Taylor Momsen and Avril Lavigne© GettyImages

The ‘90s Grunge Look Is Back With The ‘Marinated Make-Up’ Trend

‘Marinated make-up’ is the Internet’s latest take on the grungy, post-covid resurgence of nightlife and ‘90s and Y2K nostalgia. This trend pays homage to pop culture and teen angst icons Avril Lavigne, Lindsay Lohan, Taylor Momsen and the likes, featuring a messy, ‘up-all-night,’ smudged-eyeliner-and-swollen-lips look.

If you’re into emo, heavy, and lived-in make-up looks, this one’s definitely up your alley. This make-up trend is a welcome change from its polar opposite ‘clean girl’ aesthetic, which entailed effortless silky soft and gleaming, sun-kissed skin, feathered brows and a sleek, off-duty-model bun, which is super high-maintenance and taxing TBH. The ‘marinated make-up’ look, on the other hand, is easy to achieve and will make you look like a rockstar on tour, which is a plus!

This ‘90s grunge aesthetic is for all those who aren’t afraid to unapologetically sweat their hearts out in the club or go on a week-long bender, and are cool with their messed up flyaway hairs, smudged make-up and undone looks, as long as they’re genuinely having fun.

This make-up composition is totally an extension of the ‘sleepy eyes’ aesthetic which glorifies dark under eye circles, messy eyeshadow and a more realistic, exhaustion-induced appearance.

The marinated make-up trend is being popularised on social media by emerging Filipino-British indie rock musician beabadoobee, whose signature catalogue of these looks with diffused and smudged-out charcoal liner, copious amounts of faux freckles and subtle, swollen lips, have garnered millions of views. Her trademark aesthetic, which is an amalgamation of the fairycore look with freckles, the villain-era look with the bold, smokey eyes and the heavily-blushed e-girl/East Asian douyin look, is perfectly suited to her newest album, Beatopia. The album combines teen angst and folksy melodies, which historically require dishevelled make-up visuals.

What this make-up trend is alluding to is that it’s okay to not be perfect and keep up appearances all the time. It’s okay if your eyeshadow isn’t blended perfectly or your winged eyeliner isn’t ready to cut glass anytime soon, and the face you see in the mirror when you get home at 3 AM after a party (or an emotional meltdown) is what makes you human.

So, if you’re going for the realistic Taylor Momsen/Avril Lavigne vibe, all you need is little to no foundation, a few dots of concealer and a heavy-handed application of dark eyeliner/eye makeup. It’s supposed to look like you’ve slept in your make-up—the messier, the better.

However, while emulating this make-up look, don’t actually *sleep* in it, that will just predispose your skin to breaking out and getting irritated. On behalf of all skincare junkies, we say that no make-up aesthetic is worth getting our pores clogged or our eyes red and itchy. Simply achieve the look through various blending techniques and large amounts of setting spray, that’ll do the trick in no time!

Here are 6 easy steps in which you can get the ‘marinated make-up’ look

1) Embracing the mess also means embracing your skin’s imperfections, so begin with a breathable base. First apply moisturiser, and follow up with a light layer of foundation or concealer only in required spots and areas. Then, dab your cheekbones and other high points of your face with a touch of glossy, shimmer-free highlighter for a glazed, sweaty look.

2) To get the coveted sun-kissed, blushing-from-within look, apply cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and across your nose. Then, draw on faux freckles with a pointy eyeliner or brown eyeshadow and diffuse them with a beauty blender for a realistic result.

3) Since this trend doesn’t require much precision or effort, drag your black gel eyeliner along the upper and lower lash lines and create a smokey effect by smudging it out with dark eyeshadow.

4) For that rough, slept-in and I-just-headlined-a-rock-concert look, use a cream or liquid eyeshadow on the lower lash line and finish off with lots of messy mascara. Allow the first coat of mascara to completely dry before applying two more layers of the rocker-chic staple. Remember, the clumpier, the better.

5) For the signature bitten-lip look, softly line the lips and buff out the edges. Put on a blush rose lip colour to the centre of your lips for an almost-faded lipstick look, and top it off with a subtle cherry shade to emulate a natural flush. Use a plumping lip gloss if you *really* want to commit to the make-up trend.

6) Lastly, let all this marinate and melt into your skin to get that sleepy, morning-after vibe. Heavily spritz a facial mist or a setting spray for a dewy/sweaty finish. To ultimately achieve this in an authentic way, embrace the mess and allow your make-up to marinate, whether it’s at a jam-packed nightclub or on the stage like rocker beabadoobee, the look only improves as the night goes on.