6 rad spring beauty looks for rebel grrrls

Photographed by Kevin Shea Adams

because badass is the new cute

Spring makeup has a bad reputation—at least among anyone who doesn’t want to be described as cute and/or fresh. Sure, this equinox is all about rebirth and renewal, but why does that mean our faces have to be covered in twee shades of peach and pink? 

So rather than just grumbling about it, we decided to revamp our spring-beauty game, inspired not by the weather but by the anarcha-feminist rage within us that doesn’t go away just because the sun is shining. Our latest beauty icons? The punk-rock feminists of riot grrrl, who have inspired us since the ‘90s with their girls-to-the-front sensibilities—and who look damn good while doing it. 

In the gallery ahead, you'll find spring hair and makeup with an updated ‘90s-meets-‘70s punk vibe, created by makeup artist James Vincent and hairstylist Michael Dueñas. It’s fierce, wearable, authentic, and on-trend, all without relying on tired, go-to looks of this season. 

After all, just because the flowers are pink and girly doesn’t mean you have to be. 

Hair by Michael Duenas using Schwarzkopf Professional for Cloutier Remix; Makeup by James Vincent; Photographed by Kevin Shea Adams; styled by Marissa Smith. 

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

Let's get one thing straight: Your go-to heavy liner look will never go out of season. But, if you're looking for a way to make it feel a little more new, try this trick: After lining your top and bottom waterlines with black, trace your entire eye with a metallic pencil. It'll brighten up your eyes and give the look a little more dimension. Add a ton of mascara to the top and bottom lashes for depth. Then, throw on a neutral lip for a '90s vibe, leaving your skin as bare as possible.

Lastly, don't worry about brushing your hair. It looks great as is. 

Charlotte Tilbury, Color Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet, $27, available at Charlotte; L'Oréal Paris, Voluminousmascara in Carbon Black, $7.25, available at L'Oré Shirt by Levi's Made & Crafted.

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

Red lips and a cat-eye might show up on every red carpet ever, but that doesn't mean this glam look can't be punk, too. To find the perfect red for your skin tone, our makeup artist recommends combining a blue-red with an orange-red until you reach the most flattering balance of hues.

NARS, Satin Lip Pencil in Majella, $26, available at NARS.comMAC Lipstick in Lady Danger, $16, available at Shirt by ALC, hair clip by Vinca.

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

"Purple lipstick is a really unexpected pop of color for spring," James says, and suggests using a red-based violet, which is easier to wear than cooler tones. Combine the lip with a cat-eye flick that covers just the outer half of your eyelid for a more modern feel.

Armour Beauty, Hi-Way Star, $21, available at Preetma's own clothing.

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

Whoever said dark lipstick is for winter clearly had no idea what they were talking about. This vampy berry gloss looks perfect with sunglasses and some attitude. Also, some people will tell you that you can't wear dark eye makeup with dark lipstick, but we beg to differ. Create a punk-rock smoky eye by applying eyeliner to your top and bottom lid and then smudging it out with your fingers.

Ardency Inn, Modster Long Play Lip Vinyl In Dubstep Remix, $23, available at Shirt by The Mighty Company, stylist's own sunglasses.

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

To get your hair to have that perfectly messy, uneven, rocker-grunge texture, create braids of various sizes all throughout your head. You can sleep on it, or blow dry the braids to set them. The result will be halfway between styled and IDGAF. For the makeup, James went for a monochromatic '90s finish, using a pale bronze highlighter on the lids and cheeks. To really go with the color theme, he also used a pale nude lipstick—might as well just go for it, right? 

NARS, The Multiple In South Beach, $39, available at Sephora.comArdency InnAmericana Natural Lip Pencil In Bowery, $23, available at Denim shirt by Topshop, stripe shirt by J. Crew, glasses by Prada, necklace by Vinca.

Photo by Kevin Shea Adams

It's easy to create a modern version of the classic cat-eye (if you feel like yours needs modernizing): Line just the wing of the cat-eye, and it changes everything. Angle the flick towards your brow, and use a bright teal. So that the rest of your makeup doesn't compete with that statement liner, use a nude lipstick. Pro tip: James says, "For a barely there beige lip, match the lipstick to the undertones of your skin."

Liguria Lipstick, $23, available at Lord & Taylor; Ardency Inn, Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner, $19, available at Preetma's own clothing.