Perfecting cat eye makeup
It’s classic pin-up. It’s sexy and elegant. Cat-eye or winged eyeliner has been back en vogue for a while now, and it’s nowhere close to leaving.
Winged eyeliner is either one of two things: perfect or a total flop. There is nothing in between and no room for error with this look. An even slightly off line ruins the sleek style.
Cat eyes take practice, so don’t feel discouraged. Here are some pro tips to help you draw the perfect wings.
1. Liquid liner is not the end all.
Forget a pencil; that won’t give you the look you need. And definitely don’t try it with an eye pencil designed for smudging. That will result in raccoon eyes, not cat eyes.
Liquid liner is the common first choice, but it can also be really tricky to master. One tremble of the hand and it’s done. Another easier alternative is an eyeliner cream, like Clinique’s Brush-On Cream Liner. This liner also lasts long throughout the day and does not smear. Clinique’s Brush-On Cream Liner, $16.50 (plus 4% Cash Back), Sephora.com.
Draw it on with a thin, angled eye brush (not the blunt-tip brush Clinique’s liner comes with). We love Urban Decay’s makeup brushes. A quality brush is not cheap. A cheap brush will not work for the kind of precision you need. Urban Decay Perversion Angled Brush, $16 (plus 4% Cash Back), Nordstrom.com.
If you do feel up for a liquid liner, our favorite is Lorac’s Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner. It goes on smoothly and accurately and is easy to manage, for liquid. Lorac’s Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner, $23 (plus 4% Cash Back), Ulta.com
2. Black liner is also not the end all.
Although cat eyes are traditionally jet black, if you are a little older or looking for a different look, try brown. Black can be too bold and jarring for some faces. A toned down brown can still get the point across, without making you look too harsh.
3. Practice the lines.
Your cat eye should be thinner on the inside and thicker as it goes toward the outside of your lid. Try different widths and gradients to see what you like best.
The wing itself can either be a curve or a sharp angle. Again, your preference. The length of the wing can vary, too, based on the size of your eyes. Experiment to find your perfect length.
The angle of the wing, however, should go along with the natural angle of your lower lash line, almost extending it upward. It’s helpful to hold a brush from your nose diagonally to your eyebrow. Follow that path.
4. Don’t tug.
It’s tempting to pull your eyelid skin taut while you draw, but when you let go, it will mess up the line. Draw it on with your head slightly tilted back, which won’t change the shape of your lids, like pulling will.