‘Marinated makeup’ is the beauty trend that wants you to get messy
Cue a collective sigh of relief – this growing fad rejects perfectionism in favour of a grungy ‘lived in’ look
Tuesday 23 August 2022 By Tilly Pearman Photography by Dave Benett
Just as your fluffed-up eyebrows and dewy skin reached ‘clean girl’ beauty perfection, the internet is championing a messier, but thankfully, lower maintenance shift to match our wild, ‘feral girl’ summer. Say hello to ‘marinated makeup’ – the new anti-beauty look favouring a carefree, ‘lived in’ style of glam that, much to our relief, speaks to a more realistic way of life.
The trend is all about embracing the imperfections of makeup, instead of striving for a polished aesthetic. It abandons the culture of touching up and champions the slightly worn-out look now known as the ‘marinated’ look. To achieve it, you simply apply your makeup as you would usually, then wait a few hours for the oil and sweat accumulated on your face over time to give you a natural glow.
Even outside its online birthplace – where indie-rock musician beabadoobee has been popularising the trend – our preference for a touch of 1990s grunge is manifesting fast. One look around east London’s Field Day festival last weekend and it was clear that the longstanding reign of flawless makeup had been swapped out for ‘comedown Sunday eyes’ (previously known as dark circles), faux freckles and the teasing bitten lip (a name for when your lip has a natural red tint as a result of biting) – all of which are signatures of the ‘marinated’ look.
Together, they create a sexy smuttiness that is not so much about precise application, but rather a natural ‘happening’ – think mucky mascara and slightly smudged eyeliner. It’s the trend that quite simply says ‘I’m too exhausted to be anything but myself’, and can you blame us?
After two years in lockdown, stripped of our biggest pleasures in life, summer 2022 has seen us riding a hedonistic wave of excess. Y2K nostalgia and a return to club culture has helped us rediscover our vices: cigarettes – not just vapes – became the accessory of choice, Vodka Martinis filled the glasses of New York’s bar scene, and Beyoncé (and Drake) gave us permission to dance to forget.
In other words, telling yourself you could keep up that killer 10-step skincare routine and still have fun was openly asking us to fail. Which is probably why we’re all flocking to a look that isn’t about maintaining impossible perfection, but rather an experiment in seeing how much you can get away with when it comes to skipping steps in your makeup and skincare routine. And no, that doesn’t mean giving yourself a face full of dirty, clogged up pores.
The key here is not to mistake ‘lived in’ for the literal version of ‘I slept in last night’s makeup’. Preferably, it’s a natural, well-primed base (dewy), enhanced with a heavy-handed application of smoky eyeliner, clumpy mascara and buffed out lips that imitate the end-of-night lipstick fade. In fact, you can’t really go wrong with this trend; it’s more of a private conversation between you and your face. So, if you’re ready to forego the perfect cat flick and wipe away that glassy lip, then here’s to your best 4am ‘stumble out the club’ flashbulb grunge moment.
Come to think of it, maybe ‘marinated makeup’ is not an anti-beauty trend at all, maybe it’s just life.