TikTok’s Under Eye Bags: eye roll, or heart eyes?

After the year we’ve all endured, dark under-eye circles are the least of our worries. With the sleepless nights, kids unable to attend school, and sheer anxiety of the state of our world today, everybody has eye bags in one way or another. However, TikTok – home of the bizarre beauty trend – has got everybody talking about fake under eye circles.

Sara-Marie Carstens (@sarathefreeelf) posted a video on TikTok of herself using a dark coloured lipstick under her eyes and smudging it using her finger to blend on top of her already flawless makeup. The result was what appeared to be filtered dark under eye circles and the video has now amassed over 6.8 million views. Since the video went viral, makeup artists have begun following the trend and adapting it, then models were seen doing it too. Now magazines are covering it.

However, the internet is severely divided.

People have praised Sara for embracing something that is a deep rooted insecurity amongst many, especially adolescents and teens hiding their eye bags with concealer and heavy makeup. Others were not keen on the fact that dark eye circles were becoming a beauty trend, with many facing ridicule or deep insecurity in the past. They felt that creating dark circles with makeup, on top of makeup, would be defeating the point of normalising eye circles, and that they are not a trend to just go in and out of style.

As a follow up, Sara released another video stating that she herself struggles with eye bags and that her video has been ‘misunderstood’ by people. She wanted to normalise dark circles rather than be seen as a ‘trend.’ In this video she removed the makeup and TikTok filters to present the world with her natural skin.
She told the Independent: “Eye bags and dark circles shouldn’t go in and out of trend- the intention behind the video was simply to normalise them and embrace insecurities!”

Danae Mercer, self love influencer on Instagram boasting 2.1 million followers said on her page: “This is so fascinating to see. It’s beauty standards changing in real time. It comes with an incredible lesson: at the end of the day fashion trends come and go but how we feel inside doesn’t need to shift in the slightest. So whether you draw on some dark eye circles today, or slide some concealer over that shade or whether you go bare faced, just remember this: your worth is here to stay. And self love is always fashionable!”

Part of the trend seems to correlate with the resurgence of 70s, 80s, and 90s culture, trends and looks including mom jeans, flares, and faux leather. The makeup trend is reminiscent of the 00s grunge makeup seen on the likes of Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani with darker red, blue and brown tones smudged and blended along the lash lines. This new movement combines that with the under eye circles to create a soft grunge, tired look that vaguely resembles the heroin chic era of the 90s which featured people like Kate Moss and Jodie Kidd.

Whether you are a lover or a hater of this new makeup movement, it is a huge step in the battle to eradicate unrealistic beauty standards everywhere, just like when fashion giants such as Nastygal and Missguided stopped photoshopping their models and showed their cellulite and stretch marks.

Remember: unlike trends, your own self worth and love will never go out of style.

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