Actually, Super Bold Eyeliner Is So Hot Right Now

Julia Fox is just one participant in the trend.

Actually, This Eyeliner Is So Hot Right Now
Photo: Getty Images

Julia Fox is undeniably having a moment. But the consensus regarding the execution of said moment is … unclear.

Kanye's new muse has been praised for diving headfirst into whatever aesthetic schemes the rapper-cum-fashion fiend cooks up, from thong pants to cone bras and coordinated double denim. Fox has also been equally mocked for going along with his more outlandish looks — namely, thick streaks of creamy black eyeliner applied with a heavy hand.

I can't help but notice the parallels between the public's reaction to Fox's eye makeup and their similarly excoriating reviews of Kim Kardashian's Givenchy dress when she arrived at the 2013 Met Gala as Ye's plus-one. Maybe Fox's eyeliner is her very own "couch dress" moment. After all, like Kim's Met Gala gown, designed by Riccardo Tisci, Fox's eyeliner was created by a revered professional — makeup legend Pat McGrath — for the Schiaparelli show at Paris Haute Couture Week, an occasion that is likewise by and for fashion people.

We may joke about raccoons and Zoro, but actually, Fox's bold liner is uber popular in the fashion world. And the joke's on us if we don't realize that we might all be swiping black liner across our eyes from inner corner to temple by year's end. The Pat McGrath/Julia Fox look was for an event, a moment, but when we all start reaching for a slightly more heavily applied black line come fall, we should do so knowing the inspiration comes from the same place.

Not convinced? Consider how not so long ago we thought low-rise jeans were fashion's equivalent of Prohibition — an unfathomable moment in time we'd mention in whispers of "never again." Even before Fox stepped out with bold liner and slicked back hair, influencers like Lydia Pang and Ash Walker were doing their own versions of the look on grid. Of course, there are already TikTok tutorials aplenty about how to achieve the particular Pat McGrath look that Fox wore to the Schiaparelli show. (This one, above, has nearly 550k views.)

This week, Saint Laurent shared images of Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney in an all-black outfit by Anthony Vaccarello with dark, ringed eyes to match — a subtler take on the trend.

Sydney Sweeney in Saint Laurent
Courtesy of Saint Laurent

Elsewhere on the Couture runways, Chanel also took their eye makeup up a notch with filled-in double-winged looks. Some models also had glittering black circles around one eye, apparently inspired by pre-war avant garde creatives. (The look courted controversy, though, as many pointed out that the design, which looked a lot like a black eye, appeared to be glorifying abuse.)

Of course, intense liner goes far beyond the pre-war creative tribes or the eyeliner trends of the '80s and mid-2000s, or even the ancient Egyptians, who are often credited for the first known use of eyeliner, which was drawn with thick lines of kohl all around the eyes. A boldly lined eye is a timeless look and a very current trend all at once. Sometimes, it just takes someone willing to make a statement to remind us how fashionable it can be.

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