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Kathleen Hanna on TikTok makeup tutorial
Kathleen Hanna on TikTok

Kathleen Hanna shows us the riot grrrl version of Barbiecore make-up

Watch the Bikini Kill legend as she debuts her first-ever beauty tutorial – a wild mix of clowncore, Barbie pink and drag make-up with a shout-out to Selena Gomez

The make-up tutorial we’ve been needing, even if we didn’t know we were waiting for it, is here. Kathleen Hannariot grrrl, legend, front woman of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre – joined TikTok recently and has fully embraced her new role as a social media influencer by posting a chatting GRWM. While sharing details about Le Tigre’s new tour, Hanna moisturises, primes and conceals her face before creating a graphic, bright pink eyeshadow look that’s half Barbiecore, half clowncore and 100 per cent incredible.

“I’m actually a 54 year old woman who knows nothing about make-up and I’m doing a tutorial cause I wanna talk about going on tour,” she says in the video. Then, jumping straight in, she starts with a moisturiser, Skin Food by Weleda, which she does not name but says “you can get it at Whole Foods”.

In fact, the only product she does name in the whole tutorial is a Rare Beauty product (“It’s like a primer, you put on everything so that your makeup sticks to it”) because it’s Selena Gomez’s brand. “I love Selena because – I don’t love her because she has Lupus, but because she’s out about her Lupus and she talks about it,” says Hanna, who was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease in 2005. “It makes me feel pretty great to know she’s publicly talking about something that so few people acknowledge even exist.”

When Bikini Kill formed in 1990, it spearheaded a feminist punk movement known as riot grrrl that completely disrupted the mainstream, male-dominated music industry. Riot grrrl music was full of raging lyrics against relentless sexual harassment, domestic violence, dilapidating wars and the lack of bodily autonomy sexist institutions enacted. As a frontwomen, Hanna was known for bringing girls to the front at Bikini Kill gigs.

@thekathleenhanna Second TikTok, and I'm doing a makeup tutorial? I love it here. Also, shoutout to @Selena Gomez ♬ original sound - Kathleen Hanna

In the tutorial, Hanna goes on to use eye primer, while explaining that she never used to wear much make-up on stage, apart from a bit of lipstick and black eyeliner. “Then I started liking the idea of having more of a mask and like clowny type make-up, something bold and wild,” she says. “Also I feel more like I can be who I really am when I have a mask on in a way. It’s not like I’m hiding behind a mask of make-up, it’s just I like to feel like I have some protection. It’s weird to be a woman, especially a woman aging in public, you’re being looked at.”

She then gets out a bright Barbie pink liquid eyeliner which she got at a drugstore and starts tracing a bold graphic shape, a tri-rectangle as she calls it, onto her upper eyelid. She fills that in with what looks to be a pink cream eyeshadow. “It’s not necessarily even but who said being even is the best way to be?” She also puts the pink underneath her eyes to distract from her eye bags, she explains, because she never gets any sleep on tour. Under eye concealer is next, which she brings all the way up to her temples because she saw somebody do that in a tutorial once.

As she darkens up her brows with a tinted gel, Hanna says she actually took a make-up lesson – “which is why I know anything” – from Kali Kennedy who does Barbie Ferreira’s make-up. Kennedy told Hanna to always curl your lashes, which she never did before. A matching Barbie pink lipstick is added, even though lipstick always comes off when she’s singing at the microphone, as well as mascara. As she’s applying the mascara, Hanna talks about how as a female or non-binary musician, a lot of people treat your music like it’s not real or they assume someone else programmes your beats for you. “We make all our own music, make all our own videos,” she says. 

Blush is next, which she places as a big dot on her cheeks because, as she says, she likes her blush “clowny”. Lastly, she grabs a white eyeliner which she uses in the inner corners of her eyes and brings up to the brow. It’s a tribute, she says, to all the drag queens who pioneered so much in make-up and elsewhere. “My uncle was a drag queen and he taught me to always put white right there. It seems very old school, like Liza Minelli, but I love it.” 

Watch the full tutorial above And then read our DA-Zed guide to riot grrrl here and Dazed’s 2013 interview with Hanna here.