If it seems like makeup trends keep getting more and more inventive, you’re not imagining things. Eyeliner, in particular, is on a trajectory that the over-the-top winged liner of 2016 would hardly believe; trends like the reverse cat eye and double-winged liner are cropping up everywhere from red carpets to Euphoria stills. Now, fishtail eyeliner has emerged as the latest eye makeup craze — and it’s less complicated than it might sound.
Despite its name, the trend won’t have you looking like a full-on sea creature — rather, it’s about mimicking the shape of a fish’s tail. The result is a dramatic, almost theatrical style of liner that can instantly take your makeup to an entirely new level. “The fishtail eyeliner trend is when you make a flick of liner from your upper lash line and a separate flick of liner from your lower lash line,” Jenny Patinkin, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Jenny Patinkin Eco-Luxe Beauty Tools, tells TZR. “They can be the same length or different, and the tips can point in the same direction or opposite. No matter what, the effect gives the look of a fishtail.”
If you’re one of the millions of fans who watch Euphoria, you’ve probably caught several instances of fishtail liner on the show’s second season. The show’s makeup artist, Doniella Davy, created a mod-inspired fishtail liner for the character Lexi (played by Maude Apatow), and multiple instantly iconic double-liner looks for Maddy (aka, Alexa Demie). Makeup artists like Priscilla Ono have also experimented with the style, continuing to give it new life as the trend gains more popularity.
It might look intricate, but fishtail eyeliner isn’t that difficult to recreate. If you can achieve a flick on your top lash line, you’re almost certain to be able to do so on the bottom lash line as well. “Apply a thick, tapered line all the way across your upper lid, and then add a strongly angled flick of liner at the outer corner, extending slightly past the lash line and pointing slightly up,” she says. “Then, starting from the outer half or third of the lower lash line, create a thinner line with the outer corner flick going in the opposite direction, outwards and down. The lines can be different lengths and thicknesses, but the key is to make sure that they don't touch, to create that fishtail shape.”
Don’t worry about getting the lines perfect, either. If you make any mistakes, Patinkin suggests dipping a fine-tipped cotton swab in micellar water to clean up the edges that separate the upper and lower lines as well as sculpt the shape.
If you’re ready to start playing around with fishtail liner, you’ll need the right tools to ensure maximum success. Below see TZR’s top picks for highly-pigmented, easy glide eyeliners to perfect this look.
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