As a single woman in New York City, let me tell you: Dating is like wandering into a cesspool of molten garbage. And the Rat Kings in this city right now...
I'm doing pretty much anything and everything to find love — spells, jewelry, crystals — anything but actually going outside of my house to meet someone or ever opening a dating app. Because doing nothing yet feeling like I’m out of options is a part of my brand, when a TikTok video told me that four dots of white eyeliner would make someone fall in ~love~ with me, well, I had to try it. Yesterday.
There's a half-baked theory behind the white-dot makeup trick: By placing four dots around your eye in a diamond configuration — one on either side, as well as above and below your pupils — you're psychologically manipulating the person looking you in the eye. When it went viral on TikTok, a person who tried it found that their restaurant tips were higher than ever before. As a former restaurant employee, I understand the hustle for tips. Still, being a person who believes in spirituality but also wonders about the scientific logic governing the phenomenon of attraction, I wanted to know the psychology at work. So, I spoke to author and color expert Walaa of Walaa’s Colorways, as well as art therapist Lindsey Weaver, MA, ATR, to find out what this viral TikTok eyeliner trick really means, and if it’s the real deal.
Why The 4 Eye Dots Trick Is Supposed To Work
Walaa found the concept rather fascinating when it was first explained to her, needing a moment to really clue into her professional opinion. “I've never used white to manifest," she offers. "It's not usually a color that would energetically work." In color psychology, white is often viewed as a color of purity or innocence, making it a very non-threatening, giving the viewer a perception of openness and ease. How this white-eyeliner trick works, in Walaa's opinion, is both due to the color of the dots, as well as the placement. "Because [they're] close to the eye and white functions as a clearer, it separates your real emotions. It deflects and reflects everything, [as well as] emphasizes."
Beyond purity or innocence, white is a reflection color. "We see white when light hits something and reflects all colors," Walaa explains. "Your eyes are the doorway to your soul and your energy and everything. When you're combining those two together, you're reflecting your soul outwards." Basically, if black is the absorption of all color and white is the reflection of all color, by putting white near your eyes, it's almost like, "What I want, you reflect to me." Who would have thought, tiny white dots could make people think they’re peering into my soul? Or at least whatever’s left of it.
The shape of the dots is also important, because dots will help people focus in on the eye. “The four dots are creating a space, like a box, offering a ‘container’ of where to look or focus attention,” Weaver explains. "Since white is a reflective color, too much can be overwhelming to a viewer’s eye. Thus, drawing dots will allow our brain to project a box, versus drawing an actual box with white liner." Our brains actually fill in the rest of the space, understanding that even though solid lines are not present, the overall shape is that of a box. This concept is literally taking the "the window to the soul" concept to the nth degree — the person who is observing you will be focusing in on your eyes, causing the center focus to be the pupil itself. Notoriously, pupils dilate when we see someone we are attracted to.
How To Test Out The 4 Eye Dots Trick
When it comes to applying the white-dot makeup, you can replicate the TikTok technique, but that style seems a little extreme for day-to-day wear. Makeup artist Jillian Dempsey offered a less conceptual, more daywear white-eyeliner vibe for someone who wants to keep the dots on their face to natural freckles: "One of my tricks is to draw a quick line on the upper lash line, as just a cool, white liner," Dempsey says. "But you can also use white liner all over your lid, up to your crease, and then smudge it out and use it as an eye brightener. If your eyelids are a little dark, this is a great tip." In general, Dempsey's advice: Incorporate white eyeliner. If you need a product rec, Dempsey makes a bright-white khol pencil that's more forgiving than a liquid formula.
If you’re going to try out the trick with maximum drama, using contrasting colors is key. Anytime our eye see contrasting colors, we are automatically drawn to them — so using black eyeliner, black lashes, black eyeshadow, is going to create a large contrast to the white dots, once again drawing the viewer’s attention to the eye area. However, my colleague Megan offered her take on the trend and how she would wear it: "I would make it super subtle — maybe using a dot of highlighter instead of a white liquid liner — so it's basically imperceptible, and then hope it works some kind of love magic."
How The White Eyeliner Dots Actually Worked Out For Me
So, how did it work out for me? I tried out this trick twice, both times using the (truly fantastic) MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Resist Color Ink Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. While I didn’t find that anyone fell in love with me (or at least, no one confessed — time can only tell), I did find myself receiving an astonishing amount of deep eye contact. Like, anyone who looked me in the eyes, was looking me in the eyes. I now understand why Diana Ross doesn’t want people to make eye contact. I truly felt like people were gazing into my eyes like I held the answers to all of life’s mysteries. It wasn’t a complete failure: I got a free drink at a bar!
Will this trick make someone fall in love with you? Perhaps. But is it someone you want to be in love with you? Walaa says this trend, while cute, may accidentally attract a narcissist, someone who 'falls in love' with the reflection of themself that they see within you. "It's great to attract people giving you stuff, and people showering you with gifts," Walaa explains. Her guidance? "Check who you're attracting. When you put mirrors around you, you have to be careful how you deflect energy." If not, you could be playing with white-hot fire.