This TikTok Eyeliner Tape Hack Might Not Be a Great Idea, FYI

A dermatologist weighs in on whether getting the perfect cat eye is worth it.

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TikTok Eyeliner Tape hack , Close up of masking tape to create cat eyes
Photo: Getty Images

TikTok, the home of the best viral beauty trends and hacks (hello, exfoliating gloves), is always coming up with something new and surprising. Sometimes the trends make complete sense (like the $10 Olaplex dupe or eyebrow stamp), while other times they're so extreme you might be left wondering how, exactly, someone came up with it in the first place (please, don't draw undereye circles under your eyes).

Case in point: The TikTok eyeliner tape hack — which promises the perfect sharp cat eye or dramatic wing in seconds — has already racked up millions of views. While there's a whole collection of ways TikTok proposes you can more easily draw on your eyeliner, this specific version uses, yes, tape to achieve the perfect eyeliner line. (Related: Serena Williams Relies On This $7 Waterproof Eyeliner, No Matter How Hard She's Sweating)

And TBH, it's hard to deny the results: Some users who try the eyerliner tape trick showcase incredibly precise lines that seem to be the product of a professional makeup artist's skills and steady hand. While the "afters" speak for themselves, you're not alone if you're cringing at the thought of sticking any kind of tape to your face.

It might give you the perfect look, but is the TikTok eyeliner tape hack it even safe?

"Tape as an eyeliner hack can be a good idea to deliver a straight line," explains Shereene Idriss, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, founder of Idriss Dermatology in NYC, and the creator of the #pillowtalkderm series on Instagram. "However, I would not recommend using regular tape over time."

Why? The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body, and, as a result, is super fragile. "The constant tugging of tape on the delicate skin around your eyes can pull that skin and lead to a truly unwanted laxity (aka it'll loosen the skin), which is why I do not recommend this approach at all," says Dr. Idriss. This may increase wrinkles or fine lines and can become permanent. And, while some TikTok users seem to be using medical tape instead of packing or craft tape, at the end of the day, it's still tape and will still tug on your skin. Not to mention, a study on the use tape on the eye area of surgical patients found that even medical tape removed surface layers of the skin and caused damage.

If you already have sensitive skin, the tape can really cause a bad irritant dermatitis (a nonallergic skin reaction that occurs when a substance damages your skin's outer protective layer), which can lead to hyperpigmentation (aka dark-colored patches), says Dr. Idriss. Even if you don't have have chronically sensitive skin, taping your face can actually make your skin sensitized — which describes when something in the environment changes the skin's normal function, resulting in stinging or burning sensation and physical markers like redness. It's also entirely possible to be allergic to tape, in which case your skin may develop a rash, itching, and swelling.

And, of course, there's also a risk that you'll pull out some lashes when you're taping that close to your eye — and no one wants that. In short, using tape to help you create the perfect eyeliner line is a trend that you should probably sit out.

Still, if creating a creating that precisely straight-winged eyeliner lewk is on your priority list, there are tons of other ways to achieve it. You can use a credit or business card, by placing it onto the skin where you want the line and tracing it, which won't pull or tug at your skin the same way that tape does.

Or, if creating the eyeliner line is still *too* tricky with these other TikTok hacks, invest in the viral Kaja Wink Eyeliner Stamp (Buy It, $25, sephora.com), which simplifies the process of drawing on that oh-so-flawless eyeliner line and yields the same results. (Just read about how people are obsessed with it.)

Kaja Wink Stamp Eyeliner

Kaja Wink Stamp
Amazon

All in all, each hack brings the beauty community one step closer to making eyeliner applications as eye as possible. Here's hoping that the next hack is a bit safer — and user-friendly — so that anyone can create the perfect eyeliner lines with minimal effort.

And the great news is, TikTok doesn't seem to be running out of creative ideas anytime soon.

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