How To Recreate The Wide-Eyed, Doe Eye Trend That's All Over TikTok

Before there was Sephora, there were crushed berries and ground minerals. In ancient Greece, red cheeks — a symbol of good health and youth — were accentuated with the help of mulberry paste, per Insider. Millenia ago in Egypt, kohl was used to line eyes, acting as a safeguard against sun damage. Makeup was both functional and aesthetic — but, to some, it was taboo. In the 1800s, England's Queen Victoria took a hard stance against cosmetics (via Britannica). 

Today, the widespread use of social media has resulted in makeup "microtrends" ranging from "no-makeup makeup" to "Euphoria"-inspired glitter. Elizabethan-Esque bleached eyebrows even made a comeback on TikTok, sported by the likes of Lizzo and Bella Hadid. 2022 saw the emergence of two very different aesthetics: doe eyes and siren eyes. "The doe eye trend is a rounded, wide-eyed look that gives the illusion of bigger eyes," celebrity makeup artist Moani Lee explains to CNN Underscored. In comparison, "Siren eyes are slightly more dramatic, darker around the rims of the eyes, and flicked upwards at the outer corners for a more narrow, cat-eye shape," makeup artist Lilly Keys tells Allure. Fortunately for those curious about doe eyes, which were recently adapted by Sydney Sweeney and pioneered by Zooey Deschanel during her "New Girl" days, they're not too difficult to recreate at home. Here's how to get the look. 

Create a base

Before going in with shadow, liner, and mascara, start by creating a solid base for your makeup. Prime your eyelids and brows, brushing up hairs and filling in any unevenness with your preferred pencil. "Primer aids in eyeshadow color opacity and staying power," makeup artist Tai Young explains to Ipsy. It will also help prevent creasing throughout a long day of wear. As noted by beauty influencer Angela Bright on YouTube, some varieties of primer come with a slight tint, while others are entirely translucent. Ultimately, the more pigmented your primer, the brighter your shadow will appear on the skin. Blend it out with a fluffy eye brush or with your fingers.

Define your crease with eyeshadow

After your eyes are prepped and primed, use a fluffy blender brush to apply a neutral brown shadow. As demonstrated on Sephora's YouTube channel, start from the outer corner of the eye to define your crease, delicately bringing the brush inwards for added depth. Next, use a small liner brush to subtly apply the same shade to your lower lash line. If you have leftover product, Sephora recommends creating a hint of a wing.

Alternatively, as advised by L'Oréal Paris, use your favorite bronzer instead of shadow. Selecting warmer, shinier colors will make your eyes appear wider, whereas darker, cooler tones are better suited for a mysterious, siren look. 

Highlight the center of your lid

When it comes to doe eyes, highlights are key. A little bit of brightness goes a long way. Use an eyeshadow brush (or simply your finger) to tap a lighter, complimentary shade of shadow on your middle lid. Experiment with glittering coppers or even a gold shimmer to compliment your neutral base. For starters, check out this ColourPop bare necessities shadow palette. It comes with a variety of matte autumnal hues as well as an assortment of complimentary highlights. As demonstrated by @jackie.wyers on TikTok, you can also use a matte cream or white shadow to create that wide-eyed illusion if you're not a fan of glitter.

Black liner creates a circular illusion

Ultimately, doe eyes are an optical illusion. Part of that means relying on line placement and thickness to create that desired, wide-eyed effect. As makeup artist and beauty influencer Dani G tells Popsugar, "You want to draw a short and straight angled line from your outer eye to create a tiny wing. Then, line across the rest of your eyelid and make it slightly thicker above your pupil. This gives the illusion of a more rounded eye." TikToker @daniellemarcan illustrates the technique, lining the entirety of her upper lashline rather than focusing on lengthening the outer corners, as you would with a siren eye.

Target your waterline with a white pencil

Doe eyes wouldn't be doe eyes without white eyeliner. Using your pencil, carefully apply pigment to your waterline. In the words of YouTube influencer Smitha Deepak, this will make it appear almost as if the whites of your eyes have been extended. "Lining your waterline with white liner is probably the easiest way to use white eyeliner," makeup artist Geo Brian Hennings tells Cosmopolitan. "It instantly makes your eyes look brighter, like you're ready for the day." Rest assured, there are plenty of other trendy ways to wear white liner outside the confines of the doe eye. Your pencil will get plenty of use whether you're drawing geometric patterns on your lids or experimenting with Twiggy-inspired graphic liner.

Apply mascara to the top and bottom lashes

As recommended by TikTok creator @careclarkbsn, prep your lashes — ideally before applying shadow — by curling them upwards. Next, give the illusion of wider eyes by focusing on adding length to your center lashes rather than outer hairs. Make sure to wield the brush vertically, and apply a good amount of product to your lower line as well. For starters, L'Oréal's Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara will give your lashes that much-desired feathery look. However, if you're looking for an even more dramatic effect, celebrity makeup artist Hailey Hoff recommends gluing on false lashes, per Who What Wear. Content creator Christen Dominique demonstrates the technique on YouTube, applying a full layer of lashes after a base coat of mascara. Attach single lashes — like these Flip individual flares – to your bottom lid.

Enhance your inner eyes with glitter

Add even more sparkle with an e.l.f. liquid glitter or a bright powder like this Makeup by Mario white shimmer shadow. Byrdie recommends applying the extra highlight directly beneath your brow bone and to your inner eyes, a technique demonstrated by @juliettaf on TikTok. Though this creator uses a small brush for precision, you can also use the tips of your fingers. To go the extra mile, apply a bonus layer of highlight in the middle of your lid or even use trendy face gems to decorate your inner eyes.

Correct mistakes with concealer

Not only will concealer work to brighten your under eyes, but it will also correct any neglected mascara or eyeshadow run-off. Best of all, as beauty adviser Stevi Christine tells Byrdie, "I think if your eyes and eyebrows are done, you tend to be less heavy-handed and use foundation and concealer sparingly," allowing your natural skin features to shine through.

As directed by makeup artist Dani G, use a damp beauty blender to apply concealer. "You can achieve this look with a liquid concealer around two shades lighter than your skin tone," the creator tells Popsugar. Influencer @shaaynemarie demonstrates on TikTok, applying a base layer of concealer before adding a final layer of pink blush on top.

Complete the look with blush

Finally, complete the doe-eyed aesthetic with a generous amount of blush. "The key to looking fresh is using a cream blush—it's more blendable," makeup artist Gina Brooke explains to Harper's Bazaar. "To give your face a lift, put blush on the apples of your cheeks, then add a touch of highlighter on the center of the cheekbones and blend it up to the temples." A good option is Milk's lip and cheek tint, which comes in eight different shades. A glossy lip plumper to make the pigment pop is the finishing touch.