While once reserved for runways and editorial shoots, free-flowing lines and unexpected shapes around the eyes have increasingly been appearing on sidewalks, in offices, and of course, on Instagram. And the latter is precisely is where celebrity and editorial makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes thinks the 2020 eyeliner trend got its wheels. "I think it’s a social media-derived push or nudge to make people feel like 'Oh that’s cool, I can totally do that, that’s not a supermodel, that’s not a page in a magazine,'" she tells The Zoe Report over the phone.
While Instagram has certainly solidified the trend, celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo tells TZR over the phone he thinks the initial surge in eyeliner variations can be chalked up to the cast of HBO's hit show, Euphoria, which featured tons of untraditional eyeliner looks on high school students who were simply wearing them for ninth period. But, regardless of who's to thank for breaking the dam on playful eyeliner, Oquendo says the trend is a perfect way to express your individuality.
And even if you've *just* mastered your cat-eye flick or even the tiniest of curved lines, know that anyone — from beginner to practically professional — can get in on the trend. Test the waters with something like Barbie Ferreira's subtle line below the eyebrow (created by Kali Kennedy), or see how steady your hands are with Yara Shahidi's exaggerated cat-eye silhouette (thanks to Nikki Wolff).
No matter what creative license you take, do follow Hughes' advice and go easy on yourself. "Whether you’re trying this for the first time or for the first time in a long time, have fun with it more so than anything else." So without further ado, ahead are seven different ways to try out the trend — plus a few key pointers from Hughes and Oquendo to help you create your own look.
Twiggy called, and she's *very* pleased with this rendition of the '60s-esque look Wolff created on Yara Shahidi. To do it yourself, start with a regular wing and then draw the line over your crease for a tad more drama. To achieve that crisp line, Oquendo suggests using tapered cotton swabs to clean up any smudges or missteps.
From two feet away, you might not even notice Ferreira is wearing liner right below her brow. But the skinny, silver line Kennedy created is certainly there. Stay simple with a muted color or mix it up with bold and varying thicknesses. When it comes to this iteration, your options are endless, whether you want to make a statement or subtly define that brow arch you worked so hard to perfect.
For a fully lifted cat-eye, Hughes went with, in her opinion, a neutral green color for a softer vibe (as compared to stark black). Her trick? "The objective of the game is to try and get the skin to move the least when you’re doing it and you’ll get the best effect." That's why she starts the outline with a powder — in this case, Mo Money Mo Problems from MAC Cosmetics. Then, she creates her own liquid formula by wetting the same powder (with her favorite setting spray, Mist and Fix, from Make Up For Ever) and going over the line to define and darken it.
Straight & To The Point
As evidenced by Patrick Ta's work on Gigi Hadid, playing with eyeliner doesn't mean you have to follow the curves of the eye. Instead, go pin-straight across the lid, either over the crease (like Hadid's look) or below to contrast roundness and make any look a little more edgy.
Follow The Crease
For this look Oquendo did on Dove Cameron, he first started by lining the crease in the white Tattoo Studio Gel Liner from Maybelline. Then, using the same liner in metallic silver, he went over it again to create a jeweled effect.
The makeup artist's go-to hack for an at-home floating eyeliner look? "Put your chin down in the mirror so you lose all your lid space. Draw little dots right above your crease so you can still see it; then, when you put your chin up, your shape is on there."
Mixed With Full Glam
Don't want to give up your full-glam lifestyle in order to adopt this trend? Don't. Just look to YouTuber NikkieTutorials, who created a floating liner look on her inner corners while still maintaining a fierce smoky eye, winged eyeliner, and fake lashes.