Put away the cut crease, Gen Z has resuscitated yet another early aughts trend. Just like low rise jeans, slip dresses and Steve Madden slides, the edgy, blurred slept-in liner look has made its way back in style. “Grunge makeup looks are strewn all over TikTok with inspiration being led by #marinatedmakeup and on all of New York Fashion Week’s catwalks this season,” says Charlotte Knight, founder of Lottie London and Ciate London. “Inspired by 90’s grunge, early 2000’s ‘Indie Sleaze’ and a pinch of Tumblr edginess, people are leaning towards a messier, more marinated makeup look.”
“The whole 2000s trend in general is definitely back,” says celebrity makeup artist Hailey Hoff. “Think Paris Hilton’s smudgy dark eyeliner running down her face. Glossy skin with a dark waterline eye makeup look is really in. It makes you look a bit flushed, almost like you’ve been partying all night.” Here, the tricks and products top makeup artists use to give a modern spin on the smudged-out trend.
“If you’re looking to create an on-purpose smolder that lasts all day, try Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eye Shadow Pencil ($29),” adds celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay. “I love the colors Dark Pearl, Golden Quartz and Black Diamonds for an extra grungy look. Use these pencils to free hand a liner near the lashline, under the waterline and even in the waterline for a cohesive smolder. Blend quickly using your fingers or a brush as these liners set and last for 10 hours!”
Waterproof is Hoff’s recommendation: “I prefer to use a waterproof eyeliner on the waterline so that it stays. I’ve been really liking Make Beauty Continuum Waterproof Gel Eyeliner ($23).”
Celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Mariela Bagnato notes that you can achieve the “just got off the tour bus” aesthetic with cream liners and highly pigmented eyeshadows. “Just use a little water and a small smudge brush to wet your powdered product and work it along the lash line,” she says. To addd warmth, use a brighter smokey shade like Purple Vibes matte shimmer in the Mary Kay Limited Edition Warm Hues Eyeshadow Palette ($39). Bagnato says smudge and blend the shadow then follow up with a creamy liner to define the lash line.
Technique wise, Hoff says you don’t have to be as precise as with other eyeliner looks. “A lot of time, I end up throwing different liner colors within the waterline to create my own color. The key is not trying to be perfect about it. I did this look all fashion week on a lot of my clients using a smudgier liner like Makeup By Mario Master Pigment Pro Pencil ($22).”
“While I cringe at the idea of sleeping in eyeliner to create this look, products have evolved to give the same affect without risking a makeup meltdown,” Gabbay says. Chantecaille Luster Glide Eye Liner ($30) gives a highly pigmented instant blur along the lash line without smearing.
“Last but not least, a freckle,” adds Knight whose Lottie London Freckle Tint ($8) is a TikTok favorite. “The addition of faux freckles across your nose are what develops this trend into 2022 and evolves the previous grunge moments.”