'Knot Dots' Are The Natural-Looking Eyeliner Hack Going Viral On TikTok

Eye makeup trends are as fascinating as they are unpredictable — just take a glimpse at some of the greatest hits in beauty over the past century. In the 1920s, it was all about the smoldering, sultry shadow worn by the era's silent film stars. By the '60s, liner lovers moved onto elongated, graphic cat eyes, a recurring favorite to this very day. And who could forget the crisp white flick of eyeliner that enjoyed a fleeting moment during the early 2000s? Things reached peak intensity in the 2010s when nearly everyone began wearing over-the-top smoky looks both day and night. Though the aughts' smudged smoky eye may be the subject of nostalgic cringe videos today, there's always a chance it could surprise us with a comeback in the future.

Fast forward to the present, and the push toward minimalist makeup shows no signs of stopping — that is, if the latest viral TikTok tutorials are any indication. Enter "knot dots," the newest way to enhance your eyes with little more than a hint of eyeliner, staying true to the "no-makeup" makeup movement. Curious as to how this instant eye makeup hack works? Here's everything you need to know about knot dots and how to rock the trending eyeliner look for yourself.

Mastering the knot dot eyeliner technique

You've probably seen some iteration of painted lashes, a wildly popular '60s-style look worn by it-girl models such as Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick. If you haven't, it simply involves the placement of "fake lashes" drawn directly beneath the lower lashline with eyeliner. The knot dot is a subtler take on the classic mod makeup trend. Best of all, it's far easier to pull off than attempting to paint on individual lashes.

The eye-brightening technique only takes a few seconds, but the results speak for themselves. So what does it entail? "Take a liquid liner — black works, but brown is better — and find where your bottom lashes cross over each other. Place just a dot of liquid liner at the base, or knot, of the lashes, and boom, you have a knot dot," said makeup artist and TikTokker @rachelocoolmua. The beauty guru also suggests adding a touch of brown mascara to emphasize the lower lashes, such as Yves Saint Laurent Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara in Uninhibited Brown. By using a liquid eyeliner instead of the traditional pencil, your knot dots will stay put for hours rather than smudging away on your lower lid. Plus, to extend the life of this look even further, you can spray on a long-lasting makeup setting mist to lock everything into place.

Variations on the knot dot eyeliner trend

While makeup artists like OCool may prefer to use brown eyeliner and mascara for a natural effect, nothing is stopping you from taking your knot dots to new heights. Black eyeliner is an obvious choice for many, but we also love the idea of graphic white knot dots. White polka dot eyeliner has been spotted on everyone from actress Keke Palmer to singer Lauren Ruth Ward, and it's an unexpected twist that ties in perfectly with the knot dot trend. Looking for something truly unique? Try alternating black and white dots for a chic, high-contrast interpretation of the standard knot dot eyeliner — just be sure to let each shade dry thoroughly between applications to keep things looking sharp.

Much of knot dots' appeal stems from their simplicity, but those who prefer something a little more dramatic can experiment with other options. In lieu of classic eyeliner colors, you can always dabble with glitter or metallic liner for a change. Or, taking literal inspiration from the name knot dot, you could even pop on a few individual lashes for a manga lash look. The Douyin makeup trend is on the rise, and this style of separated lashes is one of its calling cards. This is also the perfect eye makeup look to fight oily skin this summer, as there's no risk of smudged liner.