So, what exactly is a “cut crease?” It’s the makeup technique of cutting across the crease of the eye with a sharp contrasting line and little to no blending.

While the cut crease is hardly a new thing, recent social media makeup darlings have cultivated this technique into a new art form. There are thousands of images online in every conceivable color combo ranging from soft and demure to theatrical.

Since this is an advanced makeup technique that requires practice, we broke down the trend into 3 levels so, if you’re a novice, start with the first stage and build the intensity as you become more comfortable with the technique.

Stage 1—Natural Contour

  1. Sweep a nude (or slightly lighter) cream shadow (like MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly) over your lid with your soft base brush.
  2. Press a flesh-toned powder shadow over the cream with your base shadow brush to set and allow a smooth blending surface.
  3. Choose a matte shade that is slightly darker than your skin tone in grey, plum, peach, or warm brown. Dip the tips of your deluxe crease brush into shadow, tap off excess and sweep through your crease with the bristles angled upward. #ProTip: Apply with your eyes open–looking straight into the mirror so you can check the placement while applying.
  4. If necessary use your deluxe crease brush to blend out the edges.
  5. Apply a dark eyeliner, with a slight flick at the end, and mascara.

Stage 2—Classic Beauty

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from Natural Contour (above). #ProTip: Adding a base coat of liner and mascara before cutting the crease, gives you a better idea of the overall look.
  2. Select a matte shadow that’s a deeper shade of your crease color for your “cut” color. Take a small amount of shadow on the tips of your shading brush and smooth into the outside of crease with the bristles slanted up into the crease to blend, while laying down the sharp line. Use the flat side of the brush to lightly drag the shade upwards into the outer corner and taper down toward the center of eye.
  3. To create a cleaner line, run the light shadow under the cut with a clean shading brush.
  4. For extra pop, add a touch of shimmer shadow in the center of the lid.
  5. Use your eyeliner brush and a gel liner (like Bobbi Brown gel liner in black) to create a winged-out cat eye.
  6. Apply a natural pair of false lashes to complete this classic look.

Stage 3 —Daring Diva

  1. Step up the drama, follow the same technique as above, but increase the contrast and/or sharpen the line.
  2. Swap out the nude base shade for a bold color, bright white or a high glitter shadow.
  3. Forget the blend! Run a dark shadow through the top of the eye socket with your shading brush. Take your base shade and apply directly below to sharpen the line.
  4. Pop on a pair of ultra thick false lashes.
  5. Finish the look by drawing a strong black liner along the top and bottom lash lines. Then bring the two lines together in an extended wing toward the outer brow.