The Eyeliner Hack To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

Trends come and go, but some beauty hacks stand the test of time. Take Marilyn Monroe's best makeup tricks, for example: as per Marie Claire, the 1950s glamazon used Vaseline as a megawatt highlighter, contoured her lips, cut falsies in half for a custom look, and even pioneered the "wet look" eyelids trend decades before it became Insta-famous. Or Audrey Hepburn, who loved using Greek yogurt on her face for moisture, separated each of her eyelashes with a tweezer for a fan-like appearance, and never left the house without SPF (via Vogue). In short, some beauty tips become time-worn essentials for a reason, and we've just uncovered another one that has us very curious.

While you might already be trying countless TikTok-approved makeup tricks, including using concealer for a mini face-lift or applying finishing powder before foundation (via Glam), some tips have been insider faves for decades. While we can't wait to try using soap for thick brows, or DIY-ing lipstick using eyeshadow and petroleum jelly (via Bustle), there's one trick that isn't about bells and whistles at all — it just works. Even if you already have your go-to eye makeup down pat, following a daily routine of brown liner, mascara, and neutral shadow, you're going to love this makeup-artist-approved eyeliner hack. It will open up your eyes to epic proportions, work with any beauty look, and will take you from fun-in-the-sun to snowy winter magic. Here's everything you need to know.

This eyeliner trick is a game-changer

So what's the seriously-magical eyeliner tip in question? It all starts with a liner shade you might not have in your makeup bag just yet: snowy white. Far away from all-black, inky cat eyes or Sofia Vergara-esque smoldering brown shadow, white eyeliner is a major component you need for your next beauty look.

According to Glamour, white liner makes for a "doe-eyed" effect, opening up the eyes through an optical illusion. As explained by the outlet, white eyeliner blends into the whites of your eyes when applied at the lash line, making your eyes look much larger. If you had a 3 A.M. work time-crunch last night, had to stay up with the baby, or even just went out for after-work spicy margaritas that turned into a full-blown night-out, white liner is just the thing to make you look more alive. As makeup artist Geo Brian Hennings told Cosmopolitan, "white eyeliner not only makes your eyes look larger, but also makes you look more awake." We're here for it!

One way to try the white liner hack is to apply it at the inner corners of a smoky eye look, à la Emma Roberts. This will make your eyes look downright-sparkly, and will work as a twinkling enhancer for black, brown, or metallic eyeliner or shadow. As explained by Byrdie, white liner just at the inner corners works as a "brightening tool" like highlighter, and will make any eye color under the sun look amazing.

Feeling imaginative? Try a daring white cat-eye

Let's say you want to go for a graphic, super-unique look instead: then a white cat-eye is just the thing for you. It works similarly to the inner-corner trick, but works to elongate the eyes instead. As makeup guru Hennings explained to Cosmopolitan, to achieve this look, just "trace your upper lid with a white pencil and flick the pencil toward the outer corner of your eye, like you're drawing a check mark." While a black cat-eye is all about slick, old Hollywood glam, recalling the likes of Lauren Bacall and Sophia Loren, white cat-eyes are more 1960s pop art and Twiggy chic.

Get inspired by Kristen Stewart's incredible makeup look she wore to Cannes, featuring an icy white cat-eye and dots of tiny pearls along her upper lash line. While we'll never stop being obsessed with this look, it's actually quite simple: created by her longtime makeup artist Beau Nelson, it features a swipe of Chanel Longwear Cream Eyeshadow in bright white, some light brown shadow towards the brows, and a bubblegum-pink gloss (via Vogue).

As per Byrdie, white cat-eye looks bring just as much "drama" as darker alternatives, and is best created using an eyeliner brush for a super-sharp finish. Ipsy recommends sticking with a gel or liquid liner instead of a pencil for this very reason, creating a flattering 45 degree angle, and even trying a "double cat eye" by joining the flick to your bottom lash line, too. Perfection!

Play around with both white eyeliner and icy shadow

Another way you can make use of white liner's eye-opening benefits is by doubling-down and using a dose of white shadow, too. While Cara Delevingne looks great in pretty much anything, we can't help but notice how her icy eye look makes her gaze double in size. While dabbing white liner at your inner corners will open up your eyes enough for that 8 a.m. zoom meeting, sometimes you want something that works great for nighttime, too. If you're not into cat-eyes, blending white shadow and liner at the top lid will make your eyes look as bright-as-can-be, and very glam.

Byrdie wholeheartedly recommends using a white liquid, cream, or gel liner and using it as an eyeshadow, spreading it over your entire top lid. While daring, this look will scream modern day snow princess, and who doesn't want that? While we're more than ready to channel Elsa, Ipsy explains that using some white shadow on top of your liner will kill two birds with one stone: it will up your icy makeup look, while also setting your liquid liner. We love Delevingne's look for its mix of white shadow with just a tinge of a light-gray cat-eye at the corners. A balance if we ever saw one!

While this look isn't for everyone, and some of us will clutch to our Urban Decay Naked palette smoky eye for the rest of our lives, we love having a bright-white alternative.

Bottom white liner is eye-opening – and unique

When in doubt, take a risk — even when it comes to your makeup. We're absolutely freaking out over the gorgeous Tessa Thompson's Met Gala look, paying tribute to the "Heavenly Bodies" theme with supernatural, ethereal glam. Decked out in pearls and diamonds, Thompson completed her neutral, subdued look with a fleck of white liner at the bottom lash line, extending to a crossed-out cat-eye. Near-mystical, we can't get over how great it looks with a healthy swipe of iridescent highlighter on the cheekbones — and we want to recreate it stat.

Graphic white liner is trending more than ever, especially after Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga's immediately-iconic video for "Rain on Me." The video features both singers wearing impossibly-stark, white cut-out liner on just the top lids, making use of negative space. Try the look out for yourself by drawing a thick black cat-eye on the top lash line, followed by a white cat-eye shape that extends up to the brow bone (via Allure). As makeup artist Jeannie Cho told Elle, this look has "an avant-garde, futuristic feel," but is great for both "everyday and more glam styles." 

Before starting any graphic look, Cho recommends outlining your shape with concealer and a brush, perfecting it before swiping on the white liner. As per Byrdie, graphic white liner will continue to be a major trend, whether as a connect-the-dots look on the upper and lower lash lines, or as minimalist waves painted on the lid. 

White liner works great for day-to-day, too

You might be thinking: okay, red carpet looks are great, but what if I'm in slippers all day and put on a chance blouse just for Zoom meetings? Well, there's a white eyeliner style for that, too. As seen on none other than Olivia Wilde, you can use a sparkly white crayon liner on your inner corners and blended on the brow bone for an absolutely gorgeous look. As eye-opening as they come, this look is best paired with a neutral shadow, or on its own without any fuss at all. You can even nix mascara with this trick — it'll make you look awake enough on its own.

Shimmery, icy crayon or creamy liners work like a highlighter for your eyes, adding a dose of glam, dewiness, and brightness while still keeping it natural. While applying white liner directly on your waterline is a great idea, this option is more subdued, and makes use of the nifty inner corner trick. As per Ipsy, you should outline a "v" bordering your tear ducts, and can make it longer or shorter depending on how dramatic you want the look to be. Longer "v's" create an inverted cat-eye, while keeping it shorter will add just a touch of luminosity to your face.

As explained by Marie Claire, blending a bit of creamy white liner at the tear ducts and brow is a quintessential "everyday option," so you can make it a part of your everyday routine.