Get the ’90s Rock Chick Look

The penciled eye beloved by Kate Moss makes a comeback




Grunge makeup is back, but the revival is minimalist, feels messy, and — dare we say — looks healthier. Inspired by the smudgy, kohl-lined eyes of ‘90s models — think Kate Moss after a late night at The Viper Room or Linda Evangelista’s smoldering glare in a Pirelli calendar — it’s an easy alternative to the clean girl aesthetic that has reigned supreme. “It’s all about the eyes,” shares celebrity makeup artist and founder of Bakeup Beauty Jo Baker. With clients like Olivia Wilde, Natasha Lyonne, and Gal Gadot, Baker is a bona fide trendsetter. “Our Triple Threat eye primer helps this messy eye makeup look stay in place,” she says. “I use it on every client — it’s universally flattering — to get a bright, durable base.”


Grunge makeup is inspired by the smudgy, kohl-lined eye of ’90s models


Baker suggests going for an old-school kohl liner that will smudge, like Chanel Le Crayon Kohl, and downplaying mascara. “The ‘90s was not a big play time for lashes,” she explains. “It was about liner and matte bases and nude lip — very opaque.” As for matte skin, we can do better now than the dry, tight, cakey look of the time. “I love a matte foundation used sparingly on top of juicy skincare,” Baker says. “I’m obsessed with Retrouvé’s serum. It nourishes the skin so when you put a matte foundation on top, it looks plump and hydrated underneath the matte finish.” She also loves the versatility of The Hyper Shine Serum from KJH.Brand. “You can use it on eyes, cheeks, and lips. I love using it on the top of the lids, which turns this ‘90s look into a 2024 kind of vibe. It’s minimalist rockstar cool girl,” she adds. “It’s about creating this smudgy rock ‘n’ roll almost slapdash liner look, which has no symmetry and no peaked, pulled-out cat wings. It’s just about hollow peepers with a little city grunge.”



FROM TOP: CHANEL Le Crayon Khôl Intense Eye Pencil, $32. DANESSA MYRICKS BEAUTY Groundwork Palette, $65. BAKEUP BEAUTY Triple Threat Smoothing Hydrating Amplifying Eye Primer, $25. RETROUVÉ Nutrient Face Serum, $325. SKKN BY KJH.BRAND The Hyper Shine High Lite Kit, $75. KIM Soft Matte Lip Color, $32.


Feature image: PHOTO: Randy Brooke/Getty Images.


This story originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of C Magazine.

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