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Over the last year, Gen Z have been resuscitating Y2K trends like they’re getting paid to do it. Dickies pants, thin eyebrows, and even Juicy Couture sweat sets have been all over our social media feeds thanks to the generation rediscovering trends millennials thought they left back in the 2000s. Gen Z’s latest obsession? “Marinated” makeup, also known as “Tumblr” makeup.
The trend typically features glowing, almost greasy skin (that looks like it’s been marinating, hence the name) paired with heavy dark eye makeup and lipstick. “Basically, the clean girl has traded in her lip oil and mascara for smudgy eyeliner and lipstick,” beauty influencer Victoria Lyn proclaimed in one viral TikTok video explaining the newly popular aesthetic.
We’ve seen a serious shift from the minimalist, fresh makeup looks that have defined the “clean-girl” aesthetic over the last year, and instead, over the last few months, people are sporting edgier, grungy makeup looks for the fall season. It’s that Tumblr vibe of the early aughts; think Jenny from “Gossip Girl” in her “bad girl” era, Mary-Kate and Ashley circa 2007, and Avril Lavigne in her “Sk8er Boi” days. Nicole Richie in “The Simple Life” as well as Christina Aguilera in her “Dirrty” music video also give off heavy marinated-makeup vibes. More recently, Shay Mitchell and Kylie Jenner both wore Tumblr-inspired glam at Paris Fashion Week.
So why are people steering away from the clean-girl aesthetic and heading toward heavier, disheveled makeup? One reason could be that trends always swing in the opposite direction of what we’d been seeing prior, which would be true in this case. Another could be that makeup generally just looks better after a bit of wear. “Your makeup look is at its optimum two to three hours after applying,” Nick Lujan, director of artistry and education for Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, tells POPSUGAR. “It’s all about the ‘lived-in’ look. After a bit of time the makeup settles and your natural oils kick in, giving you a beautiful, naturally healthy glow.”
How to Do the Tumblr Makeup Trend
If you’re ready to try out marinated makeup on your own at home, we can help. As with all great looks, the process starts with skin prep. Lujan suggests mixing a drop of face oil or Kevyn Aucoin’s Glass Glow Face and Body Gloss ($32) into a skin-care product like moisturizer, which will give you a dewy, radiant look from the get.
When it comes to base makeup, Lujan suggests only using liquid or cream products and avoiding matte products altogether. “No ‘baking’ allowed,” Lujan says. “Instead of setting the full face of makeup, only set the hot spots.” (Translation: your T-zone.) If you do find it necessary to use a matte foundation, Lujan suggests finishing off with a setting spray, like the Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix ($33), or rose water.
Since heavy eye makeup is such an important component, you’ll want to make sure you at least have dark eyeliner and eyeshadow on hand before starting. Lujan suggests applying liner to the waterline and roots of your lashes. Then, with a pencil brush, “smudge with abandon,” surrounding the entire eye. “Think of how your eyeliner and mascara look after a night out,” Lujan says. “I don’t recommend sleeping in your makeup, but that’s the look we’re aiming for.”
Regardless of what technique or products you use, the biggest component necessary to achieve the look is patience. Sasha Ghodstinat, global makeup artist and brand trainer for Code8, says that after applying your makeup, you have to give it time to settle. “Relax with a glass of wine or some fresh mint tea, and continue with your day until you have the desired marinated look.”
Examples of Tumblr Makeup
Shay Mitchell wore the marinated makeup trend at Paris Fashion Week, pairing her sleek ponytail with a smoky eye and ultra-dark lip.
Also at Paris Fashion Week, Kylie Jenner put her spin on the grunge aesthetic with a messy, wet-like hairstyle and melted makeup.