TikTok uncanny valley makeup viral

What is the disturbing viral uncanny valley makeup trend you keep seeing on your TikTok?

Going to be sleeping with the lights on now

Yay, another TikTok trend that only appears on my FYP late at night and gives me nightmares! TikTok is home to all kinds of creepy viral trends, but the newest one on the app shows people using makeup to create an insanely creepy uncanny valley effect. But what actually is uncanny valley and why do you feel so unnerved when you see something that falls into the category?

What does uncanny valley mean?


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♬ Brutus (Instrumental) – The Buttress

The term uncanny valley refers to an unsettling feeling experienced when looking at an AI or a robot that closely resembles a human.

It’s defined as “the hypothesised relationship between the extent to which a humanoid resembles an actual human and the negative emotional response such a humanoid evokes.” You recognise it too be something that resembles a human, but its small imperfections are what make you feel physically unnerved.

What is the uncanny valley TikTok trend?

To replicate this eerie sensation, people are now using makeup to transform themselves into humanoid robots. This is achieved by putting foundation on and using concealer and highlighter to create an unnatural light effect on their faces. They’re also redrawing their mouths and eyebrows with extreme precision, using eyeliner and mascara to enhance or distort their natural features.

The goal is to elicit the same uneasy feeling experienced when looking into the eyes of a robot.

Content creator Zara helped popularise the trend as she posted a video of herself wearing uncanny valley makeup while lip-syncing audio from the video game Detroit Become Human, which is all about robots gaining consciousness.


So far, the hashtag for the trend has amassed over 639 million views on TikTok, as creators are recording themselves wearing uncanny valley makeup while staring at the camera to freak you out. It gives me very creepy vibes.

And if you want to try the uncanny valley effect yourself but don’t have the makeup skills to do so, another TikToker created a makeup filter that gives the same effect and applies a realistic, AI-like appearance to the user’s face.

How to get the ‘uncanny valley’ makeup filter

You can access the uncanny valley makeup filter from within the TikTok app by doing the following steps:

  1. Open TikTok.
  2. Click on the plus button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. In the bottom left corner, tap on effects.
  4. Click on the magnifying glass, and search for uncanny valley makeup.
  5. Select the filter of the same name by tapping it.
  6. Hold your phone so your face is on camera, and the filter should apply automatically.

And now enjoy appearing in your own nightmares!

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