Life Style

How to Master Puppy Eyeliner, According to a Makeup Artist

Ashley Rebecca wearing puppy eye makeup

K-Beauty trends are growing at a rapid pace and have certainly had an enormous impact on makeup and skincare over the last few years. From glass skin to snail face masks, the category has a lot to offer anyone looking to upgrade their skincare and makeup routines. An incredibly popular makeup trend that we can give K-Beauty all of the credit for is “puppy dog eyes.” For this look, eyeliner is applied in a downward motion to resemble the adorable and doe-eyed shape that puppies naturally have.

Interested in trying the trend? Ahead, we put together a full tutorial on how you can master it. Keep scrolling for some expert advice from pro makeup artist Dema Jaber.


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Step 1: Apply Pencil Eyeliner

Ashley Rebecca applies brown eyeliner to her eyes

The most distinctive thing about puppy dog eyes is the shape. The key is in how you apply the eyeliner. Traditionally you might find that most eyeliner is applied in an upward motion on the eye and outer corners, yet for this specific trend, you’re going to want to apply the liner in a downward curve, instead.

You can use gel or pencil liners for this look. I’m starting with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner in Bourbon ($22) to draw my shape. Since my eyes are almond-shaped, I’m focusing on making sure that you can tell the eyeliner slopes down and doesn’t look like a traditional cat-eye. No matter your eye shape, just follow the natural curvature of your eyes as a guide.

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Step 2: Connect and Smudge

Ashley Rebecca smudges the eyeliner on her bottom lash line

After you’ve applied the top liner, move on to the bottom with the same pencil and connect the two. Then, smudge it out using an eyeshadow brush or your finger. You’ll want to stop in the center of the lash line and not carry it all the way over to the inner corners.

“I prefer to line the lower lashes with a kohl liner and bring it out to meet the gel liner by smudging it out giving a soft smokey effect,” Jaber adds. “The kohl gives a softer look for everyday wear and you can build it up and make it more of a dramatic smoked-out puppy eye if you want.”

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Step 3: Outline with Liquid Liner

Ashley Rebecca adds liquid liner to her eyes

To intensify the look, add liquid eyeliner on top of the gel or pencil liner you already applied to add depth and darken the color. You can repeat this same step on the bottom liner but it’s not necessary. Just remember to follow the shape of the liner so that it looks polished.

If you need some practice using a liquid eyeliner, starting with a felt-tip one might ease you into the process more easily. I am using Charlotte Tilbury’s Feline Flick Liner Pen ($30) on top of the eyeliner I’ve already applied.

When using liquid or felt-tip eyeliners, practice applying them on the top of your hand first to get an idea of the consistency, color, and how quickly the eyeliners dry down. Since each liner is different, you can gauge how thin or thick to make the lines, especially if you’re using a liquid liner that has a tiny brush as an applicator.


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Step 4: Sweep on Eyeshadow

Ashley Rebecca smudges her eye makeup with a brush

When it comes to makeup, it’s mostly about having fun than getting super technical, so you can either add your eyeshadow before you’ve done your liner or after for the puppy dog eyes trend. I chose to apply my shadow after to the crease just to add some nice dimension and contour. You can wear any colors you choose, but natural, more earth-toned shadows will not take away from the eyeliner which is the main attraction for this look. If eyeliner and eyeshadow tend to crease or smudge on you during the day, apply a shadow primer all over the top lid and let it dry down before moving on to the rest of your eye makeup.

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Step 5: Intensify Your Lashes

Ashley Rebecca applies mascara

Adding a great mascara to finish the look helps aid in creating the round shape. Apply a few coats of mascara to the top and bottom lashes until you feel the look is complete. I’m applying Kjaer Weis Im-Possible Mascara ($26) for volume, length, and separation.

If you want to step things up a bit and wear this look with false eyelashes, that’s even better. Why do you ask? Jaber recommends pairing this look with false lashes because it will really enhance the round shape, “I like to use the Lash Star Visionary Lash 002 ($28) because the longest length is in the center, giving you a rounder eye that helps accentuate the look even further. Eyes are opened in just in the right place giving you an exaggerated puppy eye look.”

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Step 6: Make Any Edits

The final Puppy Dog eye makeup look

Congrats—You have now reached full puppy dog eyes status. Before you head out, take a look at your finished look, make any edits you feel like, and continue to wear this trend wherever you want, because we think it looks amazing on you.


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