, or a brightening treatment like Liz Earle’s ‘Brightening Tratement Mask’ with stimulating camphor oil to get a Cleopatra-esque glow even without makeup.

By Rhian Harding


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