If you struggle with winged liner, you’re certainly not alone. While the final result is often simple and understated, it requires a great deal of precision and can be frustrating to master. If you’re looking to sidestep the complexities that come along with winged liner but still want a cat-eye effect, the invisible eyeliner TikTok trend is here to rescue you.
As is the case with so many viral beauty hacks, the invisible liner trend started when one creator shared their technique, sparking a wave of recreations. In May, user May Akhtar posted an editorial makeup tutorial in which she applied concealer like you would an eyeliner but drew an outline around her eyes rather than close to the lash line. She then buffed out the edges for a diffused effect. The result is a kind of an optical illusion liner look that inspired a flood of fellow TikTokers to try it out for themselves.
In addition to recreating Akhtar’s eyeliner technique, users are also putting their own takes on it. Some, like @KirstyBelle, first apply a brown eyeshadow all over the lid, then carve out a reverse cat eye with concealer at the outer corners. No matter how the invisible eyeliner trend is interpreted, the result is an intriguing spin on a classic makeup look.
“This look is an excellent way to give the eyes a lifted appearance and is also great for those who prefer to stick to a more natural eye look with a classic, elevated finish,” Kristen Fortier, makeup artist and product innovation lead for Crunchi Cosmetics, tells TZR.
Fortier also says that recreating this trend is actually quite simple — all you need is the right products and tools. First, she recommends using a concealer that can double as an eye primer for all-day wear. “My go-to concealer for all clients is Crunchi’s My Alibi Concealer + Eye Primer,” she says. “For a more natural look, you will want to choose a shade that is the closest to your skin tone to really enhance the ‘invisible’ effect. For a more dramatic look, choose a concealer shade that is two to three shades darker than your skin tone.” You’ll also need a slanted brush to create the smooth, sharp edges of the eyeliner.
“To apply, you will use the same techniques as applying typical winged eyeliner,” Fortier says. “Place a small amount of concealer on the back of your hand and using a slanted brush create your desired eyeliner shape. Once you’ve applied your product you will gently blend around the edges of the eyeliner to give it an airbrushed, ‘invisible’ look.” For a slightly more dramatic effect, Fortier says you can buff a neutral eyeshadow shade around the edges of the concealer. If you have oily eyelids, she recommends finishing off the look by setting the concealer with a small amount of translucent powder.
Unlike a lot of TikTok makeup trends, invisible eyeliner is one of the few that doesn’t require adding products to your makeup routine. Plus, you can afford to be a little less precise than you would usually be with a traditional winged liner — just some of the reasons why it’s a minimalist’s dream.
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