TikTok's Invisible Eyeliner Trend Will Give You The Perfect Soft Cat Eye

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

The TikTok trend factory has been working overtime again, this time churning out a viral negative-space illusion that serves as invisible eyeliner. After years of the black cat eye reigning supreme, a subtle, minimalist competitor has joined the chat. The beauty trend started back in May of 2022 when TikTok user Maytahmi posted a video showing herself applying concealer around her eyes in a manner that created the illusion of a darker lid and lash line by contrast. She referred to the technique as "transparent liner."

Since then, the method has exploded in popularity, inspiring videos from makeup artists, creators, and enthusiasts of all skin tones, most of whom have retitled it "invisible eyeliner." Some of the most viewed TikToks showcasing the trend include those by users @Kirsty.belle and @Wahmeko, along with makeup giant Tarte Cosmetics. While invisible eyeliner creates a more dramatic effect on those with hyperpigmentation of the eye area, it serves as a fun change of pace for anyone who likes to experiment with makeup. Here's everything you need to know.

How to apply invisible eyeliner

Before you head to the mirror to give invisible eyeliner a try, make sure you have all the supplies you'll need to pull off the look. For the best results, use a liquid or cream concealer in a color a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone and a flat makeup brush with a straight or angled edge. Makeup artist Neil Scibelli recommends the one included in Real Technique's Every Day Essentials set (via Good Morning America). Other than that, just be ready with the products and applicators you normally use on the rest of your face.

Once you've gathered your supplies, it's time to decide on a shape. Most TikTok users create the look of an eyeliner wing or a cat eye. Decide which you prefer and how long of a wing or extreme of an angle would best accentuate your natural eye shape (via Maybelline). Then, simply use the concealer to create a shape or a wing by applying it to the natural pigment around your eye. The area where you don't apply the product will serve as eyeliner and eyeshadow by providing contrast to the light-colored concealer around it. Next, apply the rest of your makeup as usual. Feel free to still accentuate the eyes with pops of shadow or liner for a more dramatic effect. 

Similar illusions to try

If you try the invisible eyeliner trend and love it, you may want to consider giving other, more advanced negative space graphic liner illusions a try. If you're feeling bold and colorful, combine multiple highly-pigmented shadows and liners with strategic negative space to create the ultimate cut crease look, as depicted by Beccaboo318 on YouTube. If you prefer a more natural look, you can experiment with other shapes and lighter or darker concealers or add a subtle eyeshadow before adding your concealer for higher contrast.

Eventually, you may even wish to move on from the eyes altogether and give another negative space technique method like floating lips a go. The look involves a gradient that similarly uses concealer to accentuate your natural lip color and then blurs into a brighter, more concentrated hue at the center of the lips (via Diane Penelope Challis). Just don't lose sight of the fact that makeup is supposed to be for fun and creative self-expression. If you find yourself feeling frustrated or comparing yourselves to others, take a break and come back to practicing later, if you still feel inspired.