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What’s the ‘uncanny valley’ makeup trend on TikTok?

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Follow this makeup trend to verify that you’re not a robot, but you want to be.

The viral “uncanny valley” makeup trend is taking over TikTok, as creators try to scare their viewers with their terrifying makeup skills.

“Uncanny valley” is the term used to describe the uncomfortable feeling people get when they make eye contact with an android, a robot made to look like a human.

To replicate this sentiment, TikTokers are turning things around and applying makeup to look like a robot.

Women cover their faces with foundation and use concealer and highlighter to make it look like the light is hitting their faces in an unnatural way. They are redrawing their mouths and eyebrows with eyeliner and mascara to highlight their features.

The video tutorials all vary in technique, but end with similar results: viewers are scared off by a look that seems too perfect in some ways and a little strange in others.

And that is the point.

The viral “uncanny valley” makeup trend is taking over TikTok with over 40 million views as creators try to scare their viewers with their scary good makeup skills.

The creators aim to provoke the same uneasy feeling that people experience when staring into the eyes of an android: something is wrong, but it’s hard to pinpoint what.

TikToker Zara (@alkiiwii) She recently went viral with her take on the trend, quickly racking up 14.4 million views on her most recent tagged video. #makeupuncannyvalleywhich has 41.5 million views on the popular social media channel.

In the video, he lip-syncs to a clip from the video game “Detroit Become Human,” which follows androids in the year 2038.

“I only exist thanks to the intelligence of the humans who designed me. You know, they have something that I could never have. […] a soul,” he says a little behind the audio, while making facial expressions reminiscent of a video game character to increase the effect.

“THIS is an uncanny valley,” commented viewer @naharahakeofficia.

“This gives me goosebumps,” @moonxdione responded.

Many others compared Zara’s made-up look to the mother character in the famously creepy children’s movie “Coraline.”


TikTok/@beautybyzoeg doing the "uncanny valley" makeup trend
“Uncanny valley” is the term used to describe the uncomfortable feeling people get when they make eye contact with an android, a robot made to look like a human.
TikTok/@beautybyzoeg

The “uncanny valley” look can also be achieved through makeup or photo and video filters.

The recent makeup trend comes as the world struggles with how to handle the rise of artificial intelligence and the rapid expansion of the technology’s capabilities, including strikingly realistic fakes and the inability to determine what is AI and what is not.

The “people” in the images looked real at first glance, but were noted to have small but significant deformities, such as extra fingers and teeth, that left viewers uncomfortable.

The term “uncanny valley” went viral earlier this year after a collection of AI-generated images that appeared to show a house party spooked viewers who were struggling to figure out why the images were so creepy.

The “uncanny valley” phenomenon has also been shown to impact not only how humans feel but also how they react.



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