What Is Douyin Makeup? Plus, How to Try the LookMay 22, 2023
Dreamy, ethereal, doll-like — these are all words that come to mind when we think of Douyin makeup. What was once seen primarily on Chinese social media (specifically the video creator app Douyin, from which it earns its name), Douyin makeup is fast becoming a popular trend in the U.S., too. On TikTok, the search term “douyin makeup” has racked up 1.9 billion views, with tutorials on how to recreate the looks climbing into the millions. So what is “Douyin makeup,” and what makes it so distinctive from other styles of makeup?
“Douyin makeup draws inspiration from popular beauty trends around the world,” says makeup artist Jianqiao Lu. “For example, the heavy base comes from YouTube makeup gurus; the use of pink blush, as well as colored cosmetic contact lenses, is influenced by Japanese beauty and Japanese magazines. The exaggerated lashes certainly come from Japanese Manga, and finally, K-beauty and Korean superstars have greatly inspired how Douyin content creators line their eyes and emphasize the aegyo sal. The combination of these inspiration creates a unique makeup style that is so recognizable, so specific to Douyin.”
Below, Lu breaks down the steps and products you need to recreate Douyin-inspired makeup on yourself. Plus, we share some of our favorite looks for inspiration.
Douyin Makeup Tutorial
Start With a Full-Coverage Foundation
Douyin makeup looks have a doll-like quality to them, so a full-coverage foundation is essential to mastering the look. Lu says that many creators use a foundation shade that is two to three shades lighter than their skin tone to enhance the artificial effect, but you can also match your skin tone for a more subtle take on the trend. We recommend using the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation because it provides full coverage and a natural matte finish that won’t look cakey on camera or in real life.
Even though the base makeup is full-coverage, Lu says it’s important to keep your skin from looking too powdery or dry. According to Lu, this can be done while minimizing the appearance of pores by patting the foundation into the skin using a damp makeup sponge.
Contour and Highlight
Prominent contour and highlight on the nose and cupid’s bow are both hallmarks of the Douyin makeup style. For highlight, Lu suggests using a concealer or full-coverage foundation three shades lighter than your face shade — we love the Maybelline New York SuperStay Active Wear Liquid Concealer.
For contour, choose a cool-toned powder to help sculpt, not bronze, your features, like the Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Contour Powder. Finish by setting your base makeup with a finely milled powder on a large powder puff. Lu recommends the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfecting Setting Powder.
Enhance the Eyes With Glitter
Lu calls the Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Glitter Eyeshadow the “hero product” of Douyin makeup. The shadows are packed with glitter and give your eyelids a glistening, wet effect. We love every shade, but our favorites are the viral Space Cowboy, Lithium, a deeper shade, and Cosmic, a sheer white. For true Douyin sparkle, apply the shade all over the lid and inner corners with your finger or a flat shadow brush
Elongate With Liquid Eyeliner
Lu recommends painting a thin wing on the top lash line using liquid eyeliner — “the sharper, the better,” he says. Try the NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Matte Liquid Liner in Black or the Epic Ink Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Brown for a softer look.
Add Aegyo Sal
In Chinese and Korean makeup looks, it’s very common to draw emphasis to the aegyo sal, a Korean term for the skin underneath the eyes. Doing so gives the eyes a wider, rounder appearance and enhances the Japanese anime-like look. To create an aegyo sal, Lu recommends tracing a rounded line underneath the ends of your lower lashes with a brown eyebrow pencil, then blending the line with a small eyeshadow brush. Don’t over-blend or drag the color down too low, or else your under-eyes may appear muddy, he warns. To make your aegyo sal pop even more, place a light eyeshadow in the space between the line you created and your lower lash line.
Finish the Eyes With False Lashes
For full “Douyin drama,” Lu says he prefers individual false lashes on both the top and bottom lash lines (or lashes painted on with liquid eyeliner underneath the aegyo sal). Look for lashes that are more spiky than wispy — Lu says you can’t go wrong with lashes from Lashify (we love the Extreme Ice Gossamer set) or the KISS Falscara. You can also fake a spiky look by pinching a wispy set, like the NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Lash! Vegan False Eyelashes in Extension Clusters, using mascara and a pair of tweezers.
When you add lashes on the bottom, make sure to place them on the line you created with the aegyo sal instead of on your actual lower lash line, says Lu.
Apply a Lip Stain
Use a matte liquid lipstick or lip stain to create a blurred, stained effect that will make your lips appear fuller without the use of a lip pencil. “Always diffuse the line, never use lip liner,” says Lu. “Lips are usually in a nude pink shade, or a soft tomato shade.” Try a light layer of the YSL Beauty Tatouage Velvet Cream Liquid Lipstick in Beige Underground or the NYX Professional Makeup Powder Puff Lippie Lip Cream in Puppy Love, taking care to blur out the edges of your bottom lip and cupid’s bow.
Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can start playing with different color combinations and iterations of the Douyin makeup look. Just remember, glitter and false lashes are always key!