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What On Earth Is ‘Crying Makeup’ And Why Is It Trending On TikTok?

“If you’re not in the mood to cry, here’s how to get the look with makeup,” says TikTok creator @zoekimkenealy in her crying makeup tutorial. That’s right, crying makeup is the viral beauty trend you didn’t know you needed. Puffy soft lips, a rosy nose and liquid glitter on the bottom of the eyes complete the look. 


#greenscreen crying makeup look tutorial 😅 Can I go as a crying person for Halloween or is that not a thing #cryingmakeup #tearmakeup #cryingeyes #makeupforhalloween

♬ Show Me How (Album V) – Men I Trust

Why crying makeup is having a moment 

Wondering why TikTokers are into the idea of replicating the effects of crying with makeup? Perhaps it has something to do with the HBO series Euphoria, which delivers dramatic eye makeup looks along with its dramatic storylines. Glitter tears have practically become synonymous with the show. 

Crying makeup is also surprisingly subtle and flattering – no racoon eyes from shedding actual tears while wearing heavy eyeliner. It’s sort of reminiscent of the “clean girl aesthetic” thanks to a natural and glowy finish. 

There’s also the fact that the angsty Sad Girl era, personified by Tumblr accounts and Lana Del Rey, never quite disappeared. People love to glamorize female sorrow – just watch the 2022 Blonde movie about Marilyn Monroe for a case study on the topic. 

The Darker Aspects Of The Crying Makeup Trend 

Glamorizing sad women can be problematic. “The ‘Sad Girl’ aesthetic has been around for almost 10 years, so the idea of aestheticizing female sadness isn’t new,” said Noor Mubarak, a psychological wellbeing practitioner at the Private Therapy Clinic, in a Glamour interview. “But for those who are struggling with feelings of despair and tearfulness, it can feel trivializing to see people trying to look like they are struggling for aesthetic purposes.” 

In the Glamour interview, Mubarak adds that it’s even possible for trends such as crying makeup to amplify mental health stigmas such as the idea that young women struggling may be overreacting or exaggerating their feelings.

The Upside Of The Psychology Of Crying Makeup 

On the other hand, you could argue that there is something refreshing about embracing the array of human emotions. Raw, vulnerable posts of people actually crying have also been trending on social media, which speaks volumes about a collective need to drop facades in favor of human connection. Last year, Bella Hadid shared photos of herself crying on Instagram and opened up about her mental health struggles. 

“This is pretty much my every day, every night. For a few years now. Social media is not real. For anyone struggling, please remember that. Sometimes all you’ve gotta hear is that you’re not alone,” wrote Hadid. 

For some, crying makeup may be an expression of an inner state that shouldn’t be concealed by toxic positivity. For others, dewy skin, pouty gloss and glittery eyes may simply be an aesthetic choice. In any case, it sure is a conversation-starting trend.

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