Bold makeup trends are especially popular in the summer when the sizzling weather inspires us to step outside of our comfort zone and experiment with new looks. Celebrity makeup artist Troye Antonio confirms our observation. “It’s a great time to be bold with color when it comes to makeup,” the professional tells us with enthusiasm.
Many TikTok users have also gotten the memo, and showcased their colorful creativity with a clever look that resembles the appearance of LED lights. The "LED Liner" trend is appropriately named, and has become one of this year's go-to summer beauty trends due to its bold impact and ease of replication.
Makeup artist Cat Mignano believes that LED Liner is trendy because of its fun variations and flexibility to match any outfit. "The colored LED Liner adds a little spice to the current trends,” she explains to Byrdie.
Ahead, learn more about the trend and how to achieve the look.
Meet the Expert
Allow us to explain before you confuse this trend with the outrageous LED strips people were once wearing on their eyes. LED Liner is as simple as applying white eyeliner in your desired shape (winged, cat eye, batwing, etc.) and adding the brightest color in your eyeshadow palette to achieve the statement-making glam.
When beauty content creator Monet McMichael (@monetmcmichael) showed a bright neon eyeliner look in a video, the trend instantly gained popularity. "Look how electric that is," she exclaims.
To achieve the look, McMichael showed herself applying bright orange eyeshadow over white eyeliner. She instructs in the video, "Smudge it a little outside to give a shadow effect.” This shadow effect is what give it the LED feel—think a neon sign—and makes it different than your typical bright liner.
Beauty Vlogger Camila Ramirez (@camilaramirezbeauty) created an intricate floating liner using a literal glow-in-the-dark liquid liner. The video garnered over 70k likes.
The trend is a favorite of celebs like Doja Cat, and beauty experts like beauty editor Beth Gillette. Gillette admits that the attention-grabbing beauty trend appealed to her because she prefers not to spend long periods of time in the mirror during the summer. "Colored eyeliner is a quick way to amp up my look, and it doesn’t feel heavy on the eyes,” she explains about her everyday go-to look. “For anyone who thinks they can’t ‘pull off’ colored eyeshadow, try colored liner. It’s definitely like dipping your toe into bright makeup.”
How To Get LED Liner
Below, get Cat Mignano's step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the look.
Apply White Eyeliner
Create a winged liner that will flatter your eye shape. “To achieve a highly pigmented look, I would recommend using a really good white liquid eyeliner as your base. I love the Makeup Forever Aqua Resist Color Ink ($26)— it’s waterproof and will last ALL day.”
Choose Your Eyeshadow
Pick any eyeshadow color you’d like your liner to be. Mignano suggests choosing something fun and vibrant. “I would recommend a super pigmented colorful eyeshadow palette. A go-to for me is the James Charles Morphe Palette.”
If you don’t already own the sold-out James Charles Palette from Morphe, she also suggests MAC’s Art Library: It’s Designer ($49).
Add Your Eyeshadow
Take a small flat top liner brush and start to pack the eyeshadow on top of the white eyeliner. Then, take your small blending brush and start to diffuse the edges of that liner. This creates a “glow effect” similar to the one you’d see when gazing at a LED light.
Take It Up A Notch
Heading out for a night on the town? Mignano says “get fun with it” by blending the colored eyeshadow under your lower lash line.
Shop The Look
This isn’t the first time that neon eyeliner has gained popularity, nor will it be the last. However, Mignano predicts that "there will definitely be new trends rolling around by the time fall hits,” so take advantage of the dog days of summer and get your glow on.