How To Perfect Downturned Eyeliner For A Puppy-Eye Look

Are you searching for an alternative to sassy looks like the classic sharp cat eye and TikTok's seductive siren eye makeup? While those feisty, angular options are perfect for adding intensity and sexiness, sometimes you might want something more sweet and playful. That's where the more downturned, wholesome-looking puppy-eye-inspired eyeliner comes into play. To get the look, simply apply your eyeliner in a downward motion instead of the classic upward flick.


"If you research looks from various decades, especially the 20s and 30s, you'll notice that by placing some weight near the outer edge of the lower lash line, you can create beautiful makeup looks. Take 1920s actresses Clara Bow, Estelle Taylor, or Irene Delroy; their makeup accented the slight downturn of their eyes and gave them a dreamy innocence," Keri Blair, a senior national artist at MAC Cosmetics, told InStyle. That said, anyone ready to trade cat-inspired looks for more puppy-like effects with some vintage flair seen in the '20s needs to give downturned eyeliner a chance. And even though there were similar looks in the glitzy 1920s, the innocent puppy eyeliner look is relatively easy and inexpensive.


What is the puppy-eye look?

Can you think of that sweet yet sad and innocent look a puppy gives you when they want a treat or did something they weren't supposed to and don't want you to be angry? The puppy-eyeliner look can mimic that effect with makeup. "While the usual cat eye that is created by applying eyeliner in an upwards direction from the outer corner of the eye and lifting the eyes up, the puppy eyeliner follows the natural lash line, making the eye appear larger and rounder," Mélanie Inglessis, actor Ana de Armas's makeup artist, explained to Vogue.


The puppy-eye look comes from Korea, and you can choose to use more or less liner depending on whether you want a more subtle or dramatic look. There's even a TikTok filter to show viewers the wide-eyed, intentionally naive-looking downturned puppy-eye liner effect! With or without the help of the filter, the puppy-inspired look is especially ideal for people with hooded eyes.

Downturned vs. upturned liner

So, what separates downturned eyeliner from upturned liner? The difference is precisely as the two names indicate: downturned eyeliner leans in a more downturned angle, while upturned liner points up. Upturned liner is typically the more conventionally popular option. For example, @hayleybuix — a TikToker with over three million followers — posted a video creating upturned eyeliner wings by drawing up-pointing lines with the eyeliner and filling them in.


On the other hand, TikToker @nikkiekent shared a video creating the downturned look by drawing thick, straighter eyeliner lines tilting in downward-facing angles for a moodier, sweet-yet-sad-ish puppy-like vibe. While the TikTok user felt unsure about the results, many viewers loved the unconventional spin on classic eyeliner, commenting, "Noooo it looks so good!!!" and "I love it." A few commenters even noted that makeup has a '60s model-like flair. Though the mopey-cute downturned look may take some getting used to, it's worth trying.

What products you'll need for a puppy-eye look

Of course, anyone who wants to experiment with the downturned puppy-eye look will need eyeliner, and black eyeliner is the best idea to ensure the effect will be visible enough. A reliable black liquid liner like the Sephora Collection Long Lasting Eyeliner High Precision Brush, available for $12 at Sephora with 4.1 out of five stars and over 1,000 reviews, should be beneficial for creating the downturned eyeliner look.


A black eyeliner pen is another excellent option, such as the vegan, cruelty-free e.l.f. Intense Waterproof Eyeliner Pen, selling for $7 at Target with 4.2 stars and over 400 ratings. And, if you usually apply mascara or false lashes when you do your makeup, you should continue doing so when trying the downturned eyeliner effect, adding your favorite mascara to your upper or bottom lashes — or both, or fake lashes for a more dramatic effect.

Apply your downturned liner

The right eyeliner application strategy is crucial for perfecting the puppy-eyeliner look, and TikToker @mariahshaneemakeup uploaded a helpful video that shows her carefully trying the effect for the first time. She started by adding a black liquid liner line to extend the end angle of the outer eye corner in a downward motion. Next, she added a tiny line at the bottom of the eye to connect to that initial down-facing line. After that, she added more liner on top of the first line and filled it in for a thicker, more noticeable look.


The TikToker was pleasantly surprised with the puppy-like results! Impressed viewers commented, "Your eyes are made for puppy liner," "It makes you look very relaxed," and "SO CUTEE." When exploring the eyeliner strategy, remember that everyone's eyes are different — so don't be disappointed if your results don't look exactly like the influencer's, especially as @mariahshaneemakeup appears to have a naturally downturned eye shape. Also, when it comes to every makeup look, practice makes perfect!

Enhance your lashes

While emphasizing your lashes isn't required for the puppy-eye look, adding black mascara or false lashes will help the results appear more complete and polished, contributing to the innocent, bigger-eyes effect. "Mascara enhances the eyes in a number of ways. It not only darkens lashes, but can lengthen and volumize for brighter, bigger-looking eyes. Fuller-looking lashes can help to give a more youthful appearance to the eye area," Claudia Soare, Anastasia Beverly Hills' president and creative director, advised Today.


If you want to take the lash enhancement even further, consider using falsies. For instance, TikToker @byjeannine shared a video completing her downturned eyeliner puppy-eye look with what appeared to be long false lashes, making the makeup seem bolder and more unique. So, fake lashes can add some more glamorous flair. Whether you opt for mascara or faux lashes, the extra enhancement will likely help you feel more confident when you first explore downturned eyeliner looks.