What on earth is the ‘high visual weight’ and ‘low visual weight’ trend on TikTok?

The latest viral craze explained

Content Producer / January 23 2024

Navigating the whirlwind world of TikTok makeup trends can sometimes feel like trying to keep up with the days of the week – blink and you might just miss the latest craze. With each swipe up, there's a new beauty hack, a must-try look, or a viral challenge that everyone seems to be talking about. It's exhilarating, yes, but let's be real, it can also be downright overwhelming.

Just when you thought you had mastered the art of the perfect winged eyeliner or figured out the secret to that glowy, no-makeup makeup look, along comes another trend that's taking over your feed. The latest to hit the TikTok platform is the intriguing concept of "high visual weight" versus "low visual weight" faces. This trend isn't just about what colours to use or how to contour; it delves deeper into the very architecture of your face, teaching you how to tailor your makeup to enhance your natural features. Whether you're someone with striking, pronounced features or someone with softer, more harmonious traits, this trend promises to change the way you approach your makeup game. 

So, grab your makeup kit, and let's dive into this fascinating new trend. Who knows? This might just be the one that sticks, helping you unlock a whole new level of makeup artistry.

What is high and low visual weight?

High visual weight: This term refers to faces with more pronounced features that stand out, such as strong bone structure or prominent facial elements. Think of celebrities like Dua Lipa or Zendaya, who have striking features that can carry bold makeup styles.

Low visual weight: In contrast, low visual weight is characterised by softer, rounder features that blend more harmoniously with each other. Celebrities like Jennie Kim and Selena Gomez, who have more subdued features, are examples of low visual weight.

Why do we care about high and low visual weight?

Ultimately, like all makeup trends, taking note of high and low visual weight is up to the user. Reasoning behind its virality lies in its ability to help people select the most flattering makeup styles for their face. The key is choosing makeup that complements and enhances your features. So, don’t consider it a hard and fast rule but, rather, a method to help you in makeup experimentation.

Determining your visual weight

To find out whether you have a high or low visual weight, you can use a simple method involving photography and editing:

1. Photography test: Take a photo in natural light and apply a black-and-white filter. Then adjust the contrast to both extremes, negative 100 and positive 100. If your features appear clearer at negative 100 contrast, you likely have a low visual weight. Conversely, if they stand out more at 100 percent contrast, it indicates a high visual weight.

2. Using TikTok filters: The Bold Glamour filter on TikTok is another popular method of determining visual weight. It adds heavy makeup effects, so if these effects appear more natural on you, it suggests high visual weight. If the filter makes you look overly dramatic or unnatural, you might have low visual weight.

Makeup tips for high and low visual weight

For high visual weight: If you have high visual weight, you can opt for bold makeup styles. This includes deep red lips, emphasised brows, and dark eyeshadows or eyeliners. These bold choices highlight your pronounced features.

For low visual weight: For those with low visual weight, subtler makeup is more flattering. This means using lighter shades, minimalistic styles, and focusing on enhancing rather than overpowering your features. 

Understanding your visual weight can be a game-changer in selecting the most flattering makeup styles for your face. Whether you have high or low visual weight, the key is to choose makeup that complements and enhances your natural features. However, remember that makeup is a form of self-expression, so feel free to experiment and find what makes you feel most confident and beautiful.

Main image credit: Getty

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Olga is BEAUTYcrew's Content Producer. When she's not writing about beauty, she's probably watching endless TikTok videos about the topic. Her extra one per cent of brain space is reserved for her two poodles. She can be easily bribed with a good blush or lip tint (take notes, please).

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