How to Nail the White Eyeliner Trend Taking Over TikTok, According to Lady Gaga's Makeup Artist

TikTok's Alix Earle sparked a new viral trend by applying white eyeliner in her waterline. If you want to channel the influencer, E! News spoke to Lady Gaga's makeup artist on how to achieve the look.

By Alyssa Morin Mar 20, 2023 6:04 PMTags
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TikTok's buzziest makeup hack is guaranteed to be easy on the eyes.

The social media platform's biggest beauty trend is all about applying white eyeliner to the waterline of the eyes to brighten and widen them. And thanks to influencer Alix Earle, whose signature style includes drawing white on her lower lash line, the old-school makeup technique has been given a new life.

And while the TikToker applies her white eyeliner effortlessly, it's not quite as easy to pull off IRL—especially as the white shade can appear stark and cartoonish. That's why we called in an expert on how to achieve the viral beauty trend: Lady Gaga's makeup artist Sarah Tanno, who frequently uses the white eyeliner method on the pop star. 

"Gaga and I have been using this trick for years for performances to open up the eyes to the audience from afar," Sarah exclusively told E! News. "It's great when you want that doll eye look."

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Sarah, who pointed out that the makeup hack is a "very specific aesthetic," shared the best way to create the look. 

"Simply take a waterproof pencil—like the Haus Labs Optic Intensity Eco Liner in White Onyx Matte—and apply from the tear duct all the way to the end," the Global Artistry Director for Haus Labs explained. "If you want to open up the eye even more, you can extend it past your eyeliner and then trace with black eyeliner to achieve an iconic Elizabeth Taylor look."


The white eyeliner really pops, Sarah shared, when it's stacked with another color. As she noted, "You can create a giant white wing artistry look like we did in the 'Rain On Me' music video, then paint the whole lid."

For those preferring a more subtle style but still want to try out the TikTok trend, the makeup artist suggested swapping out the white shade for a matte beige. 

"You bring your waterline from one end to the other," she revealed about gliding on the beige eyeliner, "making sure that you take it across to give the illusion of it being more open and wider. I think this looks best if you trace it with a tight line of black or brown eyeliner at your lash line or frame it with mascara."


Now that you have the tools and tricks of the trade, you can channel your inner Lady Gaga or Alix Earle.