We may earn a commission on purchases made through links.
From Nirvana to Pearl Jam, grunge music really took off in the nineties. On top of edgy lyrics, teenage sentiment, and lots of electric guitars, the genre also featured a distinctive fashion aesthetic: namely, flannels, ripped jeans, and heavy eye makeup. With the popularity of Tumblr-era “indie sleaze” and the trend’s modern resurgence on TikTok, West Coast rock’s influence never really waned.
Today, the “rockstar girlfriend” subculture (#rockstargirlfriend has over 100 million views on TikTok, for example) adopts several key principles of grunge. As Professional Makeup Artist Nick Lujan Explained glamour“Rockstar girlfriend glam is all about projecting a strong, ‘no BS’ fierceness through your makeup – think of it like putting on your war paint to go out into the world.”
Furthermore, “the look makes a statement of fearlessness and breaks out of mundane and cliched ideals of beauty.” With celebrities like Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian jumping onboard and “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega also popularizing edgy glam, one thing is clear: We’re in the midst of an underliner renaissance. Before you take to a black pencil on your waterline, here’s what you need to know about the trend.
bottom-heavy black liner
Black is the most universally loved eyeliner color and for good reason. It pops against any eye color, and from Brigitte Bardot to Taylor Swift, classic black wings have held their own on red carpets for decades. That being said, it’s time to flip this classic look for 2023 — literally. Use a pencil or gel liner along your lower lashline for an effortless editorial look. On top of that, apply heavy mascara to your lower lashes, leaving your upper lashes open. If you go with this bold look, opt for minimal makeup on the rest of your face so as not to distract from your eyes.
two ton liner
using a warm-toned eyeshadow palette or color sticks nyxLine your upper and lower lashline with two different shades. If you are going for a sunset look, then pink and yellow will work for you. As told by makeup artist Natasha Raquel byrdie, “Tones of pink and pink are fabulous with green and brown eyes.” Because yellow and blue are opposites on the color wheel, a yellow liner can really make light eyes pop. By this logic, cooler-toned greens or blues work best with dark brown eyes.
blue is trending more than ever
Washed-out denim eye makeup is having a moment—just look at Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album cover. However, this time instead of focusing on your top lid, add a hint of blue on your lower waterline to really get that wide-eyed look. If you are using pencil for accuracy, Tiktoker Vanessa Zino has some advice: “If you’re not drawing your eyes, please don’t make your pencil too sharp.” Even the slightest vibration can give painful results.
glitter goes a long way
From Kesha to the cast of “Skins,” random eye lashes were a big part of the 2000s and early 2010s. These days, the indie sleaze aesthetic is back and messier than ever. “Indie-sleek makeup is a nice break from perfectly curated makeup looks,” makeup artist Jonette Williamson tells SELF in a conversation with . popsugar, To achieve the look, line with shimmery shadow or use a urban decay glitter pencil, There’s no need to worry about accuracy as you mix. If glitter drips down your cheeks all night long, so much the better.
colorful reverse cat eye
Not to worry, Taylor Swift fans. It’s possible to create a cat eye “sharp enough to kill a man” on your lower lashline, too. In fact, they can pack even more of a punch, especially if you choose an aquamarine blue-green pencil. As told by celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey popsugar, It helps to “create an inverted cat-eye look by drawing the eyeliner along the waterline and then at the outer corner of the eye.” Meanwhile, on your upper lid, all you need is a touch of mascara.
Opt for subtle smoke
Makeup artist Erika Taylor goes through the dos and don’ts of underliner in the video above, showing followers how to achieve a subtle smoky look with a brown gel pencil. For starters, instead of pulling on your skin for a rounded look, “what you can do is go lightly across the lashline and then smudge.” If you have wide eyes, she recommends sweeping the bottom line into a wing instead of focusing on your upper lid.
decorations are everything
Hoping to turn heads with your next beauty look? maximalist content creator Sarah Camposorcone She is known not only for her over-the-top fashion but also for her colorful makeup. To replicate Camposarcón’s dramatic underliner aesthetic, use a black pencil to create spider-like lashes, accentuating the ends with adhesive beads like these Amazon, Along with the popularity of HBO’s “Euphoria” came an emphasis on bold, often 3-D makeup. It’s 2023, so don’t be afraid to go all out with things like eyeliner stickers and face gems.
white underliner is the way to go
White underliner is a must if you’re going for the wide-eyed doe-eye trend all over TikTok. Apply a stroke of white along your waterline and — for a little extra glam — add a spot of highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes. As Warned by Makeup Artist Christabel Dreyfin glamour, “Seeing nothing gives as much definition as black near the eyes, so give the face dimension with defined lids.” Opt for a dark, lengthening mascara and keep the rest of your makeup simple.
barely there color
If you’re looking to add a quick pop of color to your otherwise minimal makeup routine, lightly line your lower lashes and forgo mascara altogether. For starters, order all three of the Perfectly Pastel Pencils shiny, Orange liner looks great when paired with orange-colored hair or with darker skin tones, but other bright hues like their soft lavender or light gray-blue add an equal amount of intrigue. With this look, it’s best to hold back on the heavy foundation, contour and highlighter so as not to draw attention away from the pops of colour.
Once you’ve tried everything from blue to white to orange, you just can’t go wrong with classic grunge liner. Famed makeup artist Dick Page warned, “Just keep it cheap and cheesy.” makeup.com, adding, “I think of it as festival or gig makeup, you can do it on the bus or in your tent.” It’s fine to use your fingers instead of a brush for this look. Since a heavy hand is key, it’s best not to reach for your most expensive products. When in doubt, look to grunge icons like former “Gossip Girl” star Taylor Momsen for inspiration.