What you need to pull off the mermaid eye makeup trend

How to copy the pin-up inspired trend that’s all over your feed

The latest social media-driven makeup trend, mermaid eyes, is here to add sultry glamor for late summer. At first glance, the mermaid eyes look like the classic cat’s eye wing, but a sharp inner corner and black waterline add a retro Hollywood look. Mermaid eyes elongate the eye, flattering almost any eye shape, and it’s easy to replicate this runway-ready look at home.

What is mermaid eye makeup?

The mermaid eye look is inspired by classic Hollywood bombshells such as Sophia Loren and the ever-fashionable cat eye look. Mermaid eyes combine a dark, smoky eyeliner with a long, pointed outer wing and a smaller wing in the inner corner of the eye. You will usually see the waterline edged in black as well.

how to make mermaid eyes

Start by applying a brown eye shadow it’s just a few shades darker than your skin tone along the lash line, blending it past your crease in a soft wing shape. Follow with a smaller amount of darker brown or gray shadow to add depth along the outer corner of your eye.

Next, use black or dark brown eyeliner to create an upward slanted wing that extends past your crease. You can stain pencil eyeliner for a diffuse smoky look or get more drama with precise liquid eyeliner – or try both to add a sharp edge to a smoky eye look.

With the same eyeliner, create a shorter wing on your inner corner. Use waterproof eyeliner to darken your waterline. Complete the look with your favorite mascara.

What you need for mermaid eyes

Top liquid eyeliner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

What do you want to know: Create a precise, richly pigmented wing of eyeliner with this user-friendly, quick-drying pen.

What you will love: The marker-like tip glides on smoothly so you can apply cat’s eye without worrying about skipping or smudging. It comes in seven neutral shades to experiment with.

What you should consider: Some users found the formula not to be as waterproof as advertised.

Or buy: Sold by Ultimate Beauty, Sephora and Amazon

Top liquid eyeliner for the money

Best Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner

What do you want to know: Silky and precise, this eyeliner pen features an extra-smooth tip inspired by calligraphy pens.

What you will love: The flexible pen tip is made up of individual bristles like a paintbrush. Ultra-black formula resists smudges and fading for up to 12 hours. It is formulated with vitamins B5 and E and peptides to nourish lashes and promote their growth.

What you should consider: The liquid formula may bleed if too much is applied. The tip is much smoother than a typical felt-tip eyeliner, so it has a bit of a learning curve.

Or buy: Sold by Ultimate Beauty and Amazon

Premium eye pencil

Best Waterproof Eye Pencil 24-7 Urban Decay

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Eye Pencil

What do you want to know: With over 30 waterproof shades and finishes to choose from, this pencil is a great choice for your waterline.

What you will love: This best-selling eye pencil features smooth, creamy application and bold color. Vitamin E, jojoba oil and cottonseed oil help nourish the eye area and make the formula soft and easy to blend.

What you should consider: It can be difficult to achieve a sharp point with this pencil, so it’s best suited for smudged looks. Some colors are not as stain resistant as others.

Or buy: Sold by Sephora, Ultimate Beauty and Amazon

Top eye pencil for the money

Best infallible mechanical pencil eyeliner Never Fail LOreal Paris

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil

What do you want to know: This mechanical pencil’s built-in smudger and sharpener make it a great choice for vacations or touch-ups.

What you will love: Since it’s a mechanical pencil with an included sharpener, you’ll always be able to create a sharp tip for precise lines. It is available in seven colors, including white to lighten or highlight certain parts of your lash line.

What you should consider: Although they claim to last 16 hours, some users have found that the eyeliner fades and fades within hours.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Ultimate Beauty

Top eye shadow brush

Best Eyeshadow Brush Sephora Collection Makeup Match Smudge

Sephora Collection Makeup Match Smudge Eyeshadow Brush

What do you want to know: For soft, grungy, or diffuse eyeliner, this short-bristle synthetic brush can work with cream or powder products.

What you will love: You can use the brush to pick up and apply the eyeshadow to blend the eyeliner already applied. This makes creating a smokey eye smooth and simple.

What you should consider: It may be too soft to blend some eyeliner formulas.

Or buy: Sold by Sephora

Top eyeshadow brush for the money

Best Elf Cosmetics Small Smudger Brush

Elf Cosmetics Small Smudger Brush

What do you want to know: Use this soft synthetic brush to apply and blend eyeshadow along the lash line.

What you will love: This small brush achieves finely detailed looks as well as smudges. It can even be used as a lip brush or to fill in the eyebrows.

What you should consider: Some users have found the brush bristles too irritating to the delicate eye area.

Or buy: Sold by Ultimate Beauty

Mermaid eye mascara top

Best instant volumizing mascara Lancôme Hypnose Drama

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Instant Volumizing Mascara

What do you want to know: The unique brush shape of this mascara helps give lashes intense volume.

What you will love: It enhances lash length and adds dramatic volume without flaking. The formula stays put despite sweat or humidity.

What you should consider: The wand does not work well for everyone. The formula can be difficult to remove without a quality eye makeup remover.

Or buy: Sold by Sephora

Best mascara for the money

Best mascara LOreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

What do you want to know: One coat of this mascara gives lashes impressive volume and separation.

What you will love: The buildable formula glides on smoothly with minimal flaking or clumping. It comes in four shades of black or black-brown.

What you should consider: Application can be messy due to the amount of product that comes out on the brush. Some users have found that this mascara dries too quickly in the tube.

Or buy: Sold by Ultimate Beauty and Amazon

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Laura Durr written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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