'Mermaidcore' is everywhere for summer 2023—here's how to wear the magical aesthetic without being extra

We just want to embody Ariel vibes all summer long...

Halle Bailey wears a 'mermaidcore' white dress with diamantes and matching headpiece/ in a pink tinted ocean/water template
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Joe Maher/WireImage)

While 'Barbiecore' is still having a moment over on TikTok, there's another emerging trend making the rounds that's altogether more magical and inspired by another beloved character. Say hello to 'Mermaidcore,' the aquatic-themed style aesthetic making a comeback for summer 2023...

Yes, iridescent shimmers and blue hues (along with silver fashion, of course) are making a big impact in the fashion and beauty verses, no doubt thanks to the imminent release of The Little Mermaid, the live-action remake starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.

The actress is bringing arguably the most iconic mermaid to life and while we've already sussed out Halle's fave perfume, we also just want to join her under the sea (metaphorically speaking) in every sense of her character's style. And we're clearly not the only ones, as searches for all things 'Mermaidcore' have skyrocketed in recent weeks. So, to that end, here's how to subtly—or not so subtly, you do you—bring all your mermaid dreams to life through your style and beauty regime...

What is 'Mermaidcore'?

Mermaidcore is really as the name suggests, it's everything style and beauty (and even home decor) inspired by the mythical and magical ocean dweller. So, think iridescent scales, intricate and pearly shells, vibrant colors that evoke thoughts of flourishing coral reefs and scores of silvery fish—much like how Regency fashion, or 'Regencycore' makes you think of corsets and empire waist dresses.

And with the new Little Mermaid movie hitting the big screen, we find our thoughts dominated by all things shell accessories and beachy styles—which also fits with that whole 'coastal-cowgirl' vibe going around.

If you need further visuals, just turn your attention to these TikTok videos, all bearing the 'Mermaidcore' hashtag, which has upwards of 176 million views to its name...


♬ original sound - Slay🧍‍♀️

♬ everyone under this sound is so gorgeous wtf - ‼️

It's all about seafoam shades of blue and green, along with pearls and flowing water-like dresses and uber-dewy makeup looks where the highlighter looks almost wet. 

It's whimsical and truly fulfills many of our childhood dreams and is actually a very versatile aesthetic. You can either go full mermaid or opt for subtle oceanic nods—and yes, we're about to guide you through the 'how' part...

How to subtly incorporate 'Mermaidcore' into your style

One of the easiest ways to rep a mermaid-inspired look is through your manicures. In fact, even opting for Hailey Bieber's glazed donut manicure would fulfill the assignment because as mentioned, pearls are a big hit in this aesthetic.

'Mermaidcore' nails

If you've already got tickets to watch The Little Mermaid, that's all the excuse you need to treat yourself to some mermaidcore nails.

From our online scrolling, we've spotted a few themes for achieving an Ariel-esque manicure, namely adding an iridescent shimmer or chrome effect to your chosen nail color. We'd also recommend opting for green, pink, purple, or blue base shades.


♬ original sound - XVX

If you wanted something a little louder, you could even get water or ripple-like textures added to your manicure, or opt for a scale-like look.

'Mermaidcore' makeup


♬ som original - leticia

In terms of mermaidcore makeup, the eyeshadow and highlighter are key. If you're going for a 'just popped onto shore to serenade a human' type vibe, you'll want to go for a glass-like look, with a pop of luminous highlighter.

As for your eyes, a frosted eyeshadow look is definitely one way to go, or a colorful sea-themed eyeliner look.

'Mermaidcore' outfit staples

Now, onto the mermaidcore clothes! If you're wanting to give off fairy-tale vibes for a night out or festival look, you can't go wrong with pink shimmers and diamantes, as well as blue and green pieces. We'd also say a sheer dress would work perfectly with this trend and midi satin skirts are perfect for achieving that wet look—and can live on in your capsule wardrobe for the rest of the year.


Urban Outfitters Limelight Beaded Halter Top

RRP: $49

This clear-beaded top is perfect for achieving that mermaid vibe, especially if you've got a party coming up

 This top is available in green and pink (both shades fit the theme) and in sizes S to L.


Urban Outfitters Lepore Beaded Dress

RRP: $99

This dress is also a must! Especially if you've got a festival coming up.

It's available in silver and blue but we'd go for the latter as it creates a water-drop-like look. 


ZARA Satin Effect Midi Skirt 

RRP: $69.90 

This satin effect skirt is giving mermaid tail in the best way!

It has a gathered detail and the front and is made from the most gorgeous seaweed green. Available in sizes XS to XL.


Topshop satin bias maxi skirt in light blue

RRP: $65

This skirt literally looks like rippling, silvery water. It's long and is ideal for pairing with either a white tank top (for a casual look) or with a silver blouse or crop top.


NORMA KAMALI Ruched stretch-jersey mini skirt

RRP: $85

This is a great option for a more subtle look. It features a gathered, ruched hip detail and comes in a pastel blue shade.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.