Who thought they’d ever see the day having tired eyes would be on trend? Not us. While a seemingly odd rend at first glance, it’s actually a smoldering, sexy eye look when done right. And no, we’re not talking about real dark circles under the eyes. “The tired eye is a popular new makeup look that emulates grunge, messy, sleepy, just rolled out of bed sexy. It’s trending because we’re entering a new Goth grunge era,” says celebrity makeup artist Julia Dantas. “Despite the name, this eye look is a very alluring tease, which is why it’s become so popular.”
Makeup artist Sara Talias thinks this eye trend is somewhat of a spinoff of the siren eye trend, which has been huge this year. “While still elongating the eyes, instead of lifting the eyes up, the wing is drawn straight out with a slight downward angle,” explains Talias. “This gives the eyes a seductive look, reminiscent of the Hollywood screen sirens, especially Greta Garbo.”
Dantas notes that many celebrities have moved toward more “punk” looks recently. “Working with Avril Lavigne as her key makeup artist, we’ve been doing the tired eye, along with black lipstick, which looks fabulous,” says Dantas. “Other stars such as Camila Cabello and Billie Eilish are getting bolder and unafraid to break the beauty rules and have played a lot with this imperfect on-purpose makeup look and are impacting what we see in the mainstream media.”
One of the perks of creating different eye shapes with makeup is that “you can really change your look with the shape of your eyes,” says makeup artist Allison Kaye. Here’s how to nail the eye trend.
How to achieve the tired eyes look
If you’re one of those people that’s prone to messing up your makeup, you’re going to love this eye trend. Dantas notes that the overall feel should be grungy, so none of the eye makeup should look too perfect. Dantas has all the tips for “sexy tired eyes that look like you had the best night of your life.” Note that you’ll want your eyeliner and eyeshadow fully blended and diffused. “Stick to cool-tone colors, such as pink, blue, purple, dark brown or greys. This will give you an ashy contour rather than a bronzed glowy look,” she adds. First, define the crease and lower lash line with neutral matte shadows, suggests Kaye. She recommends concentrating the shadow on the outer parts of the eye to create a downturned look.
“You want to elongate the look of the eyes by creating an almond shape. Keep the eyeliner winged straight out rather than lifted, as we’d typically do,” instructs Dantas. “This line will keep the eyes looking heavy while focusing most of the product under the eye to create a round shape that naturally makes the eyes look tired—almost as though you have bags under the eyes. It doesn’t sound sexy, but trust me, it is!” Kaye suggests having the eyeshadow drag across the eyes in a straight line as well. “The goal is to elongate the eyes as much as possible so that they appear almost closed,” says Kaye.
For extra smoke, apply some eyeliner to the lower lashes. Use the end of an eyeliner or your fingers (for extra grungy vibes) to smudge out the eye makeup, suggests Dantas. “Use cool brown and grey eyeshadow tones to smoke out the bottom lash line; you want to make this big,” says Dantas. She suggests adding a cool pink tone under the eye to add a bit of natural tones. “The key is a cool tone that blends nicely and is cohesive with the whole tired look.”
Skip false lashes since we’re not looking for lifted eyes. “If you’re feeling extra, you can always add a few individual lashes to your bottom line. This will exaggerate the shape underneath the eye and bring definition and attention to the bottom line,” says Dantas.
At the end, add a touch of mascara to the top and bottom lashes. “Again, you want this to look a little messy. The mascara on the bottom lash line can touch the skin under your eye to give it that messy effect,” says Dantas.
Expert-approved products to achieve the tired eyes trend without the sleep deprivation
Since eyeshadow is something that’s a big part of this look, selecting the right shades is a big deal. Dantas says, for this look, she likes using Huda Beauty Empowered Palette ($67) in shades like: “big dreams,” “winner” and “worthy.” The shade “rebel” works well to add some natural tones to the eyes. Kaye recommends using the cool-toned darker shadows in the Natasha Denona Glam Eyeshadow Palette ($69) for the outer corner of the eyes.
Dantas recommends using the Makeup By Mario Master Pigment Pro Eyeliner Pencil ($22) product to create your wing. For those who prefer a pot to a pencil, Talias suggests Inglot 77 Gel liner ($18) accompanied by My Kit Co Brush 1.22 ($14). Meanwhile, Kaye says the Clinique High Impact Easy Liquid Eyeliner ($23) is a favorite.
For the finishing touch on your tired eyes—mascara. Dantas says her go-to is Too Faced Better Than Sex Volumizing Mascara ($28). Talias recommends a thick black mascara like Lancome Monsieur Big Volumizing Mascara ($27).