When talking about the invisible eyeliner trend, my boyfriend asked, “why would you want it to be invisible?” This is a fair question, but one that shows his utter lack of knowledge about makeup trends. The more natural-looking yet intricate a makeup trend, the more viral it tends to go. For those that don’t know about the trend, makeup artist and founder of Aisling Organics Krysta Lewis makes understanding it easy, and describes it as a reverse cat eye.
How to get the invisible eyeliner look
“The invisible eyeliner trend is using the natural discoloration around the eyes as liner. Everyone has some darkness around their eyes (lid and under eye). The color can vary from purple, orange, peach, brown, etc. This technique uses that darkness as the base of the liner, explains celebrity makeup artist Emily Gray. “One would take a concealer lighter than the discoloration, close to one’s natural coloring and carve out a wing with it.”
Using a small amount of concealer, map out the wing starting from the edge of the eye, instructs Gray. “Then blend the concealer away from the shape into the rest of your complexion. You can use the same concealer brush or even your finger to blend the concealer out.” Follow the same steps on the other eye. If you’re looking for a sharper edge, she suggests using a small cotton swab with a bit of makeup remover to gently remove any unwanted concealer.
However, you don’t need to just work with the natural hues of your lids. You have the option to add eyeshadow. Lewis suggests using “eyeshadow to cover the lid and then a creamy concealer to carve out where you’d normally create a cat eye with a pencil or liquid liner.”
If you want to implement eyeshadow, Lewis recommends “using an eyeshadow darker than your complexion (the darker, the better as it makes the concealer pop) and slightly blend out towards the tail of your eyebrow.” Then once that is diffused, place a small amount of creamy concealer on the back of your hand and dip a skinny eyeliner brush in the formula to draw on a cat eye as you normally would. Pro tip: “To extend the wear time and prevent transfer, take a light eyeshadow (or your translucent setting powder) and go on top of the concealer to set it,” says Lewis.
What you’ll need to nail the invisible eyeliner look
Luckily, this isn’t a TikTok trend that requires a ton of purchases. Gray says one can achieve this look with staples she’s certain most people already have. “The star of the show will be a concealer lighter than your natural discoloration around the eyes,” says Gray. She recommends something hydrating—like Milk Makeup Future Fluid Hydrating Concealer ($29) or Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Airbrush Concealer ($36).
Lewis suggests Aisling Organics Creamy Concealer ($23). She adds that since it’s in a pod you can easily control the amount of product you pick up on the brush. It also has great staying power. She recommends going a shade or two lighter than your skin tone for a brightening effect.
Gray says you will also need a small flat concealer brush. She recommends MAC Cosmetics 195 Brush ($26) or any small brush with a sharp edge, like the Rephr Brush 21 ($24). For makeup remover to create a sharper edge, Gray likes Glossier Milky Oil ($14). If you plan on using eyeshadow instead of relying on your natural lid coloring, Lewis says the best neutral palette for a look like this is the Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Palette ($48).
Why is the invisible eyeliner look trending?
This funky new trend can be found all over TikTok. Gray believes it’s so popular “because there has been this shift to more natural, enhancing makeup. This is in direct opposition to a heavy eye makeup look with colored shadow and the traditional jet-black, sharp wing.” This trend “works with your natural coloring and adds definition without adding intense colors.” She adds that celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner, who opt for more natural-looking makeup, have helped influence this shift. Lewis notes that Ariana Grande’s eye makeup on her wedding day also had a “similar light and airy feel.”