The latest beauty fad on social media is using makeup to look like a robot


"Uncanny valley" beauty consists of applying makeup to look like a robot. Photo: AFP

Halloween may be behind us, but many web users clearly aren't done having fun with scary makeup looks.

For proof, one need only check out the "uncanny valley" trend, which consists of applying makeup to look like a robot.

Over on TikTok, where the trend has gone viral, certain users are outdoing one another with disturbing and terrifying looks, with hashtags associated with this beauty routine having already generated over 100 million views.

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The term "uncanny valley" was not invented by TikTok users, having existed long before the phenomenon spawned a beauty trend.

It actually goes back to a theory put forward by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in the 1970s, aimed at capturing the feelings of unease and even revulsion, when confronted with an artificial but human-like representation – for instance, a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that seems nearly human.

Now TikTok users are trying to create looks that spark such a feeling with the "uncanny valley" makeup trend – and the scarier the better.

And these looks are clearly succeeding!

Just check out all the various videos – and their comments – posted on TikTok under these hashtags to see the feelings of discomfort and eerie sensations being generated.

Of course users are also enjoying these futuristic tutorials.

To date, the hashtags #uncannyvalleymakeup and #uncannymakeup have racked up 87 million and 33 million views respectively on the Chinese social network, while #uncannyvalley is nearing 900 million views.

These figures testify to a certain fascination with this trend, at a time when humanoid robots and various forms of artificial intelligence are a hot topic all over the world.

At this time of year, with the approach of the festive season, we're used to seeing fairy-tale-inspired beauty trends that put the accent on sparkle or glamour or both, so the emergence of this beauty inspiration comes as something of a surprise.

Nevertheless, how can you reproduce the look? There aren't really any definitive rules, as content creators are using a wide variety of techniques and sources of inspiration.

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The essence of the look sees users covering their face with foundation, concealer and highlighter to play with contrasts and light to give it a transformed aspect.

Eyebrows are often covered and even concealed, while mouth and eyes are modified with thick pencil outlines in various configurations.

These are the essential steps of creating a humanoid-robot look, if, even with Halloween over weeks ago, you're still in the mood to spook friends, family or followers. – AFP Relaxnews

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beauty , trends , TikTok , makeup


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