If you have TikTok, you’ve probably come across the terms “mermaid eyes” and “doe eyes” over the past few weeks. Both makeup looks are meant to change your eye shape — and your whole vibe. Mermaid eyes are generally considered sexier and more alluring than sweet, innocent doe eyes. Want to try them yourself? POPSUGAR chatted with MUA and a beauty influencer Daniel G to find out exactly how to achieve both looks. Keep reading for step-by-step guides, product recommendations, and our final verdicts.
What are mermaid eyes?
Mermaid eyes are often described as “dangerously beautiful”. A mermaid is a creature from Greek mythology that uses her beauty and sexiness to lure passing sailors to their death. The creature is known to be half-bird or half-mermaid and half-woman, and they would sing a magical song to attract men. While of course we don’t encourage manipulation, a mermaid makeup look is the perfect way to give yourself that magnetic appeal that draws people in.
How to do mermaid eye makeup
Mermaid eye makeup is sharp, fierce and mysterious and aims to elongate the eyes with eyeliner and shadow. To create the look you will need tape, eyeshadow primer, variation of brown eyeshadow, bronzer, liquid eyeliner and mascara (or fake eyelashes).
“The mermaid eye trend is all about looking seductive, sultry and ragged,” Dani explains. “I use an eye shadow primer all over my lid to avoid any traces of oil that might smudge my eyeliner! Then take a strip of masking tape and secure it under your lower lashes and point it up. your temple.After that, you are going to dust a shade of light brown all over the eyelid before starting to define with a darker shade along the lash line and blending outward along the strip. I always go for a neutral or warm brown to keep the look fairly understated and not too overwhelming.The key is not to overload the lid with pigment and color as the focus will be on the inner and outer corner of your eye.
The next step is the eyeliner. If you’re not an eyeliner pro, the best advice is to use an eyeliner with a fine, precise tip. This way you are less likely to do damage and you can increase the thickness as you gain confidence. “The type of liner you choose really depends on whether you want it to look smoky or intense. Feel free to experiment with different angles, thicknesses, and lengths of liner. I like to keep my mermaid eyes sharp and so I opt for a precision-tipped liquid liner (I love Doll Beauty’s Push Poppin’ Liner in Black Liquorice (£11)),” says Dani. “You want to start at the inner corner of your eye and flick outward towards your tear duct to create a little cat eye on the inner corner of your eye. Then take the liner and start lining the eyelid and continue the along the edge of the strip, creating the desired winged shape and filling in the gaps.”
Then, be sure to wait until the liner is dry before peeling off the tape to reveal the elongated, pointy eyeliner. Before going in with mascara, I tweaked my liner with a bit of concealer and swiped some black eyeshadow under the outer corner of my lower lashes to make the look a bit more cohesive. Next, Dani gives instructions, “Finish the femme-fatale vibe with swipes of black mascara. Or, if you’re feeling extra glam, you can use a half lash. I use Doll Beauty’s Gilly Faux Mink lashes. (£8). just cut off a third of them and then apply the rest to the outer corners of my eyes.”
Mermaid eyes verdict
The mermaid eyes look isn’t something I would wear every day, but it’s definitely a good routine to have in my arsenal when I want to feel extra sexy. For someone who hasn’t even mastered a regular wing, this is the most intricate and alluring look I’ve ever tried. I had to try this look twice to get it close to the ones I’ve seen on TikTok, but it’s not as hard as it looks once you get the hang of it. I paired this eye makeup with lots of bronzer and a red, glossy lip to add extra boldness. It would also look great with a slicked up bun or ponytail to make your face look even more ripped. One thing to know before trying mermaid eyes is that you will have to trust the process throughout. It looks very messy, but everything will fit together nicely once the tape is removed and your mascara is applied.
What are doe eyes?
The doe’s eyes are large and open, like you see on a female deer. Think Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Zooey Deschanel. These eyes are just as attractive as mermaid eyes, but in a different way. Doe eyes are typically warm, round, and associated with an endearing naivety. And it’s a really easy look to pull off.
How to do doe eye makeup
When creating a doe eye look, you must first establish some ground around the eyes. Believe it or not, your eyebrows play an important role in changing the shape of your eyes. Dani therefore recommends starting with the eyebrows and working down the face. “Your eyebrows can shape your face and make you look more awake. Just brush them upwards with a spoolie brush and add a few more upward strokes with an eyebrow pencil.” To do this, I used Ere Perez’s Natural Cosmetics Argan Brow Hero (£25).
Then, apply concealer under your eyes. “You can achieve this look with liquid concealer around two shades lighter than your skin tone. I used RMS Beauty ‘Un’ Cover-Up Concealer (£34). Apply your concealer with a wet beauty blender to an airbrushed look,” Dani says. When it comes to eyeshadow, Dani prefers a “pale” color with a “light shimmer.” She says, “It gives the illusion of having more space between the nose and the eyes.”
You don’t want to add dramatic winged eyeliner to this look. “With mermaid eyes, you want to lengthen your eyes using eyeliner, but the goal with doe eyes is to push your liner up to widen them. You want to draw a line that’s short and straight from your outer eye to create a small wing. Then draw a line across the rest of your eyelid and make it slightly thicker above your pupil. This gives the illusion of a more rounded eye.” , she explains.To do this, I used Lottie London’s Wing Woman in Brown (£5).
Next comes a white eyeliner all the way down the lower lash line. Dani says, “It really brightens up your face and makes your eyes look bigger.” Two of the best white eyeliners in our opinion are Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ‘N’ Kohl in Eye Cheat (£21) and Makeup by Mario’s Master Mattes Brightening Pencil (£17). Then, complete the look with mascara on your upper and lower lashes. I found a combination of Ere Perez Avocado Waterproof Mascara (£28) and Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes Volume 2 (£25) to give the best result. Dani also recommends adding wispy lashes to the upper and even lower lids for a whimsical finish. MUA recommends Doll Beauty’s Dolly Wispies (£8) and Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Norvina False Eyelashes in A Moment style (£13).
Doe Eye Verdict
Doe eyes are so achievable that you can easily wear the look everyday. I added a touch of blush on the apples of my cheeks and highlighter on the tip of my nose and cupid’s bow. This look should be really soft and round all over, so add your favorite pink lip liner and a subtle lipstick. Personally, I preferred doe eyes over mermaid eyes because they still looked alluring without overwhelming my natural eye shape. I used brown eyeliner instead of black to keep it subtle and bring out the blue in my eyes. I will definitely come back to these steps the next time I do my makeup.
Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Izzie Deibe