What Is the “Unapproachable Makeup” TikTok Trend?

What Is the “Unapproachable Makeup” TikTok Trend?
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unapproachable makeup tiktok trend a photo of alexa demieSteve Granitz/Contributor/Getty Images,

Though we’ve certainly had issues with TikTok beauty trends before, the latest one to catch our attention is one we can fully get behind. Meet the “unapproachable makeup” trend, which encourages wearers to unleash their confident (and intimidating) side to ward off unwanted advancements from creepy men. To do this, TikTokers are rocking dramatically winged eyes, defined cheeks and dark lips to not appease themselves and not cater to the male gaze, as many makeup trends do. Here’s everything you need to know about the “unapproachable makeup” trend—plus, we tapped a few makeup artists to share tips for recreating the look yourself, because boy bye!

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Meet the Experts

  • Dara Levitan is a makeup artist and content creator. She has a decade of experience and specializes in recreating beauty trends and sharing makeup tips with her followers. She has previously worked for brands such as NARS, Urban Decay, Patrick Ta and Rare Beauty.
  • Monina Wright is a professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician in the Bay Area. She is also the founder and CEO of Moderne Beauty & Esthetics, where she trains aspiring makeup artists. She has over 20 years of experience in bridal makeup and hair services.
  • Shanell Sorrells is a celebrity makeup artist and brand partner for Q-tips. She specializes in soft glam and dramatic looks, while also using her platform to share makeup tutorials and product reviews. Her previous clients include Becky G, Jerrie Johnson and Rosario Dawson.

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What Is the “Unapproachable Makeup” Trend?

“The ‘unapproachable makeup’ trend is an intentionally bold and dramatic look that features strong contouring, dark eyes and striking lip colors. The overall intent is to create a powerful and somewhat intimidating appearance,” says Wright. This trend goes full glam. Think: siren eyes, dramatic lashes, sharp contours and a statement lip. And if you want to take things up a notch, you can bleach your brows, as seen on celebs like Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa and Ashley Graham.

This makeup trend also has some wellness aspects to it. The look is meant to evoke confidence and empowerment. It gives women the opportunity to be comfortable in their own skin and beauty choices, while not letting others (mostly men) ruin it. Sorrells said it best: “This trend snatches the eyes and face to give a sultry/sensual vibe. It says, ‘I’m confident, I’m mysterious and unfazed, honey!”

,a collage of alexa demie, billie eilish, lori harvey wearing unapproachable makeup trendKevin Mazur/Cindy Ord/MG23/Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Why Is It So Popular Right Now?

The “unapproachable makeup” trend follows a few other bold looks we’ve loved recently. From “rockstar makeup” to “dark feminine aesthetic,” we’ve been leaning into edgier styles as of late—as have celebs like Alexa Demi, Billie Eilish and Lori Harvey.

The popularity of this trend goes beyond the surface. “It allows people to experiment with their makeup and express themselves creatively,” says Wright. “In doing so, it can boost confidence and empower individuals to embrace their unique style or to avoid unwanted attention.”

A closer look at the hashtag, which currently has over 9 million views, and you’ll see that creators have been using the look to embolden them in common situations like asking for a raise at work to warding off unwanted advances at a club.

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How to Rock the “Unapproachable Makeup” Look

Ready for a boost of confidence? Our experts share nine steps to recreating the look at home.

  • Start off with your skincare routine before applying a hydrating primer to keep your look lasting all day.
  • Apply your foundation. Whether it’s matte or dewy, apply a full-coverage foundation and concealer for a flawless base. And don’t forget to apply a translucent powder on top for an airbrushed effect.
  • Focus on contouring. Grab a contour stick (or palette) and apply it to the tops of your cheekbones, as well as your nose, forehead and jawline. According to Wright, this step will offer a nice lift and accentuate your facial features.
  • Apply neutral eyeshadow. Sorrells suggests using a light to medium brown eyeshadow on the crease and outer corners of your eyes.
  • Grab your eyeliner. “Using a black liquid eyeliner, draw a winged line on the top lash line. Then, extend the liner into the inner corner of your eyes, making a small wing at the tear duct,” says Levitan. “Next, use a gel liner to frame the top and bottom waterlines before taking a matte black eyeshadow and a small brush to smudge the lines for a smokey effect.”
  • Define your brows. Elevate your arches using a brow gel, powder or pencil to really show off their shape.
  • Pump up your lashes. Use a volumizing mascara or consider popping on some false lashes along the outer corners of your eyes for an even more dramatic effect.
  • Pop on a bold lip. Reach for deeper purples or reds (or maybe try the Cherry Cola lip trend). Wright also suggests using a pencil liner to really define your pout. She adds, “Create the illusion of fuller lips by lining them just past your normal lip line.”
  • Set the whole look. Use setting spray to keep your makeup fresh and intact for the day.
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    Any Last Tips for Recreating This Look?

    • Take your eyeliner and make a dot at the inner and outer corners of your eyes before drawing the wing. “This step will help you create symmetrical wings on both eyes,” says Levitan.
    • Less is more when smoking out the liner. “Start with a small amount of black eyeshadow and add more if needed,” shares Levitan.
    • Keep Q-tips and micellar water on hand. “Always have these tools handy when using darker colors. You’ll want to dip a Q-tip in micellar water to clean up mistakes, and make the eyeshadow or eyeliner look really crisp,” shares Sorrells. “And if you’re a beginner, do your eyes before the rest of your makeup in case there’s any fallout.”
    • If you have hooded eyes…”I recommend doing the winged liner at a straighter, more horizontal angle and emphasizing the smokiness of the bottom lash line more,” says Levitan.

    OK, go forth and try this makeup look the next time you want to ward off catcalls and uninviting convos.

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