Though the current popularity of grunge makeup can partly be attributed to the more general ’90s renaissance, there’s another reason this beauty trend is gaining so much momentum: its customizability.
While the overall fad is obviously inspired by the traditional moody style, the modern variations we’re seeing have evolved to include a more diverse scope of techniques, palettes, and features.
From soft grunge to glam grunge, we love how the movement can be tweaked to fit your specific style and facial features.
But no matter what iteration of grunge makeup you choose, there are three basics that are essential to nailing it: a matte face, smoky eyes, and dark lips. Once you’ve perfected these crucial elements, you can adjust them by adding additional colours or products to make it your own.
To help you get started on your vampy makeover, we’ve put together the essential tips and products to master these three basic steps.
One of the most important pieces to going grunge is the base tone. A pale, matte face is essential, since the ’90s preceded the self-tanner rage. Porcelain skin goes against another current trend â€” contouring â€” requiring you to put down the bronzer and blush. Opt for a mattifying primer and add a BB cream, foundation, or powder to create a flat canvas for the rest of your vampy look.
If there’s one technique that defines makeup as grunge, it’s the smoky eye. To achieve this smoldering look, you’ll need a dark eyeliner (either liquid or pencil, depending on how dramatic and thick you’re hoping to go), a smudge brush, a palette of shadows (including gray and black tones), and a dramatic mascara. The best part about using the products we’ve selected is that many of them can create various different smoky eye looks â€” for example, the liquid eyeliner can be used for winged or straight liner, and the Naked Smoky Palette can offer an endless combination of shadow pairings.
There’s no better way to finish off a grunge look than with a dark lip. Deep reds, purples, burgundies, and even browns help create a signature contrast against the pale base tone you’ve already created. To match the matte foundation, we suggest choosing a shine-free lipstick â€” adding to the overall flat effect of the finished look. While you can get creative with the color highlights you choose, we suggest choosing a shade that will complement the tones you used in your smoky eye.