Bye Clean Girl… Dior Ushers In Elevated Grunge For 2024

Time to bring your eyeliners out of hibernation.

We’ve been hearing early rumblings that the clean girl is out, but it seems the high fashion houses have officially decreed that ‘no makeup, makeup’ is so yesterday.

Dior’s Haute Couture runway for Spring 2024 is a great example, with models walking the carpet rocking heavier, smoked out eye makeup.

The skin was still kept clean, but the blush was minimal, and the faces were definitely set with a light powder.

It’s a trend the experts in the business are well across.

“A full face of makeup is back, but the days of super glossy, glassy looks are beginning to wane,” explains Kate Blythe, MECCA’s Chief of Marketing. “Last year we saw TikTok’s cloud makeup trend to the resurgence of ‘90s/early 2000s fashion and makeup, but now we’re seeing a return to more matte and satin finishes in our makeup.

“Imagine the ultra-matte moments of the 2010s and the super dewy looks of the 2020s – it’s the best of both worlds.”

Peruse some of the looks here:

Image: Imaxtree
Image: Imaxtree
Image: Imaxtree

It’s a look that is trickling down to our beauty mavens online, with the likes of ‘mob-wife makeup’ and ‘90s messy’ makeup coming back in.

Think smokey eyes that have been blended out, black liner in the waterline and a move towards deeper shades.

While this look is all about the eyes, there’s also a more mattified approach to the skin, which is at odds with the overtly radiant complexions that have been the go-to for the last few years.

The question is: how  do you transition to this new aesthetic without giving Jenny from Gossip Girl circa 2011? Here are our tips.

Oh Jenny… Image: Gossip Girl

The Eyes

We all love a smokey eye, but it’s easy to overdo it to the point where it will dominate the face.

Ringing the eye in kohl is a dangerous game as it can tend to make the eyes look even smaller. If you’re working with a lot of lid space and a larger eye, then you’ve got a bit more wiggle room.

For everyone else, try to use your darker shades lightly at first, building up where you need them. Those with fairer hair may want to try using greys and browns, as they can appear a little less stark or shocking than pure black.

To mimic Dior’s look (for a non-runway setting), opt for a mid or dark brown or grey shadow drawn along the bottom of the lash line with an angled brush. You can pull the pigment up a bit at the edges to create a small, angled wing, but start small and remember that you can always add more.

Take another small, pointed blending brush and run it under the bottom lash line, smoking out the line a little bit (but don’t drag it down too much). If you’re looking for more definition, go back with a darker colour, keeping it even closer to the lashline.

Be careful around the inner corner, we want to keep that area clear and bright to avoid overwhelming the eye. Of course, a structured brow is essential with this look to create shape and definition.

Add a slight neutral sheen to the top of the eye, but keep it natural, it’s all about the smokey edge.

You’ll need:

Diorshow On Stage Crayon Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner, $50, Sephora

Image: Dior

Tartelette In Bloom Clay Palette, $74, Sephora


Sigma Beauty E45 Small Tapered Blending Brush, $37, Sephora

Sigma Beauty E06 Winged Liner™ Brush, $35, Sephora

The Skin

Keep the skin clean and light. Opt for a neutral satin finish foundation such as the L’Oreal True Match foundation or the Beauty Blender Bounce skin tint.

Once you’ve applied a thin layer, conceal where you need (but don’t overdo it), and then move onto your powder. We’d recommend a powder that doesn’t fully rid the skin of its luminescence.

We’re not looking for that dry powdery look, but we also want it to feel sleek and set. A spray to finish off is key.

Some great powder and setting spray options include:

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $69, MECCA


innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder 5g, $13, Adore Beauty


Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, $54, Charlotte Tilbury


The Blush

While we still go nuts for a sheeny cream blush, now is the chance to pull out the powdered blushes in more neutral and terracotta shades.

Add a light touch to the cheekbones but don’t bring it too far down onto the apples of the cheeks. This is more about defining your bone structure than giving you a rosy glow.

The Lips

No, we’re not quite in MAC ‘Myth’ territory (the girls who get it, get it), but a nude lip is the perfect addition to this eye-heavy look.

The CHOKEHOLD this lipstick had on us in the 2010’s is shocking…. Image: MAC Cosmetics

As they say, you need to choose something to ‘hero’, so a pared back lip is the ideal choice to complement the more rock n’ roll elements of the smokey eye.

We’d recommend going for something with a neutral brown tone or slight pink flush. Some examples for different skin tones include:

CHANEL No.1 De Chanel Lip And Cheek Balm in Vital Beige, $75, CHANEL


Revlon Super Lustrous™ Glass Shine – Nude Illuminator, $27.95, MYER


Related stories