Revenge Makeup: The TikTok Beauty Trend That Stunts On Your Ex

If we look to TikTok as the barometer of changing tastes in beauty trends, it's not hard to tell from your FYP that the next big thing in makeup is "revenge makeup." The hashtag #RevengeMakeup on TikTok has racked up nearly 40 million views and counting. Many TikTok users are taking to the platform to flaunt their take on this buzzy makeup style.

The art of makeup is a vast concept and increasingly open to interpretation, which is why beauty gurus never stop churning out new makeup looks for everyone and for every setting. There's a favorite makeup look for a first date, second date, anniversary, and definitely a wedding. But you don't see a lot of makeup looks that one can gather inspiration for a breakup, rebound hook-up, or divorce court.

That's probably because makeup is seen as a form of decoration for something worth celebrating — and there's no point in wearing makeup when you're in mourning for your romance. Well, the TikTok beauty gods are here to prove otherwise. Below, check out revenge makeup — the post-breakup beauty trend everyone's talking about.

What is revenge makeup really about?

The pivotal theme of revenge makeup is to commit jaw-dropping revenge on one's unscrupulous lover using a woman's arguably strongest feminist weapon: makeup. Although the revenge theme might call to mind the bloody, shredded images of mistreated girls seeking stomach-churning revenge in movies like "Kill Bill" or "Ready or Not," revenge makeup doesn't necessarily have to ooze a gruesome, dead-or-alive vibe. The point of revenge makeup is to make your former flame rue the day they broke your heart.

"It's about embodying feeling and looking your best, which can evoke emotion post-breakup," Sara Nicole Smith, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics global pro artist, tells Byrdie. "It's about makeup that makes you feel strong, confident, and sexy in a bold way. It's about makeup that draws you into the center of the face and eyes." That means you don't have to go through a nasty breakup to try out this look. It's all about turning up the heat and blossoming into the hottest, spiciest version of you.

Revenge makeup is inspired by revenge fashion

Revenge makeup — the mere mention of its name brings back memories of the '90s. Before revenge makeup became the "in" thing on social media, revenge fashion had already made its mark on the fashion world. And the person who popularized revenge dressing was none other than the very stylish Princess Diana. 

At a Serpentine Gallery gala in June 1994, The People's Princess went against royal decorum when she turned up in an off-the-shoulder black dress by Christina Stambolian, revealing her prominent collarbones, toned legs, and windblown pixie. This little black dress, which was too daring by the British royal family standards, instantly made tongues wag. Although any fashion moment of the late Princess of Wales at that time would make the headlines considering she rarely put her sartorial foot wrong, there was a special meaning behind her fashion statement.

"We call it the "revenge dress" [because] she wore it the same evening Prince Charles confessed to his adultery with Camilla," says fashion auctioneer Kerry Taylor (via Reader's Digest). What made Princess Di's LBD go down in fashion history that night as a prototype of revenge dressing is that it was an illustration of her bravery. Instead of hiding at home as her husband made a televised confession to the world that he was cheating on her, Diana rose to the occasion and proved that her sick burn dress was a royal lesson in revenge dressing.

How to nail revenge makeup

Each person's definition of what it means to be vengefully beautiful may differ, but the common denominator for most of the revenge makeup formulas shared on TikTok: spice. Day-to-day soft glam is not the right ingredient for revenge makeup. There are many ways to spice your makeup up in order to look fiercely and unapologetically attractive.

Lip-wise, what we learn from the tutorials of TikTok users @looksbyaolany and @arwencelis is that well-defined lips and a bold smear of dark or bright red lipstick are the keys to nailing the dauntless revenge makeup look. Bold lips add attention and drama to your face and make you radiate raw confidence. Before lining your pout with lipstick, apply lip liner. Not only does it give your lips a more defined and fuller look, but it also prevents your lipstick from bleeding.

As far as eyeliner looks go, the savage graphic arrow liner and the Cleopatraesque fishtail liner can give your eyes a look that makes heads turn. To add some dimension to your face, use a bronzer. Applying bronzer to your cheekbones, forehead, and nose lends your skin a sunkissed glow and makes your cheekbones look like they are sculpted to perfection. Finally, dust on a few swipes of blush, followed by some dots of highlighter to brighten up your face.

Revenge makeup and revenge fashion are one true pairing

"Every time a man cheats on you or treats you badly, you need a revenge dress," singer Rihanna tells Vogue France. With "revenge" as the common denominator, it shouldn't be a wonder that revenge makeup and revenge fashion are one true pairing (OTP).

It doesn't make any sense if you pair a full-on, go-big-or-go-home makeup look with an outfit that's too casual and practical, like an oversized shirt and shorts or sports attire. Instead, at least opt for an upscale ensemble that's proper for a night out at a bar or a cocktail party. For a minimalist dress that skims the body without making you look cheap, satin or silk slip dresses are your best bet. In fact, anything made of satin and silk — be it a scarf, blouse, or robe — can give you an instant luxe for your look, given their glossy, smooth appearance and texture.

Another easy way to OTP your revenge makeup is to take a page from Princess Diana's book and wear a little black dress. A functional and elegant staple in every female wardrobe, the perfect LBD can be worn to any special occasion, be it a date night or a business dinner. With a timeless LBD, you can never look overdressed or undressed.