'Dark Feminine Energy' Has Come for Our Makeup


As we’ve seen from the return of big hair, It girlies are moving away from quiet-luxury-inspired beauty and are instead embracing maximalism, sensuality, and “dark feminine energy.”

Dark feminine energy (DFE) is, of course, more of a mindset. But according to users on Pinterest, whose 2024 festival trends data found that “dark feminine core” queries are rising ahead of spring and summer, the aesthetic consists of garments like elegant corset dresses and leather pants while corresponding glam features red wine nail colors and smoky brown eye shadow.

Translation? It’s essentially an elevated take on goth glam, grunge, and rock-star girlfriend vibes with a sexy, sensual, and elegant edge, and it’s all over TikTok and Pinterest.

“Dark feminine makeup focuses on creating a sultry, sexy, confident, and mysterious look,” Mat Wulff, professional makeup artist and Ulta Beauty Pro team member, tells Glamour, pointing to supermodel Gabbriette as a prime example. “It includes black and cool neutral tones, smoky eyes, contoured features, and bold lips to achieve this look.”

There’s also the original dark feminine energy pioneer, adds Flynn Pyykkonen, founder and CEO of Makeup by Flynn: 1990s-era Angelina Jolie. This certainly lends credence to the countless comparisons made between Gabbriette and her DFE predecessor.

dark feminine energy gabbriette
DARK FEMININE ENERGY angelina jolia

Angelina Jolie, 1998

Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

However, Elyse Reneau, executive director of global beauty at Too Faced, believes Julia Fox is largely to thank for the trend. “What I love about it is that it really embraces the ‘the girls who get it, get it’ mindset,” she says. “Makeup is about self-expression, and when I look at the dark feminine trend, it’s serving: ‘I don’t care about the male gaze.’ This makeup look is about feeling powerful and redefining societal perceptions of femininity.”

That’s a key component as to why it’s trending now, adds MAC Cosmetics senior makeup artist Michelle Clark. “We have seen a rise over the last year in coquette, strawberry, sugarplum fairy, and clean-girl makeup, which all include shades of pink, glowy skin and an element of girlie and über-feminine softness,” she explains. “It seems now that there is a need to showcase the duality of feminine—that there is a light and a darkness to everything.”

julia fox dark feminine energy

Julia Fox

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

dark feminine energy alexa demie

Alexa Demie

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

It also serves as a new and creative way to embrace creativity and discover one’s own individuality through makeup, says Pyykkonen. “Dark feminine beauty says, ‘I am powerful, I am who I am, and I am confident,’” she says. “It has become popular on beauty TikTok, and I think more people are willing to try the new look because it’s something different and stands out, and more people want to stand out.”

It also doesn’t hurt that so many celebrities have started embracing the style. Clark points to Gabbriette, Alexa Demie, Rihanna, Megan Fox, Zoë Kravitz, and Lana Del Rey as “dark feminine energy icons,” while Pyykkonen similarly cites Halsey and Beyoncé.





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