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The “Fake Tear” Trend Combines Our Two Favorite Things

For everyone who has ever told you, “Don’t cry, you’ll mess up your makeup,” we’ve discovered the ultimate “fuck you.” Tears are an intentional part of the makeup with many of the looks that are taking over our Instagram feeds lately. Makeup artists have been creating fake tears out of gloss and face paint. This is not to be confused with glitter tears, which has also had its Instagram moment and runway appearance. Instead, this tear makeup looks incredibly real and so right. For all the sad girls out there who like a good daily cry, this weird Instagram trend goes out to you. We feel you.

To find out how to create convincing fake tears, we talked to Canadian makeup artist Laura Kalmakoff. Her latest teary-eyed look was actually inspired by Kimberley Margarita — not her actual emotions. The makeup artist, who also goes by ColourCreepp on social media, is known for her mystical makeup looks that often involve tears running down her face. Here she is, done up as a mermaid princess.

For the tear makeup look below, Kalmakoff dripped clear lip gloss on her face (not jizz as she jokes) to create a realistic-looking tear. She tells Allure she prefers water-activated face paints for tear makeup, though. “If working with water-activated face paints, it will dry on your face and stay put,” she explains. “Lip gloss is a nightmare. It will gradually spread all over your face within a couple minutes.”


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Despite the messiness, clear gloss seems to be the most popular tear makeup medium.


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If you want to go the face paint route, Kalmakoff likes to saturate a small liner brush in water then add some paint to it. Then, she touches it to her eye area to create “tears.” They will eventually dry and stay put. “Drippy looks are the most fun to create and the least time consuming,” she says. “Some take less than half an hour.”

You can also use a setting spray like Dallas-based MUA Ash Meredith did.

Next time someone asks you to cry them a river, give them the most glam, ‘grammable look ever.