This '90s Eye Makeup Trend Is Primed To Be The Hottest Look For Winter

The season’s most in-demand makeup trends, ahead.

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Gita Bass
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When it comes to makeup, there are many traditional seasonal looks that, while classic, can sometimes feel like you’re falling into a rut. For instance, how many times have you turned to the old standbys of red lipstick and smokey eyes during the holidays? While there’s no reason to completely write off your trusty cold-weather products, consider allowing some unconventional winter 2021 makeup trends into your routine. Hint, hint: Pearl embellishments are involved.

According to New York City-based makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, this winter is all about fresh makeup ideas. “We seem to have [become] tired of the cookie-cutter, Instagram makeup trends — like contour, highlight, bake and repeat — to arrive at a style of makeup that celebrates the unique individual and her flare,” she tells TZR. “That could mean an embellished eye, a statement lip, [or] bright blush draping high on the cheek to frame the face, but always with clean skin peeking through so that the wearer’s natural beauty is enhanced rather than masked.”

And Gita Bass, a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Julianne Moore and Elizabeth Banks, is on the same page. “I’m seeing everything from ‘90s grunge makeup to crazy embellished futuristic looks,” she tells TZR. “It’s a celebration of individuality and an outlet for us to have a bit of fun and frivolity amidst the madness of life.”

If you’re on board with shaking up with winter makeup this upcoming season, keep scrolling to find seven trends the experts currently love.

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‘90s Grunge

The ‘90s grunge trend Bass is seeing involves both dark smudged makeup around the eyes and deep lip shades. The makeup artist describes the look as “strong features and a toughness that comes from throwing away perfection.” She believes that the beauty scene has been obsessed with a perfect cat-eye for some time now, so it’s time to create cool bold makeup that can be done in a jiffy.


“I’m seeing different colored metallics all over the face from smokey eyes and eyeliner to lip liner and gloss,” Bass tells TZR. “This sort of makeup is bold and fun, and looks gorgeous when photographed, which is the main priority right now.” Adding to that, Bass says it can be subdued and pretty, but also super eye-catching and strong.

Tasha Reiko Brown, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Gabrielle Union and Alicia Keys, is on board with glitzy eyes this winter and says “high beam gleam” is the look she’s spotting. “My favorite way to wear the look is with Chanel Holiday Collection No.5 Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quad,” she tells TZR. “[Apply] a wash of any of the classic shades of gold or patent shimmering black over [the] eyes using a loosely bristled fluff brush. Follow with two coats of mascara and your eyes have a striking impact.”

Luminous Skin

“This winter’s trends reflect what drives me creatively,” Yolonda Frederick, Ciara’s go-to makeup artist, tells TZR. “The most notable practice in my wheelhouse is creating beautifully reflective and luminous skin. Which by the way forces us to take care of our skin!” A few ways you can achieve radiant skin: First, choose a dewy foundation, like Huda Beauty’s GloWish Multidew Vegan Skin Tint Foundation. After, apply just a tiny bit of powder in your T-zone area and finish off by spritzing on Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist.

Red Matte Lip

No, you don’t have to give up your beloved red lip this winter. It turns out, Tobi Henney, a makeup artist who works with Ashley Graham and Megan Fox, is loving the holiday staple in a matte finish. “It’s the perfect way to make you look vibrant and can be teamed with a simple natural base to a more pronounced eye look,” she tells TZR. “From classic reds to deep wines, something can be found to suit every skin tone!”


“In an effort to be bolder and more whimsical or unexpected, people are using all sorts of embellishments like crystals, pearls, and stars,” Bass notes. The makeup artist sees this as another way to push makeup boundaries and add a little unexpected 3D dimension to the face. For a subtle take, add a rhinestone to the outer corner of each eye, or alternatively, go all out by copying the look above.

Strong, Healthy Brows

Bold, strong brows continue to reign supreme for winter 2021 (are you even surprised at this point?). “I am obsessed with the Babe Lash Volumizing Brow Filler for the way it adds structure and density to the brow without shellacking it,” Gerstein explains. “The ingredients in the formula condition the brow hairs so they actually feel softer when you remove the product.” Another treatment to achieve for healthier brows is RevitaLash’s new Lash & Brow Masque. Use twice a week and watch this product restore your over-plucked or damaged brows.

Pops Of Color

Bass is currently loving lots of bright pops of color in areas like the inner corners of the eyes, the lower lash line, or just a wash of shadow, especially when incorporated on an otherwise bare face. “This is a great way to add bold, eye-catching impact without having to pile on the makeup,” she says. “It’s perfect for people who want to dip their toes in the current wild makeup trend, but don’t want to feel overdone.”

Adding to that, Frederick says, “in conjunction with allowing naturally radiant skin to be your palette, I see winter makeup trends focusing on the eyes!” For this trend, the makeup artist is seeing a lot of saturated brighter colors and strong graphic patterns. “What’s more exciting is the use of eye jewelry and even decals to accentuate the eyes which will bring a festive feel to any look!”

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