Are EYE BAGS the new beauty must have?

Time to STOP hiding your eye bags! Gen Z TikTok influencers start new craze for using lipsticks and shadows to enhance dark circles – so, are YOU bold enough to give it a try?

  • Gen Z beauty fans have adopted a trend for making their eye bags darker
  • Led by British model Sara Carstens, 19, it has grown in popularity on TikTok
  • Creators say it is about learning how to ’embrace insecurities’ with makeup 

Beauty counters are filled with products that promise to get rid of dark circles, which have long been seen as unsightly and undesirable.

But Gen Z beauty fans are learning to embrace their eye bags, with some even going so far as to use makeup to make them darker.

Led by British beauty influencers like model Sara Carstens, 19, teenagers and 20-somethings have taken to TikTok to share videos of themselves applying lipstick or eyeshadow to the skin under their lower eyelid to create the illusion of heavier shadows.

Her dark circles video has been viewed more than 7million times since it was posted in December and has prompted others to show off their take on the trend, including Abby Roberts, a beauty influencer and content creator from Leeds who has more than 15million TikTok followers. 


Led by influencers like British model Sara Carstens, pictured, Gen Z TikTok users are sharing ideos of themselves applying lipstick under their eyes to create the illusion of heavier shadows. Pictured, Sara applies lipstick under her eyes (left) and shows off the finished result

Abby said the goal of the trend is to ‘normalise’ something that has long been an insecurity.

Got a good night’s sleep? Here’s how to fake your eye bags 

Abby shared her tips for anyone willing to try the trend: 

Take either a lipstick or eyeshadow in a brownish/purple tone and swipe under the eyes where your eyebags usually sit to enhance them. Smudge and blend to create the shadow.  

‘The goal is to normalise people’s insecurities and features that aren’t typically seen as “beautiful” by societal beauty standards and to bring attention to these features and give people confidence in them,’ she said. 

This sentiment was echoed by London-based beauty guru Danielle Marcan, who has more than 1.1million Instagram followers, said in her caption that the trend gave her a way to embrace her perceived flaws. 

‘In 2021 I’m accepting all my insecurities,’ she wrote. ‘Maybe even highlighting them and wearing them with confidence.’ 

Abby said she thinks it’s struck a particular chord with Gen Z users who ‘love to challenge society’s rules’ and want to ‘rebel against beauty ideals’ that they feel have been ‘forced upon’ them.

Aspiring actress Sara agreed, explaining that experimenting has become even more popular during the Covid-19 pandemic when people have found themselves with more time on their hands. 

She added: ‘Since our sleeping schedules are pretty messed up and most of us have eye bags or dark circles anyways, why not make a trend out of it?’

#stitch with @sarathefreeelf eye bags r sexi okay


Trying the trend: Abby Roberts, a makeup artist from Leeds who has more than 15million TikTok followers also shared a video of the trend. Pictured applying (left) and with the shadows

While the majority of her followers praised her video, others were offended because they had been ‘bullied’ for their eye bags and didn’t like that they are now a ‘trend’ and an admired quality. 

Some experts think the trend is more than skin deep and points to a deeper meaning. 

‘There’s a sort of a world weariness that these younger women might want to be expressing through this,’ said Rachel Weingarten, a beauty historian and author of the book Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ’40s-’60s, told the New York Times. 

@sarathefreeelf and @abbyroberts made me do it


Embracing insecurities: London-based beauty guru Danielle Marcan, who has more than 1.1million Instagram followers, said in her caption that the trend gave her a way to embrace her perceived flaws. Pictured, Danielle applies makeup under her eyes (left) and shows the results

‘During the plague, when people were trying to show they were healthy they would rouge their cheeks. 

‘In World War II, there was tremendous privation and women were still trying to appear to be beautiful.’

With the dark circles, women want to reflect ‘what they are going through’ in a ‘visual diary’ or ‘tiny piece of immediate theatre’. 

As a result, historians and experts believe it is a trend that isn’t here to stay. 

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