Wish to nail the feline flick like we see on Lauren Conrad or Adele, once and for all? Here’s some help.
The cat eye, as we know, is one of those iconic eyeliner looks that will never go out of style. No matter how long it takes to master the technique, the instant drama, fun and glamour it adds makes it a worthwhile endeavour. Turn your eyes into your most flattering feature by learning the tricks and our favourite variations on the theme.
First things first, we need to know about certain cat-eye dos and don’ts:
Do use pencil eyeliners if you are new to the liner game because they’re the easiest to control. You can trace a liquid liner over it for more depth. Sharpen the eye pencil before each use for smooth application.
Don’t use a cream liner that doesn’t set as it will lead to a smudgy mess during summers.
Do support your arm by placing your elbow on a table while you apply it. It helps avoiding eyeliner disasters each time.
Don’t close your eyes while applying liner. Keeping both eyes open will help you achieve precise and even liner. The trick is to create a perfect angle by tilting your chin up while looking down into a makeup mirror.
Do pair cat-eye liner with a simple shimmery shadow on the lid, and a matte lipstick, either bold red or plush pink.
Don’t pull the skin around your eye taut while applying eyeliner, to avoid a weird-looking, jagged line.
Do line your bottom lids at the outer corner and blend the line into your winged liner on top for an intensified look.
Don’t draw your eyeliner in one stroke. Try making small, short dashes and then connecting them to create a smooth line.
Do choose your liner carefully. Read more about eyeliners in our story “Eyeliner 101”.
The Classic Cat Eye
Step 1: Prep your eyelids by using a primer or foundation to get an even base for your liner.
Step 2: Curl your lashes at the root to open up your eyes. Do this before you apply liner to avoid smudging.
Step 3: Apply your liner like usual with an eye pencil, but extend the liner starting from the inner corner to only three quarters of the way across the eye. Try not leaving a gap between the liner and the lashline.
Step 4: Now to create the flick. Look straight into the mirror and using your lower lash line as a guide, dot the end of the wing, near the brow bone, as if it were an extension of that line.
Step 5: Place the liner on the dot and drag it back along your eye creating a wing. Do it more than once to create the drama. Thereafter perfect the shape using the liner.
Step 6: Chances are you might not get it perfect the first time. (Nobody does!) So use a Q-tip dipped in moisturiser or makeup remover and use it to erase any smudges or areas you want to sharpen.
Step 7: Finish off by coating your upper lashes with a dose of elongating black mascara.
The Graphic Cat-Eye
If you want a change from the traditional cat-eye try going bolder and sexier by trying modern and more graphic variations of the classic cat-eye. Here is one that we picked up.
Start by drawing your liner as usual across your lash line with an eye pencil. Draw a second line outward from the centre of the crease of your lid till the point where lower line ends. Make sure both the lines are parallel to each other. Now draw the two borders for these lines. First, starting from the point where the upper line begins, draw a horizontal ‘V’ (with its tail pointing outward) and connect the upper line to the lower line. For the outer border connect them using a vertical straight line. This forms a square-like shape. Start filling in the square cat-eye with the pencil and use an eye shadow brush to smudge the inner-side of the square. Finish off the look with two coats of black mascara.
Double Winged Cat-Eye
Love the wing? Add another or even two to create a unique yet very wearable look. Double winged eyes can look really cute because the wings can appear like long lashes. But they can also look really edgy if you extend the liner on your water line to create your second wing.
Another way of sporting a double wing is to trace your upper and lower lash lines with a jet-black liquid, extending the lines 1/4 inch past the outer corners of your eyes (leaving a space in between). Make sure the lines are straight and not flared up, almost like an equal sign. You could even play with colours for an added pop. Maybe try the purple double winged look worn by Charli XCX?
The Smokey Cat-Eye
You can do a smokey eye or you can do a cat-eye or you can do both for a trendy chic look? Follow the classic cat-eye steps from 1 to 4. Then using a pencil brush, begin blending the pencil onto the eyelid, creating a smokey effect. You can also dab a small amount of dark eye shadow onto your brush. Make sure the pencil is well blended, maintaining the basic cat eyeliner shape. Line your bottom lash line with an eye pencil if not lined already and then use your pencil brush to blend in the pencil on your bottom waterline to create the smokey effect on the bottom waterline as well. Next be generous with your mascara and apply 2-3 coats on your lashes. Using a white or cream shadow, create a highlight on the bottom, outer corner of your eye. This will enhance the cat eye shape and complete your look.
The Supersized Cat-Eye
Ditch the demure cat eye and try sporting an exaggerated cat eye for the bold look that’ll turn heads. Follow the classic cat-eye steps from 1 to 4 but extend the wing above your eyelids and out towards your temples. Finish it all up by filling it all in and you’re set. This look is best achieved with a gel liner.
We’ll admit, cat-eye is not the easiest look to master, but once you ace it, you can play with this flirty makeup trick adding your own variations, to sport a new stunning look each day.