You’re going to need some patience in order to rock this grungy glam.
A new beauty trend called “marinated makeup” is the latest obsession on TikTok — and the marvelously messy look marks a strong shift away from the fresh-faced, polished “clean girl aesthetic” that heated up summer.
Seemingly an homage to ’90s grunge, women have scrapped the notion of precise, freshly-painted foundation, instead opting to let cosmetics marinate on their skin to achieve an undone, lived-in look — think how your face looks coming home from a night out at 4 a.m.
Trendsetters of the internet have flocked to the fad, too: #MarinatedMakeup has 50.2 million views on TikTok with many dishing their secrets to the slept-in style and marveling over how foundation looks better after letting it sink in.
“What is the science behind makeup looking so much better at the end of the day once it’s marinated for a few hrs,” one user wrote on a clip with over 9,000 views. “And when the eye makeup is slightly smudgy but still looks just right.”
One commenter suggested “marinating” is all the rage because it “melts into your skin, becomes part of you, blends with your essence.”
Some have even dubbed it the next trend once the “clean girl” fad loved by the likes of Hailey Bieber is forgotten.
Coco Mocoe, who posts TikToks predicting trends well before they boom, claims the look is not inspired by ’90s grunge pioneered by Marc Jacobs and Nirvana, but rather by the turn-of-the-millennium milieu during Taylor Momsen’s and Avril Lavigne’s heyday.
In a video with 2.4 million views, she said “pop culture swings like a pendulum,” which leads her to believe the grunge look will soon be in vogue.
“The trick is it’s not going to be like the YouTube beauty MUAs, where they had their full face of foundation,” she stated. “It’s going to be little to no makeup on the face and just emphasis on the eyes.”
While the “marinated” trend focuses on that barely-there foundation look, Mocoe said the look is supposed to mimic the morning after “going out.”
She’s not the only trend forecaster who agrees, either.
Maybelline’s global trend director Dominica Baird told Nylon magazine the new look is “merging the two worlds of Y2K nostalgia and the new resurgence of nightlife.”
Indie singer Beabadoobee is leading Gen Z’s fascination with grunge, too, and has been an early adopter of the “marinated makeup” look, showing Vogue how she achieves her sought-after makeup hack — faux freckles and all.
TikTok approves, too. “Real ones know you have to let your makeup marinate,” one person wrote on clip with 136,000 likes while she showed off her dewy skin.
“U gotta let your makeup marinate for it to lewk good and flawless,” added another on a video with over 220,000 views.
Others shared their own hacks for “marinated makeup,” all of which cost nothing but time.
“A little body heat is the secret ingredient,” one viewer wrote. “Especially when you napped with it for a few mins/hours and it’s like ~skin~ after,” commented another.
Another user, who only goes by Arabella online, showed her routine complete with blush and a smoky eye with jet black winged eyeliner. After putting on barely any foundation or concealer, she then cut to a frame of her plopping into bed — all to the tune of a remix of t.A.T.u.’s 2002 hit, “All the Things She Said.”
“Going to lay down and let the makeup marinate,” the text on the clip reads.
But if you don’t have time to take a power nap or wait around for hours until the foundation blends with your skin, other content creators have shown how they achieve the look in minutes.
TikToker Shayne Marie demonstrated how “lazy” beauty buffs can get the lived-in makeup look in a clip with over 42,000 views.
“Letting it sit is one kind of a hack if you’re lazy and trying to do a million things at once,” she said. “But it allows your body to kind of warm up the concealer so it blends better.”
After letting it soak for a few minutes on her skin, she uses her finger to blend out the concealer placed at the corners of her nose, her cheeks and under her eyes, letting it mix with her “natural oils.”
But don’t be fooled by napping; no one’s getting a full night’s sleep in their makeup. In fact, that would be a dermatologist’s worst nightmare.
NYC dermatologist Dr. Sue Ann Wee told Byrdie that “makeup can trap dirt and environmental pollutants inside the skin,” which can ultimately cause “DNA mutations, collagen degradation, and, over time, can result in premature aging.”
In addition to acne, it can also cause dull, dry skin, which is the opposite look “marinated makeup” seeks to achieve.
Simply put, according to Dr. Wee, “sleeping with makeup on is not a good idea.”
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