In Greek mythology, a siren is a symbol of seduction; their sea-nymph songs are said to be so enchanting they can lure sailors to their deaths. Over the course of modern history, the phrase has come to be synonymous with women who are so enticing they’re dangerous, especially on screen when they’re adorned with a sultry winged eye. Think Veronica Lake in 1942’s This Gun for Hire, or Selina Kyle in 1992’s Batman Returns or 2022’s The Batman.
This is the essence of TikTok’s latest beauty craze, known as siren eyes. It all began a few weeks ago with creator @DanielleMarcan, who coined the phrase as she sought to make her gaze more seductive with elongated flicks of jet-black eyeliner along the inner and outer corners of the eyes. Since then, the #SirenEyes hashtag has accumulated nearly 280 million views, inspiring users to tap into their “dark femininity,” as Marcan puts it, and punctuate their eyes with a little smolder.
“There’s definitely a touch of noir,” makeup artist Cassandra Garcia says of the siren eyes trend, a look that’s appeared in different iterations across red carpets on the likes of Zendaya and Bella Hadid for years. “It’s such a sultry, yet wearable twist on a classic cat-eye, and I love that you can go from a [subtle] application to a more intense wing.” Fellow pro Carolina Dali agrees: “It lifts, elongates, and opens up the eyes… What’s not love?”
If you’re recreating the siren eyes look on yourself, Dali stresses the importance of calibrating it to your eye shape. “If it’s your first time trying it, play with it when you have nowhere to go,” she says. “Shadow and line where it best complements your own eye shape.” A few helpful strategies: “For those with eyes on the smaller side, line the center of the lash line with a nude liner to further open up the eyes,” she says, noting her go-to is Chanel’s Le Crayon in beige shade Claire. “If your eyes are set closer to one another, go lightly on the liner in the inner corner and follow with a touch of champagne eyeshadow to brighten up that area and create an illusion of more space between the eyes.” To correct any mistakes and perfect the lines, keep cotton swabs and a bottle of micellar water on hand.
A fierce reimagination of traditional feline flicks, siren eyes are a striking alternative to beauty’s more pared trends of the moment. “After a while of the clean, no-makeup makeup, so many of us are looking to switch it up and get more experimental and sexier with our makeup,” Dali says. “It plays up on the sultriness and mystery in a person’s gaze.”