Unless you’re Ariana Grande, liquid eyeliner often takes some time to perfect in the mornings – one wrong stroke can cause your eyes to look wonky and out of shape, or smudged and dirty.
TikTokers, however, have found a way to skip on using not just liquid eyeliner, but eyeliner completely, with a makeup hack that still lifts the eye and accentuates its shape – they’re calling it the “transparent eyeliner” hack.
What is “transparent eyeliner”?
May Akhtar (@maytahmi) on TikTok is the person to thank for this no-eyeliner eyeliner technique. She used a concealer that’s lighter than her skin tone to create an outline around her eyes, and then blended it out to create a negative space graphic eyeliner look.
However, since graphic eyeliner can be a tad too elaborate for ordinary head-to-office days, TikTokers have been adapting @maytahmi’s transparent liner style to create a not-so-regular winged eyeliner. It’s super subtle, stunningly lifts the eye, and takes a no-makeup makeup look to a whole new level.
All you need to do is to dip an angled brush into liquid concealer (that you’ve pumped out on the back of your hand), and then draw a triangular shape at the outer corners of your eye. This outlines the “transparent” wing of your eyeliner.
Then, blend the concealer out using a small makeup brush or your fingers, and the result is an ultra-natural eyeliner style. Call it what you want – transparent liner, negative space liner, or concealer liner – it doesn’t matter; we were all too ready to test this super cool eyeliner hack for ourselves!
I tried TikTok’s “transparent eyeliner” hack
I used the Maybelline FitMe Concealer in a shade that matches my skin tone, unlike @maytahmi who used a lighter shade. Pumping the concealer onto the back of my hand, I then picked it up using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush 7B, a flat angled brow brush.
It was much easier to outline the eyeliner wing with an angled brush than using a liquid eyeliner, as the brush easily guides your strokes following the direction of the narrow edge. I created a triangular shape at the outer corner of my eye, which acted as the “transparent” eyeliner’s wing.
Then, using an eyeshadow brush, I blended out the concealer. Besides giving a natural wing to my eye, the concealer also helped to further lift my eyes as I swept the concealer up towards my temples.
The outer parts of my eyes, all the way to my temples, were subtly lifted and highlighted using the concealer – add the negative space wing, and my eyeliner look was complete.
Tips for making TikTok’s “transparent eyeliner” work
Although I fell in love with the “transparent eyeliner” hack the first time I tried it, I had to re-do it a couple of times to make it work for me. These are some tips you can follow to make TikTok’s newest eyeliner hack work for you too!
1. Trace a larger triangle
When you trace the concealer line, it doesn’t contribute to the eyeliner’s wing, but rather frames it. The first time I tried it, I made the mistake of drawing too small a triangle for the wing.
After blending out the concealer, my eyeliner’s “transparent” wing became almost true to its name – invisible because of how small and slim it was.
That’s why, you should aim to draw a triangle that’s larger for a more visible wing – especially since the “transparent eyeliner” is already so subtle in style.
2. Sweep on eyeshadow
Since my concealer shade matches my skin tone, the wing didn’t look very obvious until I used eyeshadow to create more contrast between the negative space wing and its outline.
If your concealer matches your skin tone, it helps to sweep a light or dark brown eyeshadow onto your lids, extending it at the outer corners of your eyes, following your lower lash line. This way, when you draw the “transparent” wing using your concealer, the wing will become much more apparent.
4. Bump down your concealer shade
Take your cue from @maytahmi, the one who created the “transparent eyeliner” hack, and use a concealer that’s in a shade much lighter than your skin tone.
A lighter concealer will create a much more obvious lifting effect when you apply it to your eye’s outer corners as well as easily emphasise the shape of the wings.
5. Don’t skip on setting powder
The key to the “transparent eyeliner” style is clean, crisp lines, so you really don’t want your concealer to smudge and erase your beautiful, subtle eyeliner wings. After a few hours of wearing my “transparent” liner, the concealer had started to bleed a little bit, which made my winged eyeliner less visible than it already was.
To keep your “transparent eyeliner” on fleek throughout the day, remember to finish your look by dabbing translucent setting powder onto the outer corners of your eyes using a small makeup brush!
I love TikTok’s “transparent eyeliner” because of how natural it looks and how easy it is to apply. It’s the perfect eyeliner hack for you to achieve a natural, clean girl makeup style, without even needing to pick up your eyeliner pencils – much less than (ever so challenging to use) liquid eyeliner.
Best concealers for “transparent eyeliner”
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer is a cult-favourite, decadently creamy formula that glides effortlessly onto the skin to cover any imperfections or blemishes. It also covers up fine lines and wrinkles, which means that it’s a great choice for drawing “transparent eyeliner” at the outer corners of your eyes.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer retails for S$47 on Sephora.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer
The Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer is the concealer of choice for so many influencers and beauty bloggers, and for a good reason. It’s a full-coverage concealer that can cover up blemishes with even a little bit of product, yet still delivers a natural finish.
Thicker than the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer as well as used for sculpting and highlighting on top of concealing, the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer is a close contender with NARS’ when it comes to the best liquid concealers in Singapore.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer retails for S$47 on Sephora.
Maybelline FitMe Concealer
The one I used to trace my own “transparent eyeliner”, the Maybelline FitMe Concealer is super lightweight on the skin and has an airy, creamy texture.
If you’re searching for a drugstore concealer, then this is the one to go for. It matches the skin to give a more even complexion, is easy to blend, and gives a natural skin-like finish – all at an affordable price.
Maybelline FitMe Concealer retails for S$12.70 at Guardian and S$15.90 at Watsons.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer
Available in an impressive range of 50 shades, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer lets you easily find a perfect colour to conceal on your skin. This concealer is also designed to complement – not match – the brand’s Pro Filt’r Foundation, for skin that really glows, flaw-free.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer retails for S$43 on Sephora.
Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Concealer
The skin around the eyes is one the most sensitive areas on the face, which is why the Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Concealer comes in.
Infused with moisturising Coconut Water essence and skin-nourishing Alpine Rose, this long-wearing concealer is hydrating and gentle on the skin. Use it for the “transparent eyeliner” hack, and it’ll give your eyes an ultra-comfy lift – the “no-makeup” part of a no-makeup makeup look will seem almost like reality.
Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Concealer retails for S$48 on Sephora.