Not many makeup trends stand the test of time, but as the years go by, grunge has continued to connect with younger generations, most likely for its timeless ease and anti-conformist history. Maybe it’s the Wednesday Addams effect, maybe it’s the overarching sense of rebellion propelled by oppressive legislation or maybe it’s more proof that a beauty trend only becomes truly iconic once it’s been around the block. Whatever it is, one thing is certain – grunge makeup is back with a bang!


Peaking in the 90s, grunge make-up is defined by smudged eyeliner, matte skin, heavy mascara, and dark lips – with modern formulas, these trends are more easy to recreate than ever. It is the complete opposite of the clean girl aesthetic (thank goodness). This maximalist beauty trend focuses on full makeup looks that pack a big statement. Furthermore, grunge makeup is in the same vein as other beauty trends like Rockstar Girlfriend, Dark Feminine Makeup, and goth makeup, as they all fall under the umbrella of darker, edgier styles.


Want to ride the grunge makeup wave? We’ve got you! Ahead, 5 of our favourite iterations of the grunge makeup trend, along with products that can help you achieve the looks. You’re welcome!

Pitch Black

Doja Cat


Grunge makeup simply wouldn’t exist without the colour black. Award-winning musician Doja Cat envisioned the trendy aesthetic through fresh, glowy skin and a subtle sheen on the lips that let the smouldering smokey eyes take centre stage.

Pro tip: To avoid fallout when you recreate the look, make sure to apply your eye makeup first, then follow with your base routine.

Revlon Colourstay Eyeshadow Palette
269,95 ZAR

Spidery Lashes




Intense layers of volumising mascara are essential for a jet-black liner look. You can try this look with a buildable formula such as The Colossal Volume Express Mascara from Maybelline.

Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express 100% Black Mascara
109,95 ZAR



Glam Grunge

Megan Thee Stallion


It’s indisputable that grunge is rooted in dark makeup. However, there’s always room for a glam moment in every makeup trend.

MAC Eye Palette 
750,00 ZAR


Elongated Eyeliner

Doja Cat


A reverse cat-eye and sharp inner corner give your eyes a sultry, elongated effect. For a ravishing finish, pair it with a burgundy gloss, like the Urban Decay Vice Lip Bond Glossy Liquid Lipstick in Raw Footage.

Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner
R 129,95



Cyber Grunge

Celine Bernaerts


Shimmery smokey eyes, dark lips, and bleached brows put a futuristic spin on makeup artist Celine Bernaerts’ grunge look. For an ombré lip, line your lips with a black or dark red lip pencil.

Rimmel Finish Extreme Lipstick
149,95 ZAR

Here’s a gallery compromising more inspo.


Doja Cat




Willow Smith


Doja Cat


Doja Cat


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