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“WARNING: Graphic (Eyeliner) Content”

The artsy eyeliner trend that’s truly drawing our attention

( @claropsyche / Instagram )


Futuristic, funky and fun, graphic eyeliner is undoubtedly the latest trend. Taking Instagram and TikTok by storm, the growing popularity of experimental eye looks in 2020 and beyond comes as no surprise considering how face masks hide a large portion of our makeup canvases (i.e. our faces).

So where is this influence coming from? The fashion industry has adopted this trend, as seen in the SS 2021 New York Fashion Week, where models for Christian Siriano and Tom Ford sported bold, maximalist eye makeup.

HBO's binge-worthy show Euphoria inspired us with the characters’ iconic makeup – with no shortage of glitter, sequins, neon colors, and funky shapes.

Ariana Grande served us exaggerated wing shapes and white eyeliner in her ‘60s-inspired looks from her album Positions as well as in the Rain On Me music video featuring Lady Gaga. Famous ‘60s model Twiggy is often credited for popularizing this look by pairing bright eyeshadow with a dark crease cut and drawn-on lower eyelashes.

Aside from nostalgia, vibrant colors are also being incorporated into our daily makeup as fun ways to cheer ourselves up amidst the pandemic. When the days seem to blend together, a new twist on our everyday makeup routine can help liven up an otherwise mundane morning.

How to Get Started:

I prefer using a gel liner with a fine-tip angled brush. I find that this combination makes it easier to draw on smooth lines and crisp wings with minimal tugging or smudging. However, I am experimenting with some colorful liquid eyeliners. The ease of the pointed tips and liquid formula allows for more nontraditional creative shapes to form.

I have also seen makeup artists create their own liquid eyeliners by mixing a drop of water with their eyeshadow color of choice. By using a thin eyeliner brush, you can paint on any design your heart desires!

Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t look Insta-perfect. I’ve been rocking a crisp cat eye since freshman year of high school, and I still had trouble adjusting to colorful liquid eyeliners. It’s helpful to experiment with patterns, shapes, and color pairings (with some eye makeup remover and cotton swabs handy). The more you practice, the steadier your hand will be.

Product Recommendations:

To attempt this trend, I headed to my nearest Ulta and picked up the following products:

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Eyeliner ($7)

This liquid eyeliner is offered in a selection of neon colors that are eye-catching enough to release your inner JoJo Siwa. The formula is a bit runny but it quickly dries to a matte finish and comes off easily with an eye makeup remover, making it a great product to play around with.

NYX Epic Wear Liquid Liner ($10)

Now, this liquid liner from NYX is no joke. This eyeliner will last you through any swimming-on-the-first-date activities, and then some. I bought it in the colors Red and Lilac, and the pigmentation was amazingly vivid. No layering needed, this bad boy is my new go-to for one-and-done graphic eyeliner looks.

ColourPop BFF Liquid Liner ($8)

This eyeliner was interesting to work with since it has a liquid formula but a felt tip applicator, which I’m not very used to. The product also comes in your classic Crayola rainbow as well as some neutrals like black and brown. I ended up using their white shade called “graceland”. It definitely required a few layers to reach the opaque look I was aiming for, but this is still a great option for a white accent or even just to brighten up your lower lash line.

I’ve also heard great things about Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and L.A. Girl’s Shockwave Neon Eyeliner as long-wearing liners with a bunch of color options.

Claropsyche, a cosmetics brand created by artist Juliana Horner, offers the perfect brush for creating artsy eyeliner masterpieces as well as makeup palettes full of vibrant, saturated colors. Check out the brand’s Instagram page for inspiration!

I love this colorful craze and how it can modernize any classic makeup look. It is a refreshing change of pace that can help us break out of our neutral-toned comfort zone. Exploring this trend has inspired me to color outside of the lines, and I hope you will too.


Samantha Redditt is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She enjoys long, romantic walks to the nearest coffee shop and roller skating to obscure Spotify playlists. You can reach her on Instagram at @samantharedditt for more information.


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