Good News, Dark Circle Sufferers—Sleepy Eye Makeup Is Trending on TikTok

It’s giving “sexy fatigue.”

There’s been no shortage of eye makeup (or any type of makeup, for that matter) trends on TikTok these days. First, there were siren eyes. Then came doe eyes. The latest iteration that combines the two? Sleepy eyes. 


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#Sleepyeyes videos have pulled in over 236 million views on TikTok as of last count, with hundreds of tutorials showing you how to, well, yes, look kind of sleepy. Whereas siren eyes were all about creating a dramatically lifted, elongated effect and doe eyes emphasized a round, wide look, the current trend doesn’t seek to alter the shape at all. “Sleepy eye makeup focuses on following the natural shape of your eye, without trying to lift or elongate it,” explains makeup artist and beauty expert Jenny Patinkin. Per the name, it’s slightly less contrived than its predecessor trends, with the goal of looking like you just woke up-slash-have effortlessly sultry, bedroom eyes.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this is a trend that can work for almost everyone, says Patinkin. A smoky, cool-toned eyeshadow—one of the key components, more on that in a moment—can help to neutralize redness (which does naturally occur when you’re tired), she points out. There are also a few different takes on the trend, so you can customize it to your liking (again, more on that to come). The one caveat? “If you have naturally downturned eyes, this look could accentuate that and make them appear a bit droopy,” Patinkin notes.

So, how can you try the sleepy eye makeup trend? For Gen Z’s take, start by buffing a cool, smokey gray or taupe colored shadow across your top lid, and working it into the inner corners. This will create that hollow, ‘I haven’t slept’ shadowed appearance. (If you’re rocking dark circles already, that effect will only be enhanced, so embrace ‘em.) Using a black or charcoal liner, line your top lashline, going slightly past the outer corner in a horizontal line. Make sure it’s a totally straight line, rather than being swooped upward, the way a classic cat eye would be. Repeat on the bottom lashline and connect both ends of the wing, again, making sure it’s totally straight. Use a small eyeshadow brush to buff out the eyeliner so that it’s sultry and smudgy, like it’s been rubbing across your pillowcase all night.

Option two: For a more subtle (and admittedly easier) take on the trend, Patinkin says you can use that same cool, smokey shadow color as a liner. “Softly smudge it just under the lower lash line, making sure there are no hard or sharp edges,” she says. Use a darker eyeliner on the upper lash line, following the natural shape of your eye and smudging it out to avoid any harsh lines. It’s that easy. Whether you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep or not, you now have ~intentional~ sleepy eyes.

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